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Shame: The Power of Caring Paperback – August 1, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0870470530 ISBN-10: 0870470531 Edition: 3 Rev Exp

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Shame: The Power of Caring + Dynamics of Power: Fighting Shame and Building Self-Esteem + Shame and Pride: Affect, Sex, and the Birth of the Self
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Schenkman Books Inc.; 3 Rev Exp edition (August 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870470531
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870470530
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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86 of 86 people found the following review helpful By fast_matt on September 30, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kaufman's book isn't the newest one on the block, but it *is* an excellent study of how shame occurs, develops, and takes hold of a life. He proceeds through the stages of shame development, from external shaming experiences to the internalization of shame, the development of defense mechanisms, and the disowning of self. His descriptions and examples of how it happens seem right-on and fairly in-depth... a few of them triggered new understandings, and many put together things I'd observed but not yet connected. His tying addiction and shame, with shame causing the addiction (as a means of escape) and the addiction causing more shame explains the vicious-spiral effect of both shame and addiction extremely well. I like to know *why* things happen, and Kaufman gives an excellent explanation of WHY.
If you seek understanding, it's an excellent book and I'd recommend it. However, there are a few caveats. While this is an excellent study of how shame works, it does NOT describe how to fix it. The section on recovery is fairly general and gives examples of recovery in a client-therapist situation, but doesn't really give steps or suggestions to fix it yourself. Kaufman's writing style seems a little indirect, theoretical rather than forceful. If you want to be hit square-on in the face with very basic facts without absorbing how it all works and just told, quickly and simply, how to *fix it*, you may be disappointed or bored by this book.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
Finding this book profoundly changed my life, by illuminating for me an aspect of human experience that had never been addressed (or even idendtified accurately!) in all my years of exploring various forms of psychotherapy. Indeed, 14 years later, I find that the field of psychotherapy is still largely uninformed/underinformed about the effects of shame dynamics on therapy itself - and I believe that the misreading of MOST therapists of this vitally important affect is the cause of most therapy failure. I totally agree with Donald Nathanson: this is the book with which to begin exploring shame. If you decide to explore further, Kaufman's more therapist-oriented "THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SHAME" is excellent, as are Nathanson's books.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
I can't count how many people I've met over the years, who like me, think this book changed their lives. It offers major, dazzling insight into human experience that's clear, humane, and just plain brilliant. Everyone, famous or not, writing about shame in the last 2 decades owes a debt to this book whether they admit it or not. And when you hear a character like the heroine of "Clueless" talk about having a major shame spiral--this is where the term originated. That's how significant this book is--it's influenced popular culture, and the author's still alive. I highly recommend the author's other books on shame, and his children's book, Stick Up For Yourself!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joan on March 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books that I have read on the subject of shame. It is not merely a synthesis of the subject matter, but the author presents some original thoughts. I recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie E. Fisher on January 29, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A literate, extensively researched explanation of the phenomena of shame that has potential to help those of us who are not experts in psychology understand how shame works in our lives and in the world. The book, rather than making me feel SHAME about my shame, made me feel empowered to accept it and grow from it.
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