The Science of Shame and Its Treatment

“I am truly honored win this award,” said Dr. Fishkin. “It was Eric Hoffer’s belief that true freedom was ‘the capacity to feel like oneself.’ It is been my professional journey to understand what “oneself” means, and to treat the issues that blocks an individual from true self-knowledge and self-acceptance. He was a major influence on my career and receiving this nomination is very inspiring.”

The Eric Hoffer Award was founded at the start of the 21st century to honor freethinking writers and independent books of exceptional merit. The “Hoffer” honors books are from small, academic, and micro presses.

Dr. Fishkin continues: “Eric Hopper believed, as I do, that ‘children are the keys to paradise.’ When one’s childhood is fraught with, and punctuated, by trauma, violence, neglect, or emotional and physical abandonment, the child’s psychological and social development and self-knowledge is seriously interrupted, setting the stage for addictions, emotional and personality disorders.”

The Science of Shame and Its Treatment is an examination of the dynamics of shame, guilt, and compassion in relationship to uncovering and overcoming the blocks to true self-discovery, self-understanding, and ultimately self-acceptance.

The role of compassion, both for self and others, is the key to true self-knowledge and healthy self-expression. Dr. Fishkin notes in regard to compassion, Eric Hoffer stated, “compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceedings within us.” When toxic self-talk and critical self judgments (Hoffer’s “evil proceedings within us”) are reduced or eliminated, the components of compassion, i.e., attunement and empathy, both for self and others can flow, and compassion can flourish.

Previously, The Science of Shame and Its Treatment won the IRWIN Award for Best Psychology Book of Year, is a finalist in the Psychology category for the Foreword INDIES Awards to be announced the end June, and was short listed for the Hoffer Grand Prize Award.

“This is an intriguing and thought-provoking book about the little voice in our heads that whispers (or shouts) that we are just not good enough … the voice of shame. Shame, according to the author, is different from guilt, in that guilt is a feeling of wrongness about something one has done whereas shame feels that way about who one intrinsically is. Shame begins in infancy, even pre-verbally, when some trauma or abuse from a trusted caregiver leads a child to feel that they are not good enough to have the love and care they require but lack. There is much to ponder in this book. Readers will appreciate the knowledgeable but accessible writing style that avoids jargon while staying firmly rooted in good science.” — San Francisco Book Review

“Dr. Fishkin breaks new ground in his book The Science of Shame, exploring a basic part of character development. The insights definitely helped me understand myself better.”— Harry Saltzgaver- Gazette Newspapers

The Science of Shame and Its Treatment is a comprehensive and practical resource to help all of us understand shame better as well as treat shame more effectively. His case studies reveal first-hand the impact of shame and the role shame plays in overall mental health and recovery. Anyone in a helping profession will benefit from employing this tool in their arsenal to help bring about healing and hope.”

— Sean Walsh, Chief Executive Officer, The Meadows Treatment Centers

The Science of Shame and Its Treatment is a well-researched book that has many practical applications for clinicians who are working with patients who have experienced trauma, abuse, and neglect. It clearly distinguishes shame from guilt (a key concept), while it focuses on the etiology and treatment of shame…Use this book as a guide in working with patients who have been burdened with incapacitating shame for most of their lives. — Dan S. Fogel, LMSW, Clinical Social Worker, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Dr. Gerald Fishkin’s comprehensive and compassionate resource The Science of Shame and Its Treatment offers both people in recovery and clinicians, hope that by addressing underlying shame we can create a life filled with harmony and peace.

—Sherry Gaba, LCSW, author of the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy

The Science of Shame and Its Treatment is invaluable for anyone in a therapeutic process. Dr. Fishkin’s in-depth discussion on shame begins by first defining and clarifying the difference between shame and guilt. That alone is worth the price of the book!” — A.D. Burks author of Sex & Surrender: An Addict’s Journey

Shame influences our lives from underneath our everyday awareness, keeping us cut off from the healing regions of our own hearts. One of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves is heal our shame. Dr. Fishkin’s well-written and comprehensive book not only provides the science behind what causes our shame, but he also provides real life stories that help us relate to our shame through the healing power of our own awareness and self-compassion.” — Mary O’Malley, author of What’s In the Way Is the Way

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