Shame: Developmental, Cultural, and Clinical Realms

1st Edition

Salman Akhtar

Routledge
Published December 15, 2015
Reference - 250 Pages
ISBN 9781782202547 - CAT# K377876

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Summary

A late-comer to psychoanalytic theorizing, 'shame' results from a disjunction between the ego and the ego-ideal. A complex psychosocial experience, it is comprised of a painful exposure of one's vulnerable aspects, rupture of self-continuity, and a sense of isolation. The figure-ground harmony of 'going-on-being' is disrupted and the individual feels alone and watched by others. Shame pushes for hiding and thus intensifies the experience of isolation. Seeking to advance clinicians' empathy and therapeutic skills in this realm, in this book ten distinguished analysts discuss shame from various perspectives. These include its developmental substrate, its vicissitudes during adolescence, and its manifestations in the course of aging and infirmity. The authors discuss shame from a cross-cultural viewpoint and note how shame-driven search for power and glory can turn malignant and societally destructive. They also address shamelessness, the link between shame and laziness, and the shame that underlies the inability to apologize.

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