Embracing Shame

How to Stop Resisting Shame and Turn It into a Powerful Ally

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Pub Date 17 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 20 Oct 2023

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Discover a proven pathway for transforming shame from a self-punishing emotion into a powerful ally for your health and happiness.

Why do we feel shame? Given how painful and destructive shame can be, it’s easy to see this emotion as an inner demon that turns our own mind against us. Yet shame is a universal emotion—and it serves an important purpose. “While toxic shame can keep us stuck in a self-defeating vortex,” say Bret Lyon and Sheila Rubin, “there is a healthy expression of shame designed to protect us, help us change, and actually build our self-esteem.”

With Embracing Shame, these expert teachers share an invaluable guide to an emotion so volatile that most of us—including therapists—avoid talking about it. Here this husband and wife team, cofounders of the Center for Healing Shame, examine the dynamics of shame, the reasons it arises, why it causes such harm, and how we can heal its negative effects. Through case studies, creative tools, and body-based practices, they invite you to explore:

• The purpose of shame—How it is meant to protect and guide us, and why it gets distorted into a self-sabotaging emotion
• How shame disguises itself by “binding” to other emotions—and methods for disentangling these complex feelings
• The ways shame forms in childhood, evolves as we grow, is impacted by trauma, and takes residence in the body
• Practical guidance for regulating common shame-based challenges—including the inner critic, imposter syndrome, perfectionism, intimacy in relationships, and much more

While no amount of self-talk, personal success, or therapy can eradicate shame, we can transform shame into the supportive, health-promoting force it was meant to be. Created as a go-to resource for laypersons and healing professionals alike, Embracing Shame offers an achievable path for reclaiming the true potential of this vital emotion to help us grow, connect, and find a new confidence in the way we move through life.

Discover a proven pathway for transforming shame from a self-punishing emotion into a powerful ally for your health and happiness.

Why do we feel shame? Given how painful and destructive shame can be...

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ISBN 9781649630469
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Featured Reviews

I'm very familiar with my own shame and this book explains all the different types of shame and how to embrace and work on your issues surrounding the topic. I think the husband and wife team did an excellent job outlining the chapters and made it easy to read. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. Five stars.

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This book struck a deep chord with me, as it delves into the intricate facets of shame and offers valuable insights on how to confront and heal from this complex emotion. The husband and wife duo behind this work have done an exceptional job, presenting a well-structured and easily accessible guide to understanding and addressing shame-related issues.

This book is a compassionate and insightful guide to exploring the complexities of shame, and the authors' approach encourages us to approach it with self-compassion, especially for the wounded parts within us. Drawing from their extensive knowledge and experiences, the authors share compelling stories from their clients, students, and even their own lives, deepening our understanding of this intricate emotion.

The chapter on "shame binds," particularly in relation to addictions, sheds a powerful light on the underlying dynamics of shame in such situations. The authors' exploration of somatic theories, drawing from experts like Stephen Porges and Peter Levine, adds another layer of depth to the book.

I appreciate how the authors incorporate wisdom from trauma experts like Gabor Mate, Sue Johnson, Bessel van der Kolk, Richard Schwartz, and Dan Siegel. It enriches the book and provides practical and valuable advice on how to navigate and heal from shame.

This book has earned a place in my reference library, and I know I will turn to it whenever I need grounding. The authors' suggestions, such as maintaining a healthy distance from traumatizing events, using curiosity to gain perspective, and rediscovering self-regulation through strengths like humor, are invaluable tools for personal growth and healing.

The advice given by the authors has the potential to transform the life of someone feeling stuck in pain. It encourages individuals to resource themselves and explore new possibilities for moving forward. Having access to such informed perspectives is truly a gift, and I am grateful for the wisdom shared in this remarkable book.#EmbracingShame #NetGalley

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In Embracing Shame, teachers and therapists with decades of experience, Bret Lyon and Sheila Rubin, brilliantly and smoothly navigate the tricky, universally repellent territory of shame. Their first audacious surprise is using “embrace” and “shame” in a book title! Shame is universally scary. It is most often secrets lodged in our memory that we think we’ve forgotten, but they pop out to make us queasy on the regular. We feel if our shame was known by others, our loved ones would reject us and banish us from their lives. Our shame grows and can morph into something more sinister than the initial event when it stays between our ears. This book educates and liberates us to be our authentic selves. Brought out into the light, with educational support like this book, shame can safely be examined and shared with trusted individuals. Unmasking it helps us heal. We are encouraged to read this book with self-compassion for the most injured parts of ourselves. These authors are well-versed in the study of shame, as we see in their stories from clients, students, and their own personal experiences. I found the chapter on “shame binds” (like addiction) to be particularly illuminating. I also appreciate their exploration of somatic theories (Stephen Porges, Peter Levine) and advice from trauma experts Gabor Mate, Sue Johnson, Bessel van der Kolk, Richard Schwartz, and Dan Siegel. I will add this book to my reference library and will refer to it when I need to ground myself, using their suggestions of keeping a healthy distance from traumatizing events, using curiosity to keep perspective, and rediscovering ways to self-regulate through strengths like humor. These authors give advice that can help a stuck person in pain move forward by resourcing themselves and trying something new. I am so glad to have access to the informed perspectives shared in this book!

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Bret Lyon and Sheila Rubin's "Embracing Shame" is a transformative guide that invites readers to navigate the complex terrain of shame and unlock its potential as a catalyst for personal growth and well-being. In a society where shame is often stigmatized and shunned, Lyon and Rubin courageously delve into the depths of this emotion, shedding light on its intricate dynamics and unveiling its hidden gifts.

Shame, as Lyon and Rubin explain, is a multifaceted aspect of our psyche that encompasses both light and shadow. While toxic shame can immobilize and trap us in self-defeat, healthy shame serves as a protective mechanism, a call for change, and a foundation for nurturing self-esteem. By examining the reasons behind shame's emergence and its deceptive disguises as other emotions, the authors offer readers profound insights into the harm it can cause and the transformative power it holds.

One of the book's strengths lies in its inclusion of case studies, creative tools, and body-based practices. Through real-life examples, readers can relate to and gain a deeper understanding of shame's impact on individuals and communities. The creative tools and body-based practices provided serve as practical and experiential resources, enabling readers to break free from the cycle of toxic shame. By engaging with these techniques, individuals can tap into their inner reservoirs of positive energy, accessing messages and insights that foster growth and connection.

Importantly, the authors emphasize that shame cannot be eradicated through mere self-talk, personal success, or therapy alone. However, Lyon and Rubin's decades of teaching experience have shown that shame can be transformed into a supportive force, unleashing its true potential. By embracing shame and recognizing its valuable role in our lives, readers are guided toward becoming the person they aspire to be.

Reducing shame in people's lives is an essential and beneficial endeavor for several reasons. Firstly, shame often acts as a barrier to personal growth and authentic self-expression. By dismantling the destructive aspects of shame and embracing its healthier forms, individuals can cultivate resilience, self-compassion, and self-esteem. Secondly, shame, when left unaddressed, can impede interpersonal connections and hinder meaningful relationships. By transforming shame, individuals become more open, vulnerable, and capable of forging deep and authentic connections with others. Lastly, by releasing the grip of toxic shame, individuals can tap into their innate potential and pursue a fulfilling and purposeful life, unburdened by self-limiting beliefs and negative self-perception.

In conclusion, Lyon and Rubin's "Embracing Shame" is a groundbreaking guide that illuminates the transformative power of shame. "Embracing Shame" is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to navigate the complex terrain of shame and embrace a life of authenticity, resilience, and self-compassion.

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This was very interesting, I also struggle a lot with shame. This helped me and gave me many insights, lots of information and also new ideas to change my problems. Thanks.

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