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on September 22, 2015
I've read Brene Brown and she has much wisdom. But after I read her, I was craving a solid integration of Scripture and theology with psychology and neuroscience on the subject of shame. Curt Thompson does that for me, and more. I finished reading The Soul of Shame this morning and immediately ordered 20 copies to give, sell, and loan at our church. Enough said. Curt personifies shame as lurking, lying, whispering, manipulating, hiding, doing its dastardly work to undermine the Holy Spirit. But there is hope for healing. My favorite chapter is 8, where the foundational principles apply to our primary biological and spiritual relationships. In Curt's words, "The process of being known in the context of our vulnerability within the church becomes one of the most powerful means of evangelism and healing." The book is not one to skim. Take your time to read it ponder it. I'll be gathering some fellow pastors to explore it together, as we did with his first book.
76 people found this helpful
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on October 14, 2015
I cannot recommend The Soul of Shame highly enough. The author takes complex neuroscience, scripture and psychology and blends them together in an easy to understand narrative. His insights into shame brought new meanings to the Genesis story of Adam and Eve that make sense to us today in ways that I had not considered. It seems that, since shame is so pervasive and deeply embedded within us that we take it as something that is normal and simply to be tolerated, or even enhanced. It is not, but he also offers the cure! We can change our stories and drain away the toxicity of shame-based beliefs and behaviors.
19 people found this helpful
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on October 28, 2015
Curt Thompson's book, The Soul of Shame, helps readers reflect theologically on the unspoken topic that is in the air we breathe: shame. Thompson deals with shame on the personal level but also understands how it can affect structures and institutions. He posits that shame is the greatest tool of evil in the world to bring disintegration to self and disruption to relationships. Shame, according to Thompson, keeps us locked up emotionally, fuels addiction, alienates us from God and keeps us from being our best self. The pervasiveness of shame makes it hard to escape. We grow with shame from early childhood and have it constantly reinforced as we mature. Thompson's antidote to shame is vulnerability within community.

The book is worthy of careful study. Insightful study questions at the end of the book would make for good material for a reading group to discuss. Thompson only really gets technical with the neuroscience in one chapter, so if you may be wary of an overly academic treatment, have no fear. The book is clear and understandable and though I am not with Thompson in all of his conclusions, I highly recommend the book as real food for thought.
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on May 11, 2016
I have read 'Anatomy of the Soul' and was drawn to read this book too. The great, simple but detailed 'scientifically' explained way of how shame works in our brain and mind it's so helpful.
Having read and studied extensively biblical and psychological commentaries on shame, this one in his scientific approach has added understanding of the newest scientific research on shame.
The Biblical parts are pretty good as well, even if not really 'new' to me.
I have followed the work of Dr. Dan Siegel and all of it is amazing as well.
Good book for people who want not only some Biblical point of view on shame but for the connection of biblical and scientific is a good read.
9 people found this helpful
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on August 25, 2017
If you've read Brene, you know that everything she write or says is worthwhile. Add to her work some brain research and the backdrop of the Story of Scripture, and you get The Soul of Shame. Well written, insightful, Biblical, and practical, Curt Thompson has given us a book that any group would benefit from. Potentially transformative stuff (if practiced!).
7 people found this helpful
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on March 7, 2017
Great book on the subject of personal shame. Written by a Christian psychiatrist who blends the right about of scientific medical information and spiritual information. Not preachy, but also does not shy away from the discussing the influence of unseen spiritual forces that accuse and condemn, and these forces impact shame. I normally don't read books more than once, but I've already read it twice and continue to think about what was written.
4 people found this helpful
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on October 4, 2015
My friend Curt Thompson's sophomore release, The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves (IVP, 2015) does not disappoint. He is a Christian psychiatrist deeply influenced by the field of interpersonal neurobiology and particularly the work of Dan Siegel.

My initial exposure to Curt was when I was asked to be a respondent to his first book, Anatomy of the Soul. I read his book with an analytic eye, prepared to offer my critique. Prior to our talk, though, I was blessed to have a three hour dinner with him and another friend. Although I was still left with questions about his ideas, I felt a connection with the man. I have often joked that he is the only person I have ever presented at a conference with whom I hugged when we parted. I have since read his book four times.

Quite some time ago, he told me that he was working on a book on shame and I could not wait. In recent years, I have done quite a bit of reading about shame including Ed Welch's fine book Shame Interrupted as well as the works of Brene Brown. These works have been professional rewarding and personally helpful.

The Soul of Shame is a particular gift to me, however. As a Christian, a neuropsychologist, and someone interested in shame, this book provides a unique intersection. He weaves his personal and professional experiences together with his discussions of vulnerability and developing an integrated mind, particularly in the context of a body of believers. Though written by a psychiatrist specializing in interpersonal neurobiology, it is accessible, interesting, and wise.
21 people found this helpful
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on July 15, 2016
This book is written by a very good licensed psychiatrist. The author, an MD, is also a Chrisrian and does integrate some biblical principles; however, the book is largely based upon real people with real problems. I would assume that some of his patients are Christians and some are not. My assumption is based on my close reading of a very compelling and captivating account of those people and their problems. He also discusses some of the results, which he writes have been very positive. His book mentions patients ranging in age from very young to mature adults. The patients he describes come from all aspects of life like parents, children, corporate executives, and others. His book is very capitivating and I self-identified with it from the very first page. He does include solutions for helping the reader. Easy things that anyone can do. I highly recommend this book for anyone and everyone--regardless of any problem you may have or may not have. I am an older man who owns the kindle version and am presently seeing a licensed counselor for anxiety. My counselor and this book that she recommended is helping me to put serious anxiety out of my life. I do not know the author of this book nor am I writing it on his or anyone connected with him or anyone else as an "advertisement." I am simply writing it because it has helped me very much and may be able to help you or someone you know.
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on July 26, 2017
Loved the way this book made me look at how much of my behavior is based on shame I feel deep in my soul. This will help anyone who wants to understand how the loss of innocence in the garden and our desire to feel "enough" and not ashamed again drives us.
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on April 2, 2017
Thompson very insightfully dissects the dynamic that shame creates...in our minds, in our souls, and in our relationships. He grabs the shadow of shame from where it weaves and dodges in our subconscious and drags it into the inquisitor's floodlight.

This isn't a light and easy read. But it's worth the discomfort, effort, and discipline of rooting through this subject.
3 people found this helpful
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