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

Confronting Shame & Self-Loathing: Pathways to Healing

Jewish Family Service Offers Speakers and Support for Trauma Survivors



“Trauma survivors relive implicit memories over-and-over, which are encoded primarily as bodily and emotional states,” explained Sharon Gold-Steinberg, PhD when Jewish Family Service welcomed her on March 17, 2017 for its 13th annual Miriam O. Smith Educational Series professional development workshop.


The workshop, Confronting Shame & Self-Loathing: Pathways to Healing, focused extensively on the significant role of shame in trauma survivors. Dr. Gold-Steinberg specializes in Trauma-treatment and was recommended by her colleague Janina Fisher, PhD, who was initially scheduled to present, but was unable to attend due to last minute unforeseen circumstances.


Nearly 300 professionals gathered at Cooper Creek Event Center to learn how to apply new methods to help clients who are suffering from symptoms linked to trauma. They earned 6 continuing education units (CEs) in a variety of disciplines as they expanded their knowledge in identifying the effects of shame and using sensorimotor psychotherapy in trauma-treatment.


Centered on Dr. Fisher’s presentation, Dr. Gold-Steinberg began the workshop explaining that trauma survivors have symptoms instead of memories. Shame is one of the most common symptoms, which is often used as a defense strategy acting as a barrier in trauma-treatment.


“Shame can be triggered from both negative and positive occurrences, such as criticism, normal mistakes, success, self-assertion, and even feelings of happiness,” says Dr. Gold-Steinberg. “Shame is about essence caused from feeling bad for no reason.”


Dr. Gold-Steinberg shared new methods to identify and confront shame and self-hatred caused by trauma and how to help trauma survivors heal. She focused primarily on a technique that involves paying close attention to a client’s body language in order to identify symptoms of trauma and what is causing those symptoms, emphasizing that once symptoms have been recognized and properly treated, the brain can start to heal. This is known as working from the “bottom up.”


“Because we have more nerves in our body than our brain, often our body tells us something is wrong before our brain realizes it,” she says. “The brain doesn’t know trauma is over until the body knows it is over. Thoughts trigger bodily emotions, which triggers thoughts, and it continues as a vicious cycle until it’s broken.”


Dr. Sharon Gold-Steinberg, PhD is a licensed psychologist. In addition to teaching and supervising at the University of Michigan for fifteen years, Gold-Steinberg has maintained an active private practice working with children, adults, couples, and families since 1995 with an emphasis on the treatment of trauma, attachment issues, anxiety, grief, and divorce. Increasingly, her practice focuses on providing psychotherapy, consultation and training to other therapists.


The Miriam O. Smith Educational Series (MOSES) was founded 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.


This year’s MOSES workshop was co-chaired by Susan Shorr and Alyce Ellison. Other committee members included Deborah Smith Blackmer, Gail Friedman, Nancy Postow, and Joan Van Epps. It was supported in part by Verizon and agency sponsor Interim Healthcare.


In addition to the full-day professional workshop, Jewish Family Service brought in two professionals on March 15 to speak to the public about how to recognize trauma symptoms in family members and themselves, and how to begin the healing process. This free Jewish Family Service Alan R. Mack Speaker Series event, “Healing Trauma from the Inside Out: Facilitation Resilience and Hope, was led by Mary Vicario, LPCC-S and her colleague Sarah Buffie.


To continue to help those in the community who may be suffering from the long-term effects of trauma, Jewish Family Service is offering additional support through LifeLabs, a program which offers free educational discussions covering specific topics such as trauma, single parenting, interfaith couples, and bereavement. More information including a full list of LifeLabs groups is available at jfscinti.org/lifelabs.


Jewish Family Service is a 501c3 nonprofit social service agency that strengthens lives in times of need. Jewish Family Service receives funding in part by Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, The Jewish Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, and United Way of Greater Cincinnati.


Professional Development Workshop:   6 CEs    

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

Learn 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