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, Author Radio Tour counselors, social workers, and
patients in treatment.
ERIC HOFFER award
Originally, some of the terms and ideas in the Science of Shame and Its Treatment disturbed me because I took them out of context and a perspective where at first, reading the book was like looking in the mirror and not recognizing my reflection. Now, I've come to terms and know and embrace the person on the other side of the mirror. I am responsible for my own actions, I make my own choices. I do not blame a neglected inner child or the war that was my parents marriage. When it comes to me, I am in charge. But, The Science of Shame and Its Treatment has put into perspective my tendency to self-sabotage and self-loathe. I understand why I am my own worst enemy and my own best friend.
- Lee Gooden
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SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW
This is an intriguing and thought-provoking little 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. It is easy to understand, but relatively little is said about the treatment aspect. This is understandable, as the author’s point is to convince a therapist audience that shame is not treatable through common behavioral modification therapies, but for lay readers it leaves one feeling rather hopeless that anyone can escape shame’s irrational but controlling mandates.
- Gretchen Wagner
"The Science of Shame and Its Treatment is a well-researched book that has many practical applications for clinicians who are working with patients who have experienced trauma, abuse, and neglect. It clearly distinguishes shame from guilt (a key concept), while it focuses on the etiology and treatment of shame. I plan to use this book as a guide in working with patients who have been burdened with incapacitating shame for most of their lives."
Dan S. Fogel,
LMSW - Clinical Social Worker - Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Dr. Fishkin has done a tremendous job in creating a comprehensive and practical resource aimed at better understanding and treating shame. We see first-hand the impact and role shame plays in overall mental health and recovery. Anyone in a helping profession would benefit from having this as a tool in their arsenal to help bring about healing and hope.”
Chief Executive Officer, The Meadows
"Dr. Gerald Fishkin's comprehensive and compassionate resource The Science of Shame and Its Treatment offers people in recovery and clinicians alike hope that by addressing underlying shame we can create a life filled with harmony and peace."
LCSW - Author of the award winning book: The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery
“The Science of Shame and Its Treatment is invaluable for anyone in a therapeutic process. Dr. Fishkin’s in-depth discussion on shame begins by first defining and clarifying the difference between shame and guilt. That alone is worth the price of the book! “
Author of Sex & Surrender, An Addict’s Journey and The 4 STEPS: A Practical Guide to Breaking the Addictive Cycle
“This book is a detailed description of the nature of shame and brings clarity to this much maligned emotion. It is a must read for therapists who are helping their clients move from believing they are worthless to knowing they have inherent worth.”
Senior Therapist The Meadows Treatment Centers
Author of Facing Codependence
“Shame influences our lives from underneath our everyday awareness, keeping us cut off from the vast and healing regions of our own hearts. One of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves is heal our shame. Dr. Fishkin’s well-written and comprehensive book not only provides the science behind what causes our shame, but he also provides real life stories that help us relate to our shame through the healing power of our own awareness and self-compassion.”
Author of What’s In the Way Is the Way and The Gift of Our Compulsions
"Dr. Fishkin breaks new ground in his book The Science of Shame, exploring a basic part of character development. The insights definitely helped me understand myself better."
Executive Editor - Gazette Newspapers - Long Beach, CA.