Sex and Shame: A Workshop for Therapists and other Helping Professionals


Sexuality is a vital, defining part of our identity. We are at our most vulnerable when we experience sexual feelings — and therefore we’re the most prone to feeling shame. We are subject to sexual shaming from early childhood, when we are most vulnerable to moral judgments from family and society — and to boundary violations from family members and those older than us. Entering our teenage years, we long to be attractive to others and try desperately to “be cool” and fit in. As adults, we seek a partner and try to balance the constraints of monogamy with sexual adventure. In our mature years, our ability to function sexually diminishes and our faces and bodies are no longer as we remember them.

In this workshop, we will offer tools you can use to help clients talk about, explore and heal the sexual shame that can arise at any stage in the life cycle — and help them towards a life-affirming sexuality. We will:

  • Discover ways to help clients become aware of the many, often conflicting messages they received about body image and sexuality from family and society.
  • Learn ways to help clients repair the disconnect between self and others — and between parts of the self — which has been created by shaming, inappropriate behavior or abuse.
  • Understand counter-shaming techniques and develop tools for couples to understand their shame triggers and communicate about taboo sexual topics.
  • Work with the shame that can cause and result from affairs.
  • Identify challenges in being a sexual minority in society and the layers of shame that can occur.
  • Unfreeze shame and open life force in a grounded and embodied way, helping clients to access and safely explore their sexual energy.

Bret Lyon, PhD, SEP and Sheila Rubin, MA, LMFT, RDT/BCT, have co-led workshops on Healing Shame in the US and Canada. Both have trained in EFT with Sue Johnson and AEDP with Diana Fosha.  Bret has been a consultant/teacher of Somatic and Emotional Mindfulness for over 25 years and holds doctorates in both Psychology and Drama.  Sheila is a Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Drama Therapist who integrates somatic, expressive and attachment modalities. She is adjunct faculty at CIIS and JFK.

Date: Friday and Saturday, October 9 & 10, 2015
Time: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuition: $380
Contact Hours (CEU’s) for NYS: 14
CE Credits for NASW: 14

The Ackerman Institute for the Family SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0052.

This program has been approved for Continuing Education Credit Hours by the National Association of Social Workers, CT and meets the continuing education criteria for CT Social Work Licensure renewal.

Under the New Jersey Administrative Code Title 13, Chapter 44G, subchapter 13:44G-6.4, New Jersey accepts New York State approved courses for CEU’s.

If you would like to apply online, click below: 

If you would like to mail or fax in your application form, download a printable application here.

If you are an Ackerman alumni or current Ackerman student, please contact the Training Department directly to register.

Damaly Ferreira
Phone: 212-879-4900