Do you see the world through the lens of shame? How is your body speaking to you right now? Think breaking free from the shame cycles of self-abandonment and dissociation is possible?

“We posted a Reel where I was in a bathing suit and it’s like,That is a new me. This is my body. The way that my body is, the way that it’s shaped, really down to my ACE score, to be quite honest with you. My body is shaped in a way to survive. My body is shaped in the way that I needed to move through the world, feeling safe, and at the same time never felt safe in my body.”

-Jennifer Wallace, Co-Host of Trauma Rewired, Neuro Somatic Psychedelic Integration and Preparation Guide and Junior Educator for Neuro Somatic Intelligence Coaching Certification

Our conversation revolves around Shame and Toxic Shame in complex trauma and why understanding it is the first critical step in breaking free from its cycles of dissociation and self-abandonment. We share insights into our own healing journeys and a neuroscientific perspective on Shame, highlighting the neurology and the somatic toll it takes on our health, behavior, and relationships.

Shame is an immobilizing self-conscious emotion deeply rooted in our human need for social acceptance. While it acts as a regulator to discourage behaviors that might isolate us from our social groups, it paradoxically creates disconnection.

For those with complex trauma, Shame can escalate into Toxic Shame, causing harm to internal and external connections, leading to behaviors associated with the Fawn trauma response, dissociation, self-abandonment, Freeze, and Flop. Maybe this sounds familiar?

We’ve personally experienced the destructive loops rooted in Shame and know the challenges it poses. We open up a bit more than usual in this episode about our somatic healing journeys to show YOU what’s possible for your nervous system, relationships, and life.

Jennifer shares her transformation story, reflecting on her coastal hometown in Virginia, where she felt a deep-seated disconnection due to societal pressure around body image. Her journey will surely inspire and touch you.

While she has made considerable progress, Elisabeth vulnerably shares that she still faces challenges dealing with her nervous system’s response to Shame.

She talks about her fear of deep-sea diving, acknowledging that her past trauma often triggers a sense of panic. Elisabeth grapples with the dilemma of whether to accept her limitations or strive to change them, all while confronting the underlying shame. Jennifer raises the crucial point about Elisabeth’s attachment to her partner’s love that you don’t want to miss.

Regulating our nervous systems using NSI tools has allowed us to explore the world, connect with others and nature, and enjoy food without the burden of Shame. You can achieve the same transformation.

Join us on the Brain Based Wellness site for a two-week free trial to begin using the tools we discuss in this episode. It is possible to increase your capacity to face Shame and move beyond trauma responses. Come train with us live and in person, join our supportive community. Visit to get started – we can’t wait to meet you there.

Episode Highlights:

  • Why does Shame exist?
  • Constrictions of Shame- it’s more than you think
  • The physiological effects of Shame, including avoiding eye contact and silencing our voices
  • Childhood sexual abuse and Shame
  • The protective side of Shame and inflammation
  • Immunological effects of Shame
  • How deep-seated Shame may contribute to “personality disorders”
  • The “I am” effect of Toxic Shame
  • The omnipresence of Shame in the human experience
  • Importance of completing the releasing stored trauma
  • How to develop a loving relationship with your nervous system
  • Importance of cultivating the capacity of embodiment 
  • Shame associated with physical appearance and health
  • Necessity of setting personal boundaries 
  • How to open a conversation with your body using Minimum Effective Dose
  • Elisabeth shares an update to her dive story
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Listen to more episodes of Trauma Rewired HERE

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