A Compassionate Approach to Recovering From Shame-Based Trauma and PTSD

When: Thursday 30th April to Friday 1st May 2020, 9:30am to 4:30pm
Where: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston Campus (postcode B15 2TT)
Cost: £280 (University of Birmingham alumni are entitled to a 50% discount)
Speaker: Professor Deborah Lee


Shame-based trauma memories are highly distressing and disturbing for most people. High levels of self-criticism appear to maintain the sense of current psychological threat. The personal meaning conveyed in the fragmented images and flashbacks is often painful, condemning and shaming.

This two day workshop will introduce the use of Compassion Focused Therapy (Gilbert 2009) as a way to work with the effect of shame especially in the context of shame based flashbacks and trauma experiences. This workshop will explore the theoretical and practical understanding of using compassionate images to work with these flashbacks in order to enhance feelings of self-soothing, safeness in the memories and reduce self-critical maintenance cycles.

In particular it will explore the importance of teaching techniques such as using compassionate imagery within reliving of the trauma memories, and development of the capacity to self soothe to those who feel deeply shamed about who they are and what they have been through.

About the presenter

Professor Deborah Lee is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Head of Berkshire Traumatic Stress Service and South Central Veterans Service. She is also an honorary Senior Lecturer at University College London. She is author of the Compassionate-Mind Guide to Recovering from Trauma and PTSD: Using Compassion-Focused Therapy to Overcome Flashbacks, Shame, Guilt, and Fear (2013). New Harbinger, New York.

She has recently been developing, delivering and evaluating a Compassion Focused Approach to Leadership program to over 800 staff in the NHS. She has worked in the field of trauma for 25 years and specialises in the treatment of complex PTSD. Her particular area of clinical and research interest is in shame based PTSD and self-criticism. She has pioneered the use of developing compassionate resilience as part of a phased based treatmentapproach to complex PTSD.

She has widely contributed to the dissemination ofher clinical knowledge through writing and delivering over 150 clinical workshops and talks in North America, Europe, Japan and Australia.

Suggested pre-course reading

  • Lee, D.A. (2012) A compassionate Approach to Recovering from Trauma. A self help guide to recovery. Constable Robinson, London.
  • Gilbert, P. (2009). The Compassionate Mind. Constable Robinson, London
  • Gilbert, P. (2005) Compassion: Conceptualisations, Research and Use in Psychotherapy. London: Brunner-Routledge.
  • Lee, D.A. (2009) Compassion Focused Cognitive Therapy For Shame-based Trauma Memories and Flashbacks in PTSD. In Grey, N. (Eds.) A Casebook of Cognitive Therapy for Traumatic Stress Reactions. Chapter 15. London: Brunner-Routledge.
  • Lee, D.A. (2005) The Perfect Nurturer: Using imagery to develop compassion within the context of cognitive therapy. In Gilbert (Ed.) Compassion: Conceptualisations, Research and Use in Psychotherapy. London Brunner-Routledge.