Workshop for Practitioners: Working with Shame in the Therapy Room

Friday 25th April 2020, 9am - 5pm, Glosna House, Athy.

Shame is a painful interpersonal emotion that develops in early attachment relationships.

Children see themselves through the eyes of their attachment figure, and if they perceive disapproval, ridicule, or aversion, this affects their self esteem, sense of self, body, and emotions.

When shame is exposed, it creates a pain that is unbearable, thus concealing itself making it difficult for a client to acknowledge, and a practitioner to identify.

Chronic shame is a problematic symptom that is often endured by clients who have experienced complex trauma, creating alterations in selfhood which can generate stuckness and lack of progression in the therapeutic process. Since shame is experienced with symptoms that are comorbid with trauma, supporting a client requires careful navigation by a practitioner.

This workshop, will focus on the early roots of shame, including the impacts on the nervous system and body, and on patterns of cognitions, emotions, and beliefs. It will help practitioners recognise the role of autonomic arousal in the nervous system, exacerbating symptoms, by identify animal defense survival responses in client who have experienced trauma.

Practitioners can avoid shame in the therapy room, due to a difficultly with their own shame, so we will explore how to be with shame, of both the practitioner and client. We will focus on how an implicit and explicit relational attunement between therapist and client, can create a safe and compassionate relational container for our clients to begin the interpersonal healing of shame.

This workshop will incorporate a dynamic combination of theory, collaborative interaction and experiential learning.


Carol Duffy (MIAHIP, MIACP, MEAP), is an accredited Psychotherapist & Supervisor. She currently works with Adults and Adolescents in Meath. During her career she has held roles as a senior clinical assessor, and psychotherapist in a number of charitable organisations.

Carol has training across the life span, with core training in Adult Psychotherapy, a Post Qual .Dip. in Adolescent Psychotherapy, and an MA in Integrative Psychotherapy & Play Therapy. She has additional training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy which incorporates neuroscience, attachment theory, hakomi, somatic awareness and movement interventions rooted in mindfulness.

She brings to her work a solid MindBody connection, as a qualified yoga teacher, and grounding in her personal mediation and mindfulness practice, that began 30 years ago. She is currently undertaking a Diploma in Teaching in Mindfulness Based Interventions.

Carol has spent over a decade exploring the topic of shame and competed research in 2018. She believes in working with all parts of a person within the therapeutic relationship, and runs trainings for practitioners on shame, incorporating trauma, mindfulness and compassion.

Venue: Glosna House Holistic Centre, Ballylehane Lower, Wolfhill, Co Laois

Time: 9am to 5pm

Cost: €100

CPD - 7.5 hours

For Psychotherapists, Counsellors, (Trainees, Pre-Accrediated), and Psychologists

For Bookings contact Glosna House Holistic Centre

Phone: 087 7693966


Stress and Anxiety

Many people are affected by poor mental health either due to their work environment or personal life. Most jobs may leave you feeling like you are under pressure and as a result it is ok to feel stressed or anxious. However, if you regularly feel overwhelmed by these feelings this could begin to affect you health.

Stress and anxiety can be experienced because of work or due to other factors, such as, family, relationships or financial concerns. One issue could be causing you to feel stress and anxiety or it could be a build up of several things and this could make it difficult to identify what’s affecting you. When we feel stress or anxiety in one area of our life this can affect other areas also.

Our therapists are qualified to the highest standards and can support you with issues such as stress and anxiety what ever the causes.

Carol Duffy, Psychotherapist 

Pregnancy related anxiety and phobia (Perinatal Anxiety and Tokophobia).

Perinatal anxiety and Tokophobia

Most people are aware that you can become depressed after having a baby known as prenatal or antenatal anxiety, however, less people are aware of Perinatal Anxiety. This can be experienced during pregnancy or in the year after childbirth. For some women they can experience a particular anxiety about childbirth, this is know as Tokophobia.

Tokophobia is a pathological fear of pregnancy, and can lead to avoidance of childbirth.  There are two classifications of tokophobia, Primary and Secondary. 

Primary tokophobia is morbid fear of childbirth in a woman, who has had no previous experience of pregnancy. Secondary tokophobia is morbid fear of childbirth which has developed after experiencing a traumatic obstetric event during a previous pregnancy.

Both of our therapists have training in sensorimotor psychotherapy, and can work with you to reduce symptoms, and phobic responses. We can help you to make sense of things and understand yourself better. Support you to recognise unhelpful patterns in the way you think or act and explore ways to change them in a safe space.

Carol Duffy, Psychotherapist 

Anger: Inward and Outward expression

Part of being human is to feel anger at times, it is a normal, healthy emotion. It isn’t necessarily a ‘bad’ emotion and can be very useful. Feeling angry about something can help us motivate us to create change or to achieve our goals, it can help us to stay safe and enables us to defend ourselves if we experience danger. Most people will experience bursts of anger which are manageable and don’t really impact their lives.

Anger becomes a problem when it gets out of control and could harm you or can harm another. We can express our anger in unhelpful and different ways such as:

  • Inward aggression, telling yourself that you hate yourself, withdrawing from the world, not providing yourself your basic needs (like food)
  • Outward aggression, such as shouting slamming doors being physically or verbally abusive towards others.
  • Passive aggression such as ignoring people, refusing to do tasks, being sulky or even sarcastic but not saying anything directly aggressive or angry.

Learning healthy ways to recognise your anger and importantly how to deal with anger is vital for our mental and physical health.

Our therapists are experienced and accredited counsellors and psychotherapists and can help and support you.

Carol Duffy, Psychotherapist 

Image (c) Carol Duffy 2019

That repetitive loop of anxiety

That repetitive loop of anxiety

Anxiety can take over a persons life often to the point that it becomes overwhelming, and exhausting. A person can be plagued by persistent thoughts and critical self commentary that can undermine self esteem, and instead creates self doubt and fear. Anxiety can then make it difficult to feel confident as a person, to feel happy with accomplishments, and interrupt our ability feel relaxed in social settings.

The repetitive cycle created by anxiety can lock us into to withdrawing from social interactions due to a fear of exposure. This creates a loss of potential support and sense of belonging, and instead we can be left with a sense of disconnection and isolation.

Addressing anxiety requires getting to know what way it is being experienced, and exploring a way to move beyond its associated symptoms, emotions, behaviours, and thoughts, towards feeling more at ease with ourselves and free to engage with others and with life.

Carol Duffy  Psychotherapist 

Image © Carol Duffy 2018