"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Monday, July 21, 2014

Conquering Shame and Codependency by Darlene Lancer - book review

Conquering Shame and Codependency
8 Steps to Freeing the True You
Author:  Darlene Lancer
Published:  July 2014
Publisher:  Hazelden Publishing
Pages:  180
Genre:  Self-help
Source:  A complimentary copy was provided by TLC Book Tours and the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Codependency Expert Uncovers Fundamental Causes and Effects of Shame and a
Simple Path to a Healthier Life
Shame is an emotion that can be buried in a person’s psyche so deep that one does not realize how much he is affected by it.  From the publisher that popularized the topics of shame and codependency with such publications as Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection and Melody Beattie’s Codependent No More, Hazelden Publishing releases CONQUERING SHAME AND CODEPENDENCY: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You (Hazelden Publishing; July 14; $14.95), by nationally-recognized author, codependency expert and family therapist, Darlene Lancer.  This essential guide explores the powerful emotion of shame, what can happen if it is not addressed, and provides practical advice on how to break deep-rooted patterns.
In the book, Lancer begins by explaining the difference between guilt and shame: “Guilt results from violating rules or moral precepts, while shame emanates from breaching accepted group norms.  We’re guilty if we do something bad.  With shame, we believe that we ourselves are bad or inadequate in some way.”  Understanding these definitions shows how incredibly deep and profound feelings of shame can be, and as a result, how difficult it can be to change how you feel about yourself.
She then delves into the link between shame and codependency, explaining how they prevent us from living life as our “true selves”.  As the result of a combination of personality, parenting, and life experience, we may develop an “inner critic” who is constantly questioning our motives and putting us down for our actions.  We become victims of our own negativity which then leads to codependency, which is the disease of a lost self where one organizes his or her thinking and behavior around another person, process, or substance. Before we know it we may be engaged in abusive or inappropriate relationships.  For example, we may be working in a career we felt we “had” to take on in order to please a parent.  We may be living as if we were someone else, unable to make our own decisions out of fear of hurtful repercussions left over from living with an abusive partner.  These and other similar situations can cause us to spiral down into an unhealthy state such as severe anxiety or depression, substance abuse, or other serious issues.
In CONQUERING SHAME AND CODEPENDENCY Lancer outlines 8 Steps that will help us develop more healthy attitudes about ourselves:
  1. Find Your True Self
  2. Uncover Your Shame
  3. Find Your Shame’s Roots
  4. Disarm Your Shame
  5. Confront Your Shame
  6. Share Your Shame
  7. Build Your Self-Esteem
  8. Love Yourself
By working through these steps you will be able to better identify and understand the root source of negative feelings and what course of action to take in order to let it go and free yourself to a life confident in being your true self. Drawing on thirty years of experience as a therapist, Lancer has made an immense contribution by writing CONQUERING SHAME AND CODEPENDENCY.  For anyone who has been in therapy or has never knocked on a Ph.D.’s door, this book will break down a wall and open an entirely new path for you to begin living a true and authentic life.
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My Thoughts:

Classmates make fun, a sibling belittles, a parent scorns, a teacher chastises.  All part of growing up or can be.  Is there one among us who hasn't at some point in our lives felt ashamed or embarrassed?  Has it altered how we see ourselves...our self-esteem?

To begin, author and therapist Darlene Lancer explores how shame happens and the types of shame: existential, situational, class,  and narcissistic. Using tables, the author shows the difference between guilt and shame and how guilt can be healthy while shame leads to negative self-image.

After exploring how people deal with shame and attempt to escape it, we then learn how shame can cause feelings of emptiness and inadequacy.  From there author Darlene Lancer explores relationships and how a person feeling subject to shame may do anything in return to feel wanted and loved.  This is where the codependency comes in.

Once shame, its sources and effects have been identified, the reader is given 8 steps to freedom.  These steps are intended to help the reader overcome feelings of shame and learn self-love.  With exercises to help accomplish this last and final goal; the reader will be empowered to make positive changes in their lives.

Conquering Shame and Codependency is written in easy to understand terms, with clearly defined segments so you can easily select what applies.  From an author who works as a family therapist and lectures about self esteem, co-dependency and addictions; this reference guide makes available to a wide audience what she teaches in smaller environments. Teachers, family therapists. and school counsellors will find this a good reference in identifying factors and solutions for those they may be concerned with assisting; and for anyone who has experienced the negative effects shame can produce, this book is  recommended reading.

Note:  this reviewer is not a trained therapist.  The thoughts I've shared here are my opinion in relation to how I and how I feel others may respond to Conquering Shame and Codependency.

Meet the Author:

About Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT

Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT, is a licensed family therapist with over twenty years of experience working with individuals and couples.  She regularly lectures on self-esteem, codependency, and addiction.  Author ofCodependency for Dummies and 10 Steps to Self-Esteem, she has also published numerous articles.

1 comment:

  1. I think many, MANY people could learn something helpful from this book.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!


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