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Working With Shame

A One Day Workshop for Helping Professionals

Greg Yee


Friday, 22 Mar 2024


9:00am - 3:00pm


Dunedin Public Art Gallery

30 Octagon
Dunedin 9016


Lunch & Tea Break Catering

Workshop Notes


Bookshop at Seminar

Shame is insidious, hard to identify, awful to feel, tricky to contain and easy to pass on. It is often overlooked as a therapeutic consideration, however if we are serious about improving the mental and psychological wellbeing of the people we work with, their experience of shame needs to be discussed, assessed and attended to in our work with them.

Feelings of shame often have their origins in childhood, although they also frequently present in association with a range of other psychological and developmental challenges. Experiences of trauma, complex abuse, addiction, relationship breakdown, anxiety, disordered body image, violence, or suicidal ideation, are often associated with and can all trigger a toxic shame response. If left unchecked shame grows more powerful and becomes viewed as being part of a person’s identity, meaning they can lose the ability to separate themselves from it. Feelings of shame seriously undermine people’s capacity to move forward in life.

The dominant societal norm of hiding or avoiding shame has recently been exposed and there is growing recognition of the importance of naming, understanding and treating shame. To effectively work with shame, we have to understand why it can be so difficult to ease this deeply ingrained emotion, why shame vigilantly protects itself, and how many traditional interventions may actually be sustaining shame (or driving it even deeper).

Some of the key themes that Greg will discuss in this insightful and interactive one-day workshop include:

Understanding shame:

  • Origins of shame and its evolutionary purpose.
  • External vs internal shame.
  • The difference between shame and guilt.
  • The neuroscience of shame.
  • The complex relationship between shame and power.

Client considerations:

  • The ways people try to manage their shame, including the effects of hiding, denying or trying to live with shame.
  • Intergenerational shame (with particular focus on the shame inflicted, often unintentionally, by common parenting practices).

Practitioner considerations and intervention:

  • Assessing and identifying the presence of shame.
  • Facilitating healing from shame across ages and developmental stages.
  • Assisting in the prevention of shame.
  • Preventing future generations from “catching” shame.

Greg Yee is a family and individual Therapist, based in Canberra, with over 30 years’ experience of working therapeutically with issues relating to shame. He divides his time between his successful private practice, delivering training for professional audiences and supervising individuals and teams. Greg has previously delivered his ‘Family Violence” workshop for Compass Seminars and is returning to deliver this new workshop in response to demand from our customers to hear more from him. Greg presents with insight, clarity, and compassion, meaning this is a training opportunity not to be missed by anybody working with individuals and families.

"Greg talked with clarity and compassion on this challenging topic. I appreciated his fresh and non-judgmental perspectives and will certainly take a lot of these ideas back to my colleagues."

Social Worker

"Excellent content delivered thoughtfully and with insight. Thanks Greg"


"Lots of great ideas, was worried it would only be a workshop for counsellors but I got so much out of it that will be useful in my work."

RTLB (Resource Teacher for Learning & Behaviour)