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Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You Paperback – June 10, 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“…If you begin to work through Lancer’s exercises on your own, you will likely gain self-knowledge. Think of the book as a launch point for eventually getting closer to your authentic self, rather than an immediate solution, and it may just help you with some codependency issues.”
--Megan Riddle, PsychCentral.com

“It would be a shame not to give this book a try.”
--Danielle Stewart, Afterpartychat.com

“I picked this book up so I could better understand codependency and the association of shame. In that, Lancer’s book fulfilled my need for knowledge. I was impressed with Lancer’s breadth of understanding, the self-examination exercises throughout, and the information being shared within these pages.”
--Nina Longfield, luxuryreading.com

“This book is definitely a worthy read as well as eye-opening in how shame toys and plays with us.”
--Svetlana’s Reads and Views, Svetla-randomblog.blogspot.com

“I will keep this book with the rest of my resources that I found invaluable. In fact, I recommend this book to pretty much everyone.”
--Literally Jen, literallyjen.com

Conquering Shame and Codependency just might be a great companion to keep on your shelf.”
--Patricia’s Wisdom, patriciaswisdom.com

“Teachers, family therapists, and school counselors will find this a good reference in identifying factors and solutions for those they may be concerned with assisting; and for anyone who has experienced the negative effects shame can produce, this book are recommended reading.”
--My Bookshelf, shirley-mybookshelf.blogspot.com

“An eye-opener and a good food for thought read.”
--Bookish Ardour, bookishadour.com

"I recommend this book if you are going through a trying time and are looking for answers."
--Robyn Baldwin, robynbaldwin.com

About the Author

Darlene Lancer is a licensed marriage and family therapist with over 25 years of experience working with individuals and couples. She regularly gives seminars on self-esteem, relationships, codependency, and addiction.
Author of Codependency for Dummies, How to Speak Your Mind: Become Assertive and Set Limits, and 10 Steps to Self-Esteem, she has also published numerous articles as well as her own website, whatiscodependency.com. Darlene lives in Santa Monica CA.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Hazelden (June 10, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616495332
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616495336
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Overall, this book is well-researched and has the not-so-obvious insights I enjoy when I invest the time for self-improvement. I would recommend this book to those who struggle with codependency issues and are having trouble putting their finger on “why”. Yes, it has to do with your childhood as most counselors will tell you, but this book shows how the “separation of self” actually occurs due to shame. The concepts are easy to digest, and it’s presented in a way that makes it easy to see how this might have happened in your life.

The book opens with a discussion on shame and how it underlies addiction. Shame is a natural part of life, but culture can shape how we use it. For example, in China shame is the beginning of integrity. But in the west, we tend not to share our shame in spite of the fact we sometimes never forget our shameful experiences. Nonetheless, we need to be fortified with coping skills to be resilient to shame. “Becoming independent and self-supporting is a milestone that, if not reached, can trigger a sense of failure for not meeting societal norms for success.”

The book explains that there’s a common confusion between shame and other things, likes shyness or guilt. Guilt, while perceived as negative, can actually be an indicator of something that needs corrected. The difference is that while guilt is awareness that SOMETHING WE DID WAS WRONG, shame is a belief that there’s SOMETHING WRONG WITH US.

We also learn in Chapter 1 that too much shame, or shame about the “wrong” things, sabotages relationships and can lead to anti-social behavior, addiction, and codependency. And when shame becomes chronic, it can take over our identity and our ability to enjoy life, chipping away at the trust we have in the world and ourselves.
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Format: Paperback
Darlene Lancer's breakthrough book sheds new light on the complicated topic of shame - an often misunderstood emotion. It offers eight key steps to heal from shame, learn self-love, and begin the journey of developing healthy relationships. While everyone deals with shame, not many people understand it or acknowledge it. Even though we might not share our stories of experiencing shame - we have vivid memories of them and they leave an imprint.
I agree with Lancer that shame is often silent and self-inflicted - yet still has a powerful impact. Many individuals suffer silently and needlessly because they lack self-worth - so don't allow themselves to be vulnerable and trust intimate partners due to fear of rejection. Shame can cause us to stay stuck in unhealthy relationship patterns if we don't heal from it.
I found this book informative because I grew up in a dysfunctional, divorced family and have experienced shame but never understood how it contributed to my codependent tendencies. After all, self-awareness is the first step in the process of change. It will also provide a valuable resource for my clients who have endured the divorce experience and often feel shamed and powerless to move on with their lives. This book is an excellent resource for both mental health providers and the general public.
Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW
Therapist, writer, college instructor
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Format: Paperback
Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You by Darlene Lancer talks about:
1. The shame experience
2. Shame and Identity
3. Escaping Shame
4. Emptiness
5. Shame and Symptoms of codependency
6. Love's Silent Killer
7. Sexual Shame
8. 8 Steps to Free Your true self

The Introduction is a true account of how the author attended an Al-Alnon program in 1979, and she did not trust or value herself or even know who she was "outside the roles she played each day." I think this is an experience most women encounter and we need to get off the treadmill of people pleasing and get back in touch with our feelings and stop people pleasing. Yes, steps to get over codependency.
I loved the chart on page 124:
Codependent relationships:
* Intense attraction
* Idealize each other and ignore difference
* Fall in love and make commitments
* Get to know each other
* Become disappointed
* Cling to romantic fantasy of love
* Try to change partner into ideas
* Feel resentful and unloved

That did it for me, because then you learn how to become whole and have healthy relationships. The information in this book was beyond my expectations, and I learned more about shame and how it can stem from childhood onto adulthood. This is my top ten list of favorites for 2014. © 2014 Jackie Paulson
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just started reading 'Conquering Shame and Codependency' and I already feel so relieved. The explanation of the shame piece was a real epiphany! I've been on a path of recovery for the past 20+ years but this book has the missing information that I have been looking for. Thank you for writing it.
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I began reading this book to learn more about codependency and how and why shame has taken a type of foothold in some of my behaviors. As an adult, I felt that somehow I was hard-wired to feelings that seemed to trigger and activate behaviors that I didn't understand. The following are just a few of the examples of what I mean: Why do I withdraw and sometimes even isolate whenever I am criticized? Why do I have a need to people please? Why do I hold back my own opinions, and even fear rejection, particularly around other men? I was usually confused about my identity and why I continued these behaviors!
I browsed Darlene Lancer's book closely to observe the chapter titles, charts and basic flow. After all, I had noted her success with her book entitled "Codependency for Dummies" and liked her knowledge and depth of understanding codependency and also her writing style. My decision was to read the book slowly, carefully and in depth and work to answer the questions. I seriously hoped to progress with this process.
To help me with this study, I purchased 6 copies, keeping one for myself. I gave two family members and 3 friends a copy and asked all 5 of them to join me reading, discussing and sharing as best we could. In this manner, I planned to not hold back on sharing so as to increase my opportunity for growth.
As I read, worked and shared, I found a deep rooted shame based set of behaviors that I could understand. I knew my behaviors and used them to uncover the connections in my memories, as I examined my relationship triggers, related thoughts, feelings, and in particular defenses. My shame is deep rooted as I believe everyone's is, and Lancer's 8 steps outline a process for uncovering, sharing, letting go, rebuilding my self esteem and love for myself.
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