I'm looking for books on shame/humiliation that cover all 4 quadrants

As the title says, I am looking for books (and other resources) about shame and humiliation. I’d like to learn about these emotions from all perspectives. I’ve included some books I’ve found so far. They may also give you a better idea of what I’m looking for.

  1. John Bradshaw - Healing the Shame That Binds You
  2. Gershen Kaufman - Psychology of Shame
  3. Peter Breggin - Guilt, Shame, and Anxiety
  4. Ute Frevert - The Politics of Humiliation
  5. Leesa Ward - Get Over Being Humiliated
  6. William Ian Miller - Humiliation
  7. Shelley Stokes - The Trauma of Shame and the Making of the Self

Thank you so much for the suggestions!

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Hi WillE,

I hope you’re well!

This is an interesting topic. I read only part of this book, about 6 years ago, but I think I remember it being helpful: ‘Radical acceptance: Awakening the love that heals fear and shame within us’ by Tara Brach.

Also, Kristen Neff’s book 'Self-compassion: stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind, and ‘The compassionate mind’ by Paul Gilbert are very good (in my opinion from 6 years ago). From reading many academic articles on self-compassion also I think this is a core ingredient in people overcoming issues with shame, as well as being accepting of the emotion of shame.

Kristen Neff also describes very well how self-compassion differs to self-esteem: https://youtu.be/IvtZBUSplr4.

I also think this Townes Van Zandt song has a good line about shame: https://youtu.be/TYZD-Hh1gKA.

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Thank you for those resources :slight_smile:

I completely agree about self-compassion. In my own journey with shame it has been the biggest help, possibly rivalled only by humour. Although, self-compassion helped me start seeing the humour in the things that once gave me only shame.

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I love these resources. Yes, Tara Brach uses her adaptation of RAIN, a self inquiry tool, on shame. The steps are to Recognize, Allow, Investigate and Nurture. It’s an adaptation of the model by Michele MacDonald, a Vipassana teacher where I is sometimes ‘investigate’ or ‘interest’ and the N is non-identification.

The Nurture is particularly valuable when it comes to shame. Brene Brown, who is known for her work on shame, also focuses on the nurture aspect , sees empathy as the antidote to shame.

Self-compassion builds on empathy in that it includes the motivation to help or get help. Arguably, showing empathy to oneself can be seen as giving help. Kristin Neff, Chris Germer and Paul Gilbert all focus on self-compassion as the antidote to shame. Their videos on how self-esteem and self-worth play into the picture are powerful. Kristin Neff’s work is therapeutic and used mainstream, while Paul Gilbert’s is actually offered in ‘therapy’.

I have recently completed a course by Sarah Peyton called Authenticity, Belonging and Shame. Self-empathy is the primary focus where one works with body sensations and brings empathy to the parts that were impacted by shame. She integrates principles from non-violent communication into her work. This empathy angle is part of a ‘Resonant Self’ framework. She is know for her 9resonant language principles, one being the focus on needs and feelings and another being humor as a way to accompany the parts that were hurt.

I have integrated all 3 of the above approaches, deeply rooted in non-violent communication into my N.A.I.L Freedom and Flow model. You can find this in the ILP Dojo and an additional video has just been released on this platform this week.

Lastly, the CEB curriculum (Cultivating Emotional Balance), which was originated by Dr Paul and Dr Eve Eckman, identified 7 universal emotions (based on microexpressions). Later they added a shame and guilt component even though there is no distinct facial expression to track it. I will be attending a 3 hour workshop called Exploring Shame & Guilt, based on this curriculum in December '22 (offered by Tibet House) by my CEB teacher. Emotions are mapped on an emotional episode timeline and seen as reflecting a specific need to be met.

In brief, the primary tool is noticing/recognising the event, trigger and emotion. Naming the bodily sensations and identifying the needs these are alerting one too. Sarah Peyton’s work expands this empathy part to include making empathy guesses about the needs and uses phrases like: “Are you feeling shame (etc) because you are so wanting to be seen and accepted for who you are?”.

You can find an abundance of free guided meditations that take you through the process on her sites “yourresonantself” dot com. This will give you a feel for resonant language, bringing warmth to oneself, dealing with the inner critic, self-compassion and even time travel work.


This video/ TED Talk by Dan Harris highlights a loving-kindness practice (also an integral part of CEB i.e. Cultivating Emotional Balance), and the Let Love In part of NAIL Freedom & Flow. He speaks to the biggest challenge and most necessary component to healing that we all must face as we consider this touchy-feely antidote. This is where the Letting Go comes in. (L= Let go, and, Let in love)

He shares a Loving-Kindness practice, which can be seen as what we do when we develop the resonant self witness and cultivate self-warmth. The focus is on learning to acknowledge our hopes for well-being (and that others have these hopes too) . Self-compassion, technically is how we acknowledge our hurts and pain and is an important foundation/goes hand in hand with this practice. Both are necessary. We aspire to be free of suffering, hurt, pain, trauma and to let ourselves be free to flourish.

Here’s the link

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Thank you so much, I’ll definitely check out your video!

I highly recommend checking out any text on Internal Family Systems theory. While not dealing with shame directly, it does approach the psyche as a collection of parts that each hold their own role and degree of truth (sound familiar to Integralism?). It also values them rather than seeking to suppress them, which is a very Integral approach.

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van dear Kolk is also a rather integral approach to emotional trauma. Gabor Mate recently published a book as well that’s fairly integral in how it approaches trauma and examines it on a global scale.


@WillE, because you asked for all 4 quadrants, I’m going to repost here something I just posted in a different thread, simply because it comes at shame from a very different angle. This is a complement to the more psychologically focused references others are sharing.

------------ repost ---------------------

What interests me currently is how the boundaries of shame shifts as society evolves. I’m currently reading a book by Norbert Elias called The Civilizing Process . The book is about how manners, courtesy, politeness, “civilized” behavior evolved in Western culture over the centuries. Behaviors that were once quite open and common became shameful as the rules of polite and courtly society shifted.

For example, here are some medieval table manner guidelines:

  • “A man who clears his throat when he eats and one who blows his nose in the table cloth are both ill-bred, I assure you.”
  • “It is not decent to poke your fingers into your ears or eyes, as some people do, or to pick your nose while eating. These three habits are bad.”
  • If a man wipes his nose on his hand at table because he knows no better, then he is a fool, believe me".

Moral of this story: shame is a social construct. And a moving target!

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