The Science of Shame and Its Treatment

The Science of Shame and Its Treatment

4.28 (7 ratings by Goodreads)

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Shame is the ghost in the machine of the human mind. It can implant itself in the psyche before the first word is spoken, even before the first thought has formed. In his groundbreaking book, The Science of Shame and Its Treatment, psychotherapist and author Gerald Loren Fishkin, Ph.D., addresses the genesis of shame and self-talk from an empirical analysis of their core elements, its insidious ingress into conscious thought, and the havoc it inflicts on a person's self-worth and behavior.

Through his empirical analysis and understanding of toxic shame, Dr. Fishkin has identified multiple effective clinical approaches for its treatment and addressing shame-based behaviors. He clearly outlines why contemporary treatment approaches, including cognitive behavioral therapy, do not treat core shame wounds and most often cause individuals to terminate the therapeutic process prematurely.
This book is a must-read for clinicians, addiction specialists, teachers, students of human behavior, counselors, social workers, patients in treatment.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 140 x 213 x 15mm | 181g
  • English
  • First Edition, 1st ed.
  • 1624910742
  • 9781624910746
  • 357,794

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Back cover copy

The entire world was shocked and saddened by the premature death of Robin Williams, and especially by his own hand. His struggles with alcohol and drug addiction are widely known and have been attributed to a lifelong battle with bipolar disorder. As an only child, he was emotionally neglected and lonely. His inner voice became his primary companion. After a relapse in 2006, he talked about that voice. " You're standing at a precipice and you look down," he said. "There's a voice, and it's a little quiet voice, that says 'JUMP!'" We all have that voice - it's not a thought but a self-denigrating voice. This voice echoes, "You're not good enough, you'll never be perfect, who do you think you are? You're a failure!" That is self-talk. It's never kind and represents all the toxic, negative and traumatic exposures experienced during the vulnerable and innocent periods in a child's life. Gerald Loren Fishkin, Ph.D., psychotherapist and author, has spent the past three years researching the literature and available research regarding shame and shame effects. He concludes that there may indeed be a neurological foundation for shame and its sequelae - morbid and profoundly negative - self-talk. In his new book, The Science of Shame and Its Treatment (2016), Dr. Fishkin examines the relationship between early life trauma, abuse and shame-based behavior, mood disorders and addiction. He concludes that children exposed to trauma, abuse, neglect and violence often display the same characteristics as PTSD, often using alcohol and drugs to self-medicate and quiet the inner voice, resulting in chemical addiction and emotional despair. The self becomes the object of ridicule and scorn.
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Review quote

"This is an intriguing and thought-provoking 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."--Gretchen Wagner "San Francisco Book Review "
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About Gerald Loren Fishkin

With fine academic credentials and an outgoing personality, Dr. Fishkin is an articulate professional and straight talker who believes in sharing his experiences and insights about human behavior without the need for cliché, "psychobabble," or statistics to reinforce his words. His clarity of thought and speech are immediately related to by any audience, as are his amusing and illuminating anecdotes collected from years of professional experience.
Gerald Loren Fishkin, M.S., Ph.D., has been focused on helping people for most of his life. He has been a practicing psychotherapist and author in southern California since 1970. For more about Dr. Gerald Loren Fishkin, M.S., Ph.D., visit http: //
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Rating details

7 ratings
4.28 out of 5 stars
5 43% (3)
4 43% (3)
3 14% (1)
2 0% (0)
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