The Science of Shame: And Its Treatment

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This is an intriguing and thought-provoking little book about the little voice in our heads that whispers (or shouts) that we are just not good enough _ the voice of shame. Shame, according to the author, is different from guilt, in that guilt is a feeling of wrongness about something one has done whereas shame feels that way about who one intrinsically is. Shame begins in infancy, even pre-verbally, when some trauma or abuse from a trusted caregiver leads a child to feel that they are not good enough to have the love and care they require but lack. However, compassion-based therapy, which helps explore patients’ childhood trauma, can bring healing and wholeness.

There is much to ponder in this book. Readers will appreciate the knowledgeable but accessible writing style that avoids jargon while staying firmly rooted in good science. It is easy to understand, but relatively little is said about the treatment aspect. This is understandable, as the author’s point is to convince a therapist audience that shame is not treatable through common behavioral modification therapies, but for lay readers it leaves one feeling rather hopeless that anyone can escape shame’s irrational but controlling mandates.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count
Publisher Parkhurst Brothers Publishers Inc
Publish Date 1-Mar-16
ISBN 9781624910746 Buy this Book
Issue June 2016
Category Science & Nature


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