Division 56 → Member - $15 CE Option

Shame, Dissociation and Enactment in Complex Trauma Disorders - October 4, 2019

This webinar provides an overview and explore of how shame develops as a retreat away from other people and an attempt to isolate the self, which often manifests in self-attack. Shame can also lead to people attacking others and re-enacting their traumatic experiences as a way of trying to distance from the helplessness, dejection and powerlessness of the affect. Dissociation may also be a mechanism employed to distance from the potency of feeling shame, yet experiencing dissociation can also create feelings of shame as the individual feels unable to control or be aware of their actions, memories and feelings. This seems to be particularly evident in the therapeutic relationship. This webinar explores these dynamics in those with a history of complex, early relational trauma. Three elements that often require attention in therapy, associated with the protection of self from acute feelings of shame, protection of the abusive attachment figure and the projection of disgust and dissmell will be examined.

Presented by

Martin Dorahy, PhD, DClinPych

Learning objectives
• To learn about the centrality of shame in complex trauma disorders
• To understand the link between shame and dissociation in those with complex trauma disorders
• To explore dynamics associated with shame in the treatment of complex trauma disorders, especially those associated with childhood relational trauma.


Chefetz, R. A. (2015). Intensive psychotherapy for persistent dissociative processes: The
fear of feeling real. New York: Norton.

DeYoung, P. A. (2015). Understanding and treating chronic shame. New York: Routledge.

Dorahy, M. J. (2017). Shame as a compromise for humiliation and rage in
the internal representation of abuse by loved ones: Processes, motivations and the role of dissociation. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 18(3), 383-396. DOI: 10.1080/15299732.2017.1295422

Herman, J. L. (2011). PTSD as a shame disorder. In Dearing, R. L., &
Tangney, J. P. (Eds.), Shame in the therapy hour (pp. 261-275). American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

Schimmenti, A. (2012). Unveiling the hidden self: Developmental trauma and pathological shame, Psychodynamic Practice, 18, 195-211.
  • Shame, Dissociation and Enactment in Complex Trauma Disorders - Recording
  • Shame, Dissociation and Enactment - CE TEST
  • Division 56 Webinar Survey
Completion rules
  • All units must be completed
  • Leads to a certificate with a duration: Forever