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Shame: Free Yourself, Find Joy, and Build True Self-Esteem

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  27 reviews
An intimate look at the full spectrum of shame--often masked by addiction, promiscuity, perfectionism, self-loathing, or narcissism--that offers a new, positive route forward

Encounters with embarrassment, guilt, self-consciousness, remorse, etc. are an unavoidable part of everyday life, and they sometimes have lessons to teach us--about our goals and values, about the pers
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by St. Martin's Essentials
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Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This book came along at a weird time for me - just when I am beginning to discover that a lot of my longstanding issues in my personal and professional life are caused, in my opinion, by having never developed a sense of self-worth. Burgo would likely think of this as core shame.

So in an ideal world, I should have found this book illuminating and helpful. That didn't happen.

Why not?

Some of the case studies were...troubling. The author's negative judgments of other gay men. His potentially inadve
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
To be fair, I didn’t finish this book. I just personally was seeking something else and it didn’t work for me. Maybe it was bad timing.
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"We are the sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, related and bound to a circle of significant others whose feelings and opinions about us invariably influence how we feel about ourselves, even when we possess a strong self-concept."

Living a lifetime with shame and lack of self esteem led me to request Shame by Joseph Burgo. It was very interesting how Mr. Burgo put shame in the light of a spectrum, or umbrella, ranging from mild to intense and specific to global. I have never thought of it t
Suz Jay
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I was excited to have the opportunity to obtain an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book on NetGalley.

“Especially today, in our narcissistic age, when so many people feel compelled to come across as social media winners, if you admit to feeling shame, you run the risk of becoming a contemptible loser...How you feel about yourself seems unrelated to other people; self-esteem embodies an internal relationship you have with the person you feel yourself to be...But human beings are social animals
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrowed, e-books
Very interesting but a little hard to review because it’s such a personal thing. He gives examples from his own clientele and from his own life experience. [changing the names etc of course]
Brene Brown is kind of the ‘it’ author on shame right now, but as Burgo points out, she is mostly concerned with social shame. He’s talking about core shame; the stuff we have internalised from years ago, often when we were children.
From the summary:
Challenging widely-accepted views within the self-esteem mov
Ramona Mead
Dec 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: advanced-copies
I was pleasantly surprised to find this book was not what I expected. Burgo takes a different approach than others I've read, that explores shame as a family of emotions. I especially love how he differentiated SHAME (toxic shame) from shame (normal every day emotions we feel.) Growing up, I was subjected to a great deal of toxic shame, and verbal, physical, and emotional abuse. I was in my 30's by the time I learned how wrong and harmful this was, and how it has affected the rest of my life. I ...more
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have been long interested in the topic of Shame, one of the most profound of human emotions, and given my new-year resolution of writing a review for every book I read, I can't bypass this one. And it is tempting to bypass since even reading a book on Shame seems like an equivalent of admitting that you have Shame, which is almost confessing to be a social outcast. Maybe that can explain a low number of reviews for this book. According to Dr. Burgo, the type of shame I feel in writing this rev ...more
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
All in all, it took a skim to understand that the main point the author is trying to drive across is: shame resilience, building pride, and sharing joy will help us heal, but will never be a complete cure. But if you build your self-esteem/pride high enough, then shameful things won’t have so much meaning and emotion. Listen and learn from when we feel shame as it “says we have disappointed our healthy expectations for the person we’d like to be.”

Rate: 2 - I didn’t fully read it because it was
Clem Paulsen
Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This was sort of reading club read. It seems extremely long for a self-help book, and I would imagine (I'm no shrink) not quite technical/scholarly for a pro. I know enough maybe to be dangerous.

There are some aspects which I found problematic.

-- He posits shame has four models, period. It seemed to me there's an uber model of some kind which could be sub-classified. This might have been valuable.
-- His poo-pooing of self-esteem at the beginning, yet offering suggestions on how one might achi
Daniel Stern
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a must read on the subject. It expands the understanding of this commonly experienced affect, bringing it out of the shadows so that it can be better understood and managed. To admit to shame is often shameful and it makes it difficult to know how to manage this most basic affect. The author does a good job in explaining how shame is part of our everyday functioning, how it is involved in our development, and then also shows how shame can be at the center of many mental health issue ...more
Debbie Jacob
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The case studies in these types of books usually irritate me, but the ones in this one were thought-provoking and interesting -- never feeling contrived or manufactured just for a book. There is much useful information about all the forms of shame and the role of shame in our lives. It's not all negative. Dr Burgo makes a compelling argument for a balance between shame and praise and argues that the goal is a short recovery time from shame -- not the elimination of it. I enjoyed every minute of ...more
Lisa Gornick
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Joe Burgo lays out an important theory about how we can overcome shame no matter its origin by investing in meaningful productive work that can yield "competency pleasure," which is then cemented by the opportunity to share our joy with others able to celebrate our accomplishments. With the skill of a novelist, Burgo paints vignettes and presents case studies that vividly demonstrate his ideas. Highly recommended for lay persons and professionals alike.
Elizabeth Jones
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Burgo offers much insight on the subject and provides illuminating case studies, but the problem here for me is that, while the problem is delineated, there does not seem to be much of a solution offered, other than years of therapy. The exercises given in the back of the book were not particularly useful.
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Burgo challenges the popular view that self-esteem thrives on the praise that others give, or in motivational exercises. In his view, self-esteem is achieved deep inside ourselves, when we live up to our personal expectations and share our sense of fulfillment with loved ones. The book is filled with anecdotes from the author's life and also those of his patients. An interesting read.
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The book is carefully crafted, well thought through and most importantly it is deeply insightful. For me, this book goes beyond many self-help books by helping the reader to understand the idea of shame, rather than jumping to prescriptions based on shallow ideas. Thanks to this approach, Burgo goes a long way in a meaningful and long-lasting approach to building authentic self-esteem.
Pía López Copetti
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mental-health
This is a book that goes deep. Some chapters may seem tedious because it insights profoundly on toddler's behaviour (I don't have kids, nor I intend to for the time being so I found this part annoying), but the rest of the book explains the different forms of self-shaming and the coping mechanisms for such behaviours. Some stories in here will amaze you, others will trigger high levels of pity.
Eslam Abdelghany

It was a nice, informative, and insightful reading. However, a long ,exhausting and sometimes nerve-racking translation but eventually, all is well that ends well, and it has actually.

Sebastian Gil
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shame. It’s all about shame. Guilt is about what we did. Shame is about who we are.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Perceptive observations, though I wish the case studies had covered a broader socioeconomic strata; most of the patients seemed to be economically advantaged. Still worth a look.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has definitely helped me understand my self more and not only myself but other on why we might feel certain ways when encountering shame. Definitely a must read!.
Noelle Orr
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was excellent! Most helpful book I've read recently.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book doesn’t really seem like as much of a self
help book as it does an education on the feelings and function of shame.

It is re-readable and should be read as n alternative to Brown and Brendan.

Ann T
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Watkins Publishing and Netgalley for this ARC.

I was excited to have the opportunity to read this book as there are many books on our emotions, especially, love, anger, fear, but not so many on the little spoken emotion shame. I was interested in how Mr Burgo explains shame and how shameful experiences impact our self esteem. I often though “of course” while reading with the passages making sense in their explanations.
Thank you for helping explain how shame impacts us and what we can d
Stephanie Tiner
Review Coming Soon
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life changing!

This book had changed my way of thinking and bring new perspective.

Highly recommended for personal development!

Thank you Dr.
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I'm a clinical psychologist and I write a blog about psychotherapy issues called After Psychotherapy. I also blog for Psychology Today and PsychCentral.

As a young man, I published a couple of works of genre fiction and I still write fiction, though lately my website and my new book on psychological defense mechanisms has taken most of my time.

I work with clients all over the work by Skype video an

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