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4.1 out of 5 stars
Healing the Shame That Binds You (Recovery Classics)
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2010
This book shows us how many family and social and relationship problems have their roots in our childhood experiences. I found it amazing and it made so much sense. Great for anyone with personal problems, family problems, friend problems, work problems, society problems or even just to understand how others end up in bad situations. If I were Minister of education I would put this book on the High School social and Civil Studies Curriculum.
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89 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2003
This is the most helpful book I have ever read.

I'm an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and abandonment. Although I had made a lot of progress through counselling, self-help and other reading over the years, it wasn't until I read this book that I came to understand a lot more about myself.

I've read other books that seemed to stop short of providing much in the way of useful help after identifying a problem. John Bradshaw covers all this, providing real solutions that, for me, are starting to change my life and repair damage that I hadn't realised was still there.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2013
For someone experiencing their toxic shame for the first time this book was not always easy reading: thoughts, feeling, beliefs I'd held all my life were there on the page; a state of being I'd thought normal was at last being seen for what it was: highly disfunctional, filled with pain and loneliness.
The first half of this book describes toxic shame; the second begins to outline a path to healing, though one's path will always be one's own and will, inevitably, continue beyond the final page of text. It took me 51 years to recognise my toxic shame; I'm guessing it'll take a while to get over it!
But I recommend this book very highly. Why four stars rather than five? I spent much of the second half thinking, "But what am I going to do about my parents? What do I say to them?" The book didn't seem to offer answers. But then, perhaps, I have to find my own.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 1996
John Bradshaw has written a thorough, concise guide to victims who suffer from toxic shame, in order to help them identify the shame they are feeling and then to alleviate and eliminate that shame. An all-intrusive emotion, toxic shame can devastate a life, destroy marriages, and leave the suffering victim alone and confused. Bradshaw has drawn a road map for these victims to help themselves find the way out of the endless cycle of shame and guilt that surrounds their lives every single day.
Since he is also a victim of childhood abuse, Bradshaw has a keen insight into the haunting terrors of being ashamed of your family because of alcoholism, drug dependence, sexual abuse...he covers it all.
This book is a must-read for the adult who has been raised in a traumatic setting. Healing the Shame that Binds You is a life-line to victims, and can be the first step on the road to recovery from toxic shame and other psychological problems brought on by dysfunctional family situations.
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 1999
Many suffer from the damaging effects of Toxic Shame. A little-explored subject, it causes one to feel defective from the core of one's being. The roots of shame come from abuse and dysfunctionality in the family and early socialization in school. People then tend to measure their worth against external standards and feedback and when it is negative or lacking, can feel a devasting loss of self. Whether perpetrated on an overt or covert level, the damaging effects can last a lifetime, leading people into mental illness, addiction, and crippling disfunctionality.
Bradshaw gives a diagnostic and thereapeutic vocabulary to those who desperately need it. Some people are shamed by the same people over and over again (ie: spouses and family) and need the tools with which to cope. Based on the twelve-step paradigm, Bradshaw shows us how to recognize the signs of toxic shame and how to (with the help of a therapist and/or healing community) eventually overcome it.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2008
This is an excellent book. For those of us who acknowledge we want to go forward, life is 'not quite working' but we're not exactly sure why or how. This is a tool in our tool box which, upon application of the principles laid out in the book, could prove to be a very significant one.
Healing the Shame That Binds You
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59 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2000
Before reading this book, I was unaware what a big influence shame has on all aspects of life - if we were consistently shamed in childhood, the effects can be devastating. John Bradshaw explains just why shame is such a powerful force and what we can do about it. If you were shamed, you probably think you are alone. Read this book and discover that you are not.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 15 August 2004
After years in AA and Al-anon and starting ACA now, I am at last in a place to face the issues covered in this wonderful book. It need not take that long hanging around the 12 steps to reap the benefits herein, but that is how long it has taken me to be ready. This publication pulls no punches and tells the truth of the matter with integrity, but also with a consumate sensitivity and kindness. Perhaps best of all, this is one of the few recovery books that outlines positive exercises, for example utliising NLP techniques, to work on - perfect for the compulsive "doer" like me. If you had any kind of dysfunctional childhood (didn't we all?) get a copy of this book rushed to you now!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2009
When I read this book some years ago, it was life changing. I liked how the book differentiates between healthy and unhealthy shame, and validates how shame (contrary to societal beliefs) is a valid emotion just like any other.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2014
I divide my life into two chapters: before and after I read this book.

I had always been a shame-bound person until I read 'Healing the Shame'. Bradshaw's book opened up a new way of thinking and kicked off a beautiful emotional journey.

"Healthy shame is the permission to be human. To be human is to be essentially limited. It is to be finite, needy and prone to mistakes... Through healthy shame we rejoin the human race; we accept our need for community and the essential limitations of our human reality. Scott Peck once defined emotional illness as avoiding relating at any cost, and mental health as accepting reality at any cost."

I will certainly re-visit this book again and again.

- I am conscious that I sometimes shame others as a way to counter my own shame. I make strong efforts to stop this now.
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