Writer, Teacher, & Consultant


My name is Dr. Stephanie Arel. I write and teach about internal obstacles that get in the way of self-growth. I believe that self-reflection, through self-examination, helps people help themselves and, in turn, help others. I am committed to providing tools and methods of caring for the self to support those engaged in caring for others. Strengthening the self leads to healthier living, better relationships, and flourishing communities.

For more on trauma

and tools to help,

listen to my latest podcast here.

Or you can find it on instagram: NettNettradio.


About Me

Currently, I teach at Fordham University. My speciality is identifying what problems lie beneath the surface in modern conflicts related to religion, mass trauma, and interpersonal struggles. I hold a Master's Degree in Religion and Psychiatry from Union Theological Seminary, affiliated with Columbia University, and a PhD in Theological Studies from Boston University.

My experience includes working in a mental health clinic for women and supporting staff at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. In my teaching, I am dedicated to encouraging people to examine themselves and the world around them in order to become more compassionate citizens. I am the author of Affect Theory, Shame, and Christian Formation.

This book addresses the eclipse of shame in Christian theology by showing how shame emerges in Christian texts and practice in ways that can be neither assimilated into a discourse of guilt nor dissociated from embodiment. The traditional focus on guilt obscures shame by perpetuating the image of the lonely sinner in guilt. Drawing on recent studies in affect and attachment theories to frame the theological analysis, the text examines the theological anthropological writings of Augustine and Reinhold Niebuhr, the interpretation of empathy by Edith Stein, and moments of touch in Christian praxis. Bringing the affective dynamics of shame to the forefront enables theologians and religious leaders to identify where shame emerges in language and human behavior. The text expands work in trauma theory, providing a multi-layered theological lens for engaging shame and accompanying suffering.


I am a trained consultant for both mental and physical trauma. My books and projects revolve around topics related to these.


In 2016, Palgrave Macmillan published my book Affect Theory, Shame, and Christian Formation. I am also a coeditor of Post-Traumatic Public Theology.

Workshops and Consulting

I work with institutions all around the world that are established out of trauma, such as memorials and museums that involve mass trauma. To help trainees understand the dynamics of what happens to people every day, I hold training and public speaking events.

Contact Me

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I am looking forward to hearing from you!