13th Annual Miriam O. Smith Educational Series (MOSES)

Confronting Shame & Self-Loathing: Pathways to Healing

with Janina Fisher, PhD

Professional Development Workshop:   6 CEs    

8:30 am - 4 pm        Friday, March 17, 2017 



Janina Fisher, PhD
Janina Fisher, PhD

Janina Fisher, PhD will share how issues of shame can become avenues to transformation, enabling individuals to survive.


Therapists regularly confront the insidious impact of shame on their traumatized clients’ ability to find relief and perspective even with good treatment. Feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy interfere with taking in positive experiences, leaving only hopelessness. Increased ability for self-assertion gets undermined by belief systems about worth or deserving. Progress in the treatment, increasing relief from symptoms, even greater success in life tend to evoke shame and self-judgment rather than pride. Despite the therapist's best efforts, unshakeable feelings of shame and self-hatred often undermine treatment: the client repeatedly takes two steps forward, then one step back. Trauma therapy requires specialized training because it requires specialized skills and interventions and does not respond to non-trauma related treatments.


This workshop will introduce participants to understanding shame from a neurobiological perspective—as a survival strategy driving somatic responses of automatic obedience and total submission—enforced by the client’s punitive introspection.  Using lecture, video, and experiential exercises drawn from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, a body-oriented talking therapy, participants will learn to help clients relate to their symptoms with mindful dual awareness and curiosity rather than automatic acceptance. When traditional psychodyanamic and cognitive-behavioral techniques are integrated with Sensorimotor interventions emphasizing posture, movement, and gesture, issues of shame can become an avenue to transformation rather than a source of stuckness.


DATE:  Friday, March 17, 2017

TIME:  8:30 am - 4 pm (Check in begins at 8 am) 

PLACE:  Cooper Creek Event Center, 4040 Cooper Rd, Blue Ash, OH 45241

FEES:  $140 by 5 pm March 8, 2017

             $130 for 2 or more from the same agency registering at one time by March 8, 2017
             After 5 pm March 8, 2017 a late fee of $15 per registrant will apply.          


Registration includes choice of lunch and 6 CEs 




Questions or for disability accommodations: 513-985-1581 or events@jfscinti.org

Workshop Agenda

6 CEs 

8 - 8:30 am Check In


8:30 - 10 am

     The Neurobiology of Shame

  • The role of shame in traumatic experience
  • Shame as an animal defense survival response
  • Shame’s evolutionary purpose
  • The role of procedural learning and memory

10 - 10:15 am Break


10:15 - 11:45 am

      Making Meaning of Shame

  • What happens to shame without interpersonal repair 
  • Feelings of disgust, degradation, and humiliation are interpreted as “who I am”
  • Cognitive schemas predict the future and determine our actions

11:45 am - 12:30 pm Lunch


12:30 - 2 pm 

      Working from the “Bottom Up” 

  • Cognition and the body:  how the body supports distorted beliefs
  • Including “bottom up” interventions to address bodily effects of shame
  • Differentiating resourcing versus de-resourcing thoughts

2 - 2:15 pm Break


2:15 - 3:45 pm 

      Working with shame as a part of the personality

  • Differentiating the shaming judgmental part from the ashamed part
  • Changing the relationship to the shame by externalizing it as the shame of the child
  • Using “wise mind” to bring adult compassion to childhood vulnerability

3:45 - 4 pm Discussion and closing

Key Learning Objectives

Participants will learn to:

  • Identify the role of shame in traumatic experience
  • Understand shame as an animal defense survival strategy
  • Describe the interaction between cognitive schemas and shame responses
  • Identify the emotional, physical and cognitive effects of shame
  • Use Sensorimotor Psychotherapy in trauma treatment
  • Utilize mindfulness-based and somatic techniques to challenge shame
  • Help clients increase self-compassion and self-acceptance




Who should attend?  

This program is designed for Social Workers, Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Educators, Psychologists, Case Managers, Nurses, Chemical Dependency Counselors,
Life Coaches, Clergy, Psychiatrists, and Occupational Therapists. 

Registration includes 6 Continuing Education Credits for the following:

     Social Work CPE (Reciprocal for Nursing)

     Counseling CPE  #MCT031701

     Marriage and Family Therapy CPE


     Psychology OPA-MCE #310744786



     Chemical Dependency RCH
            #20 - 577074

     Occupational Therapy CE #160415

     Teacher Contact Hours

     Certificate of Completion


Registration includes your choice of lunch:

Spicy Salmon Salad & Tomato Stack

Served with Fresh Cut Organic Market Vegetables & Lemon Hummus 


Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken

(Organic Kale and Romaine tossed with Organic Chopped Chicken & Grilled Asparagus and Caesar Dressing) Served with Organic Fresh Fruit Cup


7 Vegetable Quinoa Stuffed Portabello drizzled with Roasted Tomato Coulis

Served with Roasted Seasonal Vegetables (All Organic) 


Kosher Option

Janina Fisher PhD

"Shame can be seen as a survival strategy driving somatic responses of automatic obedience, conflict avoidance, and passivity.  We need to help clients relate to shame with curiosity rather than shame and more shame, discriminating the cognitive, emotional, and physiological components, and transform shame states using somatic and other cutting edge techniques." 


Janina Fisher, PhD is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Instructor at the Trauma Center, an outpatient clinic and research center founded by Bessel van der Kolk. Known for her expertise as both a therapist and consultant, she is also past president of the New England Society for the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation, an EMDR International Association Credit Provider, a faculty member of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, and a former Instructor, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fisher has been an invited speaker at the Cape Cod Institute, Harvard Medical School Conference Series, the EMDR International Association Annual Conference, University of Wisconsin, University of Westminster in London, the Psychotraumatology Institute of Europe, and the Esalen Institute.


Dr. Fisher lectures and teaches nationally and internationally on topics related to the integration of research and treatment and how to introduce these newer trauma treatment paradigms in traditional therapeutic approaches.





Questions? Email events@jfscinti.org or leave a message at 513-985-1581


Cancellation Policy

A refund minus $20 per person administrative fee will be issued upon request for cancellations received by 5 pm Wednesday, March 8, 2017. No refunds will be issued after March 8, 2017.


Jewish Family Service established the annual Miriam O. Smith Educational Series (MOSES) program in 2004 to provide an opportunity for professional development as well as offer the community a chance to learn from nationally recognized mental health experts. The series honors the memory of Miriam O. Smith, a long time social worker at Jewish Family Service who provided extensive individual and family therapy, headed the adoption program, and also served as interim director of the agency.

Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati