Join Dr. Diane Poole Heller for a live, online workshop where we learn how to recognize and separate shame from other emotions—so you counter the inner critic that works against you and find relief through self-compassion and daily healing habits.
If you were to look at my client Sarah, you’d probably never suspect she suffers from debilitating shame.
From the outside, she seems perfectly fine—attractive, outgoing, professional—her social media posts often show her smiling and cheerful, posing with her husband and kids. She’s always the first one to lend a hand or listen to a friend or neighbor in need.
Sarah quickly rattles off her many work tasks and projects … her co-workers even jokingly refer to her as ‘our work mom’ because she’s the one who sets the rules and manages all the details.
Yet, after several therapy sessions together, Sarah finally revealed feelings she had been covering up for a long time…
“No one gets how stressed, sad and anxious I am most of the time. I love my family so much, but even when we’re together, I feel so all alone. I could never tell my husband that… he’ll think I’m ungrateful for the life I have.
And I get so angry sometimes because no one stops to ask me how I’m doing…so I often lash out and end up picking fights with my husband, kids or even my mom. And it gets so bad that I wake up at 3 am with this tightness in my chest, just trying to figure out why I’ve made so many mistakes in my life.
There’s always this nagging voice inside my head that says I have to be perfect because I don’t want people to figure out what a loser I really am. It’s the same voice that tells me I should just suck it all up and stop whining. So I just put my ‘happy face’ on every day and pretend like everything is fine.
But it’s not fine—I can’t shake this feeling that there’s something wrong with me…and I don’t know how to fix what’s so broken.”
Healthy shame originally evolved as a tool for survival. When losing social status meant losing access to food and safety, it helped people understand acceptable behavior and stay in good standing in their communities.
During our childhoods, we, too, are dependent on others for food and safety. As we’re learning the rules of society, healthy shame helps us understand if we’ve done something wrong (or if we’ve wronged someone).
In small amounts, this healthy shame protects and
But when other people treat you poorly—being told you’re not enough, that you’re a mistake, painful incidents with cruel words, or even exclusion, abuse and trauma—then you may start to turn those treatments into negative beliefs about yourself.
When you feel toxic shame, you see yourself as useless or unworthy of love (“I AM the mistake.”)
Unfortunately, most of us weren’t taught how to process this type of harmful, or toxic shame.
And so, if you’re like most people, when feelings of shame arise, you do what you can to stifle them. Pushing away the discomfort makes us feel safe. But hiding shame can make us feel alone and unworthy… and ultimately cause more shame.
When we get trapped in this cycle, we can’t heal. And unhealed shame can lead to behavior that damages our relationships, career, self worth… even our physical health. Sometimes the pain is so intense our behavior turns self-destructive or violent.
The further we go down this spiral, the harder it is to believe we can change—or that we deserve to.
But there is hope…
We are wired for connection and capable of healing.
When we learn to recognize and resolve shame, we take away its power. Then, we can cultivate self-compassion, find relief and begin to be free.
Facing shame and its effects on your life might sound uncomfortable, or even scary. And truthfully, it can be.
But there’s a powerful, healing balance that comes into play.
You see, you can’t avoid your emotions selectively. When you block the bad feelings, you block the good ones, too. By numbing shame, you numb joy.
When you choose to feel your way through shame, you also choose to let in everything good: Love. Hope. Awe. Excitement. And that’s how you begin to heal.
With your heart open, you can rewrite the narrative playing in your head. You can learn to see your worth.
You don’t have to keep hiding. You don’t have to prove yourself. Without condition, you deserve a fulfilling life and meaningful connection. You deserve acceptance and belonging—and to be loved for all of you, exactly as you are.
It’s possible. It’s worth fighting for. And it begins with you.
For over 30 years, I’ve been helping people just like you free themselves from the hurt that keeps them from opening their hearts, healing their wounds, and developing deep and lasting connection.
I know what it’s like to feel not-good-enough and afraid of being found out, and I know how to help.
I’ve written books, designed courses and trained thousands of therapists in the most effective methods for healing from trauma, repairing attachment, and creating more fulfilling relationships.
Whether you don’t have access to therapy, you’d like to begin exploring your relationship to shame in a different environment, or you are just gathering the courage to begin looking within, this Healing the Hidden Roots of Shame workshop is designed for you.
I believe you deserve love, belonging and acceptance. I’ll help you believe it, too.
+YOUR FREE BONUS
Symptoms of Toxic Shame Checklist
A valuable tool to assess and check progress.
This useful checklist helps you identify the most common signs of shame and better understand how much they affect your life.
It’s yours FREE when you register for this workshop.
Here’s what you get when you join us for Healing the Hidden Roots of Shame…
In our time together, you’ll learn more about why we experience shame and how it becomes destructive. I’ll teach you techniques to stop shame spirals and shift harmful thoughts, and we’ll explore ways you can begin to develop self-esteem and self-compassion.
At the end of the session, we’ll have a live Q&A where I will answer your questions.
During the workshop, I’ll guide you through exercises that will help you recognize shame and free yourself from its grip.
You’ll feel what it’s like—physically and emotionally—to release shame, judgments and self-blame and instead offer yourself gentleness.
You’ll also get self-directed exercises you can use later to reinforce these skills and practice new, empowered thinking.
The interactive, printable PDF workbook is filled with helpful information, space for notes and personal insights, and prompts for deeper reflection.
You’ll find each exercise from the workshop outlined, plus easy-to-follow instructions for the self-directed exercises that further support your healing.
Enjoy lifetime access to a recording of the workshop and revisit the instruction and guided exercises as often as you like.
+BONUS FREE GIFT
Symptoms of Toxic Shame Checklist
“Brilliant insights. Awesome talk. I will revisit the sections of the video with live exercises and spend time with the workbook too.”
– ANN C.
“The incredible amount of knowledge passed on by the oh-so-compassionate, wise—yet down to earth, experienced and innovative Diane… thank you so very much for all of this!”
– JUDI L.
“This was a great “feast” of learning—but it was presented so clearly that it did not feel overwhelming at all. Thank you Dr. Heller!”
– AMIE D.
In this workshop, you’ll begin to…
Recognize the hidden effects of shame on your body, mind
Understand the role of your childhood experiences in shame… and how that knowledge
can help you heal.
Stop unconsciously holding yourself back from the relationships, career, health and achievements of
Overcome the feeling of being
less-than, and begin to build
Get out of the blame and shame cycle and show yourself kindness
Gather valuable resources and build a support system for healing.
Join us on Saturday, August 6th 9 am – 11:30 am MT
Plus, you’ll get the Symptoms of Toxic Shame Checklist as my FREE gift to you!