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Best Shame Books You Should Read

Our list of some of the best Shame books & series in recent years. Get inspired by one or more of the following books.

1. Understanding and Treating Chronic Shame: A Relational/Neurobiological Approach (2015)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadChronic shame is painful, corrosive, and elusive. It resists self-help and undermines even intensive psychoanalysis. Patricia A. DeYoung’s cutting-edge book gives chronic shame the serious attention it deserves, integrating new brain science with an inclusive tradition of relational psychotherapy. She looks behind the myriad symptoms of shame to its relational essence. As DeYoung describes how chronic shame is wired into the brain and developed in personality, she clarifies complex concepts and makes them available for everyday therapy practice. Grounded in clinical experience and alive with case…
Author(s): Patricia A. Deyoung

2. Healing the Shame that Binds You (Recovery Classics) (2005)

 Best Shame Books You Should Read“I used to drink,” writes John Bradshaw, “to solve the problems caused by drinking. The more I drank to relieve my shame-based loneliness and hurt, the more I felt ashamed.” Shame is the motivator behind our toxic behaviors: the compulsion, co-dependency, addiction and drive to superachieve that breaks down the family and destroys personal lives. This book has helped millions identify their personal shame, understand the underlying reasons for it, address these root causes and release themselves from the shame that binds them to their past failures….
Author(s): John Bradshaw

3. Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection (2012)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadShame controls far too many of us. Worthless, inferior, rejected, weak, humiliated, failure…it all adds up to wishing we could get away from others and hide. We know what shame feels like. The way out, however, is harder to find. Time doesn’t help, neither does confession, because shame is just as often from what others do to you as it is from what you have done. But the Bible is about shame from start to finish, and, if we are willing, God’s beautiful words break through. Look at Jesus through the lens of shame and see how the marginalized…
Author(s): Edward T. Welch

4. The Shame Factor: Heal Your Deepest Fears and Set Yourself Free (2019)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadA popular clinical psychologist explores an often misunderstood and unrecognized emotion that’s the root cause of many self-defeating and harmful behaviors.Emotional paralysis, a distorted view of self, a feeling of being a fraud, lack of trust in others, fear of criticism resulting in underdeveloped talents, and a chronic sense of being worthless, invisible, or disposable–these are typical symptoms of shame. In this book, psychologist Stephan B. Poulter delves into this “primary emotional wound.” Distinguishing it from commonplace guilt over a…
Author(s): Poulter, Stephan B., Ph.D

5. Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You (2014)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadShame: the torment you feel when you’re exposed, humiliated, or rejected; the feeling of not being good enough. It’s a deeply painful and universal emotion, yet is not frequently discussed. For some, shame lurks in the unconscious, undermining self-esteem, destroying confidence, and leading to codependency. These codependent relationships–where we overlook our own needs and desires as we try to care for, protect, or please another–often cover up abuse, addiction, or other harmful behaviors. Shame and codependency feed off one another, making us feel stuck, never able to let…
Author(s): Darlene Lancer

6. Letting Go of Shame: Understanding How Shame Affects Your Life (1989)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadLetting Go of Shame: Understanding How Shame Affects Your Life helps to explain the emotion of shame and its impact on our self-image and relationships.As we identify shame and use recovery skills to work through it, Letting Go of Shame: Understanding How Shame Affects Your Like helps to explain the emotion of shame and its impact on our self-image and relationships. The authors offer us a way that we can personalize a plan of action to help build our self-esteem, and they suggest exercises to help us identify our feelings of shame….
Author(s): Ronald Potter-Efron, Patricia Potter-Efron

7. Shame: A Novel (2008)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadThe novel that set the stage for his modern classic, The Satanic Verses, Shame is Salman Rushdie’s phantasmagoric epic of an unnamed country that is “not quite Pakistan.” In this dazzling tale of an ongoing duel between the families of two men–one a celebrated wager of war, the other a debauched lover of pleasure–Rushdie brilliantly portrays a world caught between honor and humiliation–“shamelessness, shame: the roots of violence.” Shame is an astonishing story that grows more timely by the day….
Author(s): Salman Rushdie

8. Soul without Shame: A Guide to Liberating Yourself from the Judge Within (1998)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadWhether we call it the inner critic, superego, or just plain nag, most of us have a “judge within” who’s constantly on our case. A comprehensive guide to understanding how the inner critic works, this book offers practical, positive suggestions for breaking free of it. Using straightforward language and examples from everyday life, Byron Brown shows:    •  Where the inner judge came from    •  How it operates    •  Why it trips us up    •  Why we believe we need it…
Author(s): Byron Brown

9. Shame and Pride: Affect, Sex, and the Birth of the Self (1994)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadThis is a revolutionary book about the nature of emotion, about the way emotions are triggered in our private moments, in our relations with others, and by our biology. Drawing on every theme of the modern life sciences, Donald Nathanson shows how nine basic affects―interest-excitement, enjoyment-joy, surprise-startle, fear-terror, distress-anguish, anger-rage, dissmell, disgust, and shame-humiliation―not only determine how we feel but shape our very sense of self. For too long those who explain emotional discomfort on the basis of lived experience and those who blame chemistry have been at…
Author(s): Nathanson M.D., Donald L.

10. The Science of Shame and Its Treatment (2016)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadShame 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…
Author(s): Fishkin Ph.D., Gerald Loren

11. Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures: Biblical Foundations and Practical Essentials (2016)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadMany a Westerner has had a cross-cultural experience of honor and shame. First there are those stuttering moments in the new social landscape. Then after missed cues and social bruises comes the revelation that this culture―indeed much of the world―runs on an honor-shame operating system. When Western individualism and its introspective conscience fails to engage cultural gears, how can we shift and navigate this alternate code? And might we even learn to see and speak the gospel differently if we did? In Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures Jayson Georges and Mark…
Author(s): Jayson Georges, Mark D. Baker

12. Shame and Grace: Healing the Shame We Don’t Deserve (2009)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadA Proven Path to Move from Shame to Healing If you persistently feel you don’t measure up, you are feeling shame—that vague, undefined heaviness that presses on our spirit, dampens our gratitude for the goodness of life, and diminishes our joy. The good news is that shame can be healed. With warmth and wit, Lewis B. Smedes examines why and how we feel shame, and presents a profound, spiritual plan for healing. Step by step, Smedes outlines the road to well-being and the peace that comes from knowing we are accepted by the grace of One whose acceptance of us…
Author(s): Lewis B. Smedes

13. Guilt, Shame, and Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming Negative Emotions (2014)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadWith the first unified theory of guilt, shame, and anxiety, this pioneering psychiatrist and critic of psychiatric diagnoses and drugs examines the causes and effects of psychological and emotional suffering from the perspective of biological evolution, child development, and mature adult decision-making. Drawing on evolution, neuroscience, and decades of clinical experience, Dr. Breggin analyzes what he calls our negative legacy emotions-the painful emotional heritage that encumbers all human beings. The author marshals evidence that we evolved as the most…
Author(s): Peter R. Breggin, MD

14. Shame Is an Ocean I Swim Across: Poems by Mary Lambert (2018)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadBeautiful and brutally honest, Mary Lambert’s poetry is a beacon to anyone who’s ever been knocked down―and picked themselves up again. In verse that deals with sexual assault, mental illness, and body acceptance, Ms. Lambert’s Shame Is an Ocean I Swim Across emerges as an important new voice in poetry, providing strength and resilience even in the darkest of times….
Author(s): Mary Lambert

Best Shame Books You Should Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some shame books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals

Author(s): Rachel Hollis
ID: 2339042, Publisher: HarperCollins Leadership, Year: 5 March 2019, Size: 514 Kb, Format: epub

The Emotions of Pride and Shame in Child and Family Social Work

Author(s): Matthew Gibson
ID: 2357122, Publisher: Policy Press, Year: 2020, Size: 3 Mb, Format: pdf

A Sociology of Shame and Blame: Insiders Versus Outsiders

Author(s): Graham Scambler
ID: 2408855, Publisher: Springer International Publishing; Palgrave Pivot, Year: 2020, Size: 1 Mb, Format: pdf

Please note that this booklist is not absolute. Some books are really chart-busters according to USA Today, others are written by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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