Shame and Connection

Shame and Connection

10 March 2019
10.00 am - 4.00 pm

Facilitated by Kirsteen Greenholm

‘Shame is most importantly a felt sense of unworthiness to be in connection, a deep sense of unlovability, with the ongoing awareness of how very much one wants to connect with others…. There is a loss of the sense of an empathic possibility, others are not experienced as empathic and the capacity for self-empathy is lost. The self who trusted is no longer available.’  Judith Jordan

The experience of shame and the related longing for connection are amongst the most painful and prevalent human experiences, and can be portals to profound healing. In this mainly experiential workshop we will explore the relational embodied experience of shame and connection for clients and counsellors/therapists. We will consider how our personal experience of shame and connection shape our therapeutic style and presence. There will be opportunities for you to increase your skills in working effectively with shame processes to support connection and emotional regulation. In particular we will focus on:

  • recognising shame processes and defences against shame
  • understanding how chronic shame is formed relationally
  • exploring how the neurobiology of shame can inform our work
  • considering therapist experiences of shame which are evoked within the therapeutic relationship, and the relevance and impact for clients
  • developing ways-of-being with clients which support connection, integration and healing
  • deepening our embodied capacities for resonance, presence, attunement, relational reach, use-of-self, compassion for self and other, and connection

You are welcome whatever your level of experience and level of ‘shame-literacy’.

Kirsteen is an experienced UKCP-registered gestalt psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer working in private practice in Edinburgh. She was a core member of the training team at Edinburgh Gestalt Institute for around ten years until leaving in 2017 to develop other professional interests including writing. She has also worked in the addictions and mental health fields in the voluntary and statutory sectors. Kirsteen weaves her love of imagery, literature, music, art and nature into her embodied relational approach to counselling and psychotherapy. As a trainer, she is passionate about supporting learning in ways which are respectful, stimulating, compassionate, and which call to head, heart and soul. Shame and connection have been lifelong themes for her professionally and personally. For more information about her please see

£20 booking fee – Exclusive to PF Counsellors

PF Counselling Service