Two Views of : The Ubiquity of ShameShame: The Ubiquity of Shame

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1993, Vol 38(12), 1266–1267. Reviews the book, Shame: The Exposed Self by Michael Lewis (see record 1992-97054-000). It is rare that a book that focuses on an aversive emotion, especially one that promotes the idea that this painful feeling, shame, is omnipresent throughout our daily lives, can engage us in such a lively and absorbing way–both to examine intellectually the phenomenon of shame and simultaneously to experience the very emotion being addressed even as we read. The latter experience occurs in part because Lewis has wisely incorporated many case illustrations and vignettes, some of a clinical nature but most drawn from ordinary interactions between couples, between parents and their children, and between teachers and their students. The volume is intended to be integrative and thought provoking and to provide a balanced view of an emotional experience most of us prefer to avoid. It meets this goal extremely well. The relationship between reader and author develops steadily, and the result for Saarni was the sensation of having an intense and lively conversation with someone who has wisdom and compassion for the shame that all of us bear. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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