The Upside of Shame

Therapeutic Interventions Using the Positive Aspects of a "Negative" Emotion

Vernon C. Kelly, Jr. (Author), Mary C. Lamia (Author)

Overview | Contents

Understanding shame as a signal that things we enjoy are being impeded.

There is much more to shame than its reputation as a negative emotional state. This clinical book delves into the role of shame in many complex issues such as personality disorders, anxiety, depression, and addictions. In each example the authors show how an understanding of the positive side of shame can be translated into practical therapeutic interventions.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • February 2018
  • ISBN 978-0-393-71194-3
  • 6.5 × 9.6 in / 240 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

The Upside of Shame offers not just a paradigm shift in how we think about shame, but a profoundly useful tool in a clinical setting – one that is indispensable in motivating connection, attachment, and the positive emotional states we all desire. It is a book that anyone seeking a better understanding of the human condition should read.” — Psych Central

“In an era when shameless behavior seems rife, this exposition of the positive functions of shame—a tour de force on an affect more dreaded than appreciated—is welcome. The authors base their contribution on the work of my former mentor, Silvan Tomkins, who always hoped his thinking would eventually influence psychotherapy. As befalls many people of genius, his theories were often ignored or devalued during his lifetime, but now affective neuroscience has confirmed much of what he deduced. Tomkins’s remarkably prescient, clinically relevant ideas are finally accessible in this book, which is written without jargon and illustrated by vivid case material. I recommend it to therapists of all backgrounds, theoretical orientations, and levels of experience, as well as to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the human condition.” — Nancy McWilliams, PhD, ABPP, Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology

“I recommend this work for clinicians because the authors draw attention to how to formulate potential as well as expressed emotions along with consideration of how to therapeutically alter a patient’s habitual avoidances of these potentials.  The approach creates safety and the use of shame potentials in productive motivations.” — Mardi Horowitz, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry UCSF, Author of Adult Personality Growth in Psychotherapy

All Subjects