Book Club

Science of Shame – Dr. Gerald Fishkin

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Addiction may be America’s most neglected disease. According to a Columbia University study, “40 million Americans age 12 and over meet the clinical criteria for addiction involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs.” That’s more Americans than those with heart disease, diabetes or cancer. What if shame were at the core of their illness how many people would find relief by healing or facing that shame?

Dr. Gerald Fishkin

Dr. Gerald Fishkin

In his groundbreaking book, The Science of Shame and Its Treatment, psychotherapist and author Dr. Gerald Fishkin addresses the genesis of shame and negative self-talk from an empirical analysis of their core elements. He fully explains shame’s insidious ingress into both conscious and unconscious thought. Fishkin includes accounts of individuals who, with therapeutic help, were able to change their lives.

Anyone who is grappling with addictions, toxic shame, or low self-worth will be able to assess, understand and gain a perspective with regard to the question, “who am I and why can’t I get past myself.” Whether the reader is a clinician, addiction specialist, teacher, student of human behavior, counselor, social worker, or a patient in treatment, The Science of Shame provides an understanding of why toxic shame and negative self-talk is abusive, unrelenting, and how it can be changed. Dr. Fishkin suggests that compassion for self is an important key for recovery.

Years of clinical practice and extensive research provided the background for The Science of Shame. Dr. Fishkin earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology, and has been in private practice since 1970. He has authored three other books including American Dream, American Burnout: How to Cope When It All Gets to Be Too Much, Police Burnout, and Firefighter and Paramedic Burnout. An expert in clinical and forensic hypnosis, Dr. Fishkin has worked with witnesses of violent crimes in scene reconstruction as well as aided in suspect identification. Fishkin has appeared on hundreds of nationally syndicated radio and television shows.


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