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Course: Fear of the Abyss: Healing the Wounds of Shame & Perfectionism
by Dr. Aleta Edwards

CE Credit Hours: 8
Fee: $39

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Most self-help or personal growth books help people 'cope' better with one specific problem that troubles them. While everyone needs coping skills, they are temporary aids that do not increase one's self-awareness and understanding because they do not address the root cause of the problem. Fear of the Abyss: Healing the Wounds of Shame & Perfectionism (an ebook),offers healing for a wounded core by providing specific guidance to those with the core issues of perfectionism and shame, regardless of which issues or diagnoses are on the surface, helping them to let go of that which is defensive or inauthentic. People like these fear facing emotional wounds, and develop personality traits to defend against them. The title derives from what they fear on the deepest level--being like a dreaded other, often an abusive parent, or being the way a parent made them feel as a young child. Their fears have intense, varied associations, affecting their everyday lives and relationships. By following the path to their wounded core, readers will develop greater self-awareness, which is the cure for the broader spectrum of issues.

This ebook takes complex ideas and makes them accessible to the clinician and the layperson. It includes exercises designed to gradually and gently guide the reader into more depth and insight, as the readiness develops. It contains clinical vignettes to illustrate each chapter's main points and to share with readers the healing process of others. This ebook is a great resource for professionals who treat people with these issues, as it teaches the dynamics of these issues and the technique the author has used for 20 years to help people who suffer from them, whether they present for therapy suffering from depression, PTSD, anxiety, etc. It goes beyond diagnostic labels to look at the whole personality. The response from readers has been excellent.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the clinician will be able to:

  • Hear the unconscious pain of their clients and to speak to that pain
  • Address the dynamics of perfectionism, shame, and accompanying issues
  • Articulate the causes and treatment for perfectionism, shame and control from a psychodynamic framework
  • Move deeper than diagnostic labels and to treat the underlying personality and defense mechanisms of clients
  • Use the strategies outlined in the text to facilitate clients moving beyond coping, to a place of healing and health

Syllabus / Course Instructions

  • This course is appropriate for CE for beginning, intermediate and advanced level clinicians and addiction professionals.
  • The Course consists of reading the selected ebook, successfully completing an online posttest and filling out a course evaluation.
  • The ebook is not included. It must be purchased separately. We have supplied a link to the author's web site and to for your convenience. The author's web site provides more download choices.
  • Purchasing your course will give you access to both a printable copy of the test and an online version. Print the test to use as a companion as you read the book and answer the questions.
  • You cannot exit the online test once you begin, so have your answers ready.
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Bio: Aleta Edwards, PhD

Dr. Aleta Edwards graduated from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 1992. She has been in private practice for over 20 years, helping people with depression, anxiety or panic, post-traumatic stress, and numerous other issues. She saw that, regardless of how people presented, a large number of them had a constellation of issues that related to perfectionism and shame, and that the diagnostic label only represented the symptoms in the most recent emotional crisis. This underscored her psychodynamic perspective, and she determined to help her clients with the root cause of their troubles, with much success. She believes that people with significant issues of shame and perfectionism are the survivors of very difficult circumstances who, as children, needed to find a way just to get through them. Now, the defenses that might have saved them no longer serve. She wrote an ebook, Fear of the Abyss: Healing the Wounds of Shame & Perfectionism to reach out to greater numbers of people dealing with these issues. The ebook has been very well received by people suffering from these issues and those who treat them, and she has received numerous emails from readers saying they have been helped. The reviews on are excellent, and there are several excellent ones on the UK Amazon website.

Dr. Edwards has worked with people of all ages. As part of her private practice years ago, she did evaluations of children involved in the child welfare system and saw how they tried to manage the trauma they were experiencing. She has also done work in nursing homes with people in the final stages of life, often still struggling with the shame that plagued them all their lives. She spent a year as a contract psychologist to the USAF, treating military members for trauma and other issues, and again saw how these issues often made unbearable emotional pain even worse. She saw these issues in all ages, different cultural-ethnic groups, and different ages, men and women and people of different sexual orientations. She saw that whatever people were suffering, old and painful issues only made things worse.

Most of Dr Edwards' practice has been in Chicago. She moved to Tampa in 2011 and has recently begun a private practice there. Dr. Edwards is fluent in Spanish and experienced and respectful of different cultural-ethnic issues. She does psychotherapy and gives talks on shame and perfectionism. A sample of her ebook can be seen on her website, It can be ordered there, at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and a variety of other sites.