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Shame: The Underside of Narcissism Paperback – June 3, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0881632804 ISBN-10: 0881632805

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: The Analytic Press (June 3, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881632805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881632804
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The experience of shame is universal; yet, the subject has not been explored until recently in psychoanalytic writings.  With this thoughtful and important book, Morrison brings shame to the forefront and demonstrates its central role in clinical work.  Shame: The Underside of Narcissism represents the first systematic effort to integrate relevant psychoanalytic writings and to develop a comprehensive conceptualization of shame."

- Ruth Dean, DSW, Clinical Social Work Journal

"Morrison's work is thoughtful, engaging, and clincally useful.  Its new insights, thought-provoking hypotheses, and compelling clinical material help to focus attention on an ubiquitous and singularly painful aspect of human experience."

- Erik Kulick, M.D., Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic

"Morrison has succeeded in moving forward the study of shame, beyond drive theory and ego psychology, to the work of Kohut...It is a carefully reasoned and scholarly addition to the evolving psychoanalytic study of shame."

- Milton Eber, Ph.D., Psychoanalytic Books


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70 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Sam Vaknin on August 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
Shame and guilt - often experienced during childhood and early adolescence - are the two relentless drivers of the veering car of pathological narcissism. Narcissistic Shame is the experience of a humiliating Grandiosity Gap (the tormenting abyss between the narcissist's reality and his grandiose fantasies). Subjectively it is experienced as a pervasive feeling of worthlessness (the regulation of self-worth lies at the crux of pathological narcissism), "invisibleness" and ridiculousness. The patient feels pathetic and foolish, deserving of mockery and humiliation. Narcissists adopt all kinds of defences to counter Narcissistic Shame. They develop addictive or impulsive behaviours. They deny, withdraw, rage, engage in the compulsive pursuit of some kind of (unattainable, of course) perfection. They display haughtiness and exhibitionism and so on. All these defences are employed primitively (or are primitive, like splitting) and involve projective identification. This book is the best study there is of the incestuous relationship of narcissism and pernicious shame. Sam Vaknin, author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited".
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By zoostra on February 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book has been one of the most important books in my life, given its role in my ongoing recovery from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Aged 37, I have been undergoing psychotherapy 2-3 times per week for 7 years. Until now, I have been totally split off from any feelings of shame but now fully recognise it as one of the most fundamental drivers of my personality.

This is a thorough overview of all writing on Shame and Narcissism from Freud, to Kohut to the Object Relations crowd. However probably 60% of the material is the author's own, based on decades of treatment of patients and insightful self-reflection. The author points out that Shame is an emotion that has been primarily neglected in psychology and he uncovers the important role it plays in narcissism.

I wish someone would lock this author in a box and make him write more. He is the best writer I have ever come across in making complex academic subjects readily understandable. The vocabulary and language aren't simplified, rather his clarity of thought means each word, sentence and paragraph is clear, unambiguous and illuminating.

It is still definitely an academic book and is thoroughly focused on the topic of the title. If narcissism/shame are of interest this book nails the subject.

My copy is underlined throughout and I benefit from reviewing those parts occasionally.

I have had John Bradshaw's books on Shame for a long time but didn't connect with them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Charles Steiner TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
What this book provided me with when I first read it in 1991 was a better understanding of the technique and approach used in self-psychology, though this was not the author's main thesis or emphasis.

I understood more about empathic, self-object failure and success as a result of reading in particular the specific casebook cases of patients involved with Mr. Morrison's brand of therapy.

The relationship between mania and shame explained in the last third of this book was also instructive to this reader as it allowed this reader to understand and identify elements of narcissistic vulnerability and a sense of self-defect in a singular, manic-episode this reader experienced once two years before and was never again repeated. So this work, while largely serving a clinical or academic need, can also be read as a self-help book, too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. on October 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has its roots in psychoanalysis, so it's full of jargon and complex ideas. You won't be able to breeze through it at will unless you're just that well-versed in psychoanalysis, but it's a solid book and very thorough. Morrison goes through the history and evolution of shame research, and while that background isn't essential for understanding the concepts of shame, the added context does make it clear why there isn't as much information out there on shame as there are on other topics of psychology. The notes and bibliography here are a great resource that has pointed me in the direction of some very good further reading.
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Struggling student on February 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a complete psychoanalytic exploration of the problem of shame by one of the chief experts in the field. This text can be a basic introduction or a thorough review, and as such there is no better.
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