The Center for Healing Shame is an international education center and continuing education provider dedicated to serving the community by training therapists and other helping professionals how to work with shame.
Shame is perhaps the most painful of all emotions. It is at the root of both the inner critic and perfectionism. It binds with and hides behind other emotions, such as anger and fear, so that it is often hard to detect. Shame often fuels and promotes the negative cycle between members of a couple. Where there is blame, there is shame.

Shame is both a primary emotion and a freeze state, which has a profound effect on personal development and relationship success. While shame is often confused with guilt, shame is primary and exists in the body, while guilt is secondary and cognitive, relating to both shame and remorse. Shame can be viewed as developmental trauma. It causes much of the same physical and emotional freezing as trauma does. And shame often accompanies trauma, forming a downward spiral that is hard to break.

Many people go to great lengths to avoid acknowledging or even feeling shame—and this gets in the way of making progress in treatment. For many clients who don’t get better in therapy, shame—unacknowledged and not worked through—is the primary factor. Both therapists and clients need to be educated about shame: how it develops, what it is and how it works. And therapists need help in developing a working model of how to help their clients identify, work through and heal their shame.

The Center for Healing Shame is based in Berkeley, California. Workshops are offered in Berkeley, at various other locations in the U.S. and Canada, and online. There is also a full training and certification program for therapists. The education is designed to help therapists show clients how to recognize shame, work through it and move on by:

• Becoming more sensitive to the shaming often implicit in the therapy situation and learning how to counter shame in therapy.
• Helping clients separate feelings of shame from other emotions.
• Learning how to take clients back to early shaming situations and reverse the outcome.
• Supporting clients to move their energy powerfully outward rather than turn it against themselves.

The Center for Healing Shame is qualified to provide CE credits for MFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs registered in California – CAMFT Approved CE Provider #134393. PhDs in California and PhDs and licensed therapists outside of California may be able to receive CE credits through the co-sponsorship of R. Cassidy Seminars.


Sheila Rubin and Bret Lyon are the founders of the Center for Healing Shame. They have been at the forefront of guiding mental health professionals to recognize and move through shame with their clients.
Sheila Rubin, MA, LMFT, RDT/BCT is a leading authority on Healing Shame. She co-created the Healing Shame – Lyon/Rubin method and has delivered talks, presentations and workshops across the country and around the world, at conferences from Canada to Romania, for over 30 years.

Sheila is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Registered Drama Therapist and a Board Certified Trainer. She has developed therapy techniques that integrate AEDP, EFT, drama therapy and somatic therapy to work with the all-pervasive shame and trauma that underlie eating disorders, addictions and toxic family dynamics. Sheila has served as adjunct faculty at JFK University and the California Institute of Integral Studies. Her expertise, teaching, and writing contributions have been featured in numerous publications, including six books.

Sheila offers therapy through her private practice in Berkeley and also offers consultation to therapists over Skype.

Sheila Rubin



Bret Lyon, PhD, SEP, BCC has been a teacher of Somatic and Emotional Mindfulness for over 30 years and holds doctorates in both Psychology and Drama.

He is certified in Focusing and Somatic Experiencing® and has trained in EFT with Sue Johnson, in AEDP with Diana Fosha and in Coherence Therapy with Bruce Ecker.

Bret has also trained in Reichian Breathwork with Al Bauman, who worked directly with Wilhelm Reich. He finds his theater background very helpful with clients and especially in giving presentations.

Bret Lyon