Shame by psychotherapist and psychologist Joseph Burgo, is an empowering look at the shame experience which is universal, misunderstood and often rooted in childhood. The shame experience contains important lessons about one’s identity or who they want to become, which if resisted, is a lost opportunity to grow.

Most people think of shame as a toxic emotion inflicted by abusive parents upon their innocent children or imposed by an intolerant society upon those who differ from the norm. In Shame however, Joseph Burgo will introduce readers to the entire shame family of emotions (including embarrassment, guilt, regret and self-consciousness), which are often overlooked and unavoidable aspects of everyday life and not always toxic.

Shame is richly illustrated with clinical stories from Burgo’s 35 years in private practice and contains a Shame Awareness Survey for the reader to test where they are on the shame spectrum and Burgo offers a new, positive route forward. Indeed he argues that self-esteem does not thrive in the soil of nonstop praise and encouragement, instead readers need to listen and learn from their encounters with shame, develop healthy pride in their achievements and courageously challenge the shame that drove them into isolation in the first place.

Joseph Burgo, PhD, has been practicing psychotherapy for more than 35 years and held licenses as a marriage and family therapist and clinical psychologist. He earned his undergraduate degree in English Literature at UCLA and both his masters and doctorate in Psychology at California Graduate Institute in Los Angeles. He has featured as an expert on NPR and his articles and commentary have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, USA Today, Glamour, and other major publications. He also writes a blog on the topic of shame for Psychology Today and covers personal development issues from a psychodynamic perspective on his personal website, After Psychotherapy. He is the author of Why Do I Do That? and The Narcissist You Know.

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