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The Simple Guide to Understanding Shame in Children


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Table of Contents

Preface. 1. What is shame? 2. What is the impact of shame? 3. The neurobiology of shame. 4. How do children get shamed? 5. Shame symptoms: a) hiding, masks, silence and sorry. 6. Shame symptoms: b) deceit, lying, critical of others and projection. 7. Shame symptoms: c) self hatred, self rejection and anger. 8. Shame symptoms: d) emotional shut down, dissociation & confusion. 9. How can we help heal shame? 10. Building shame resilience. Conclusion.

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A simple guide to the essential knowledge adults need to support children affected by shame.

About the Author

Betsy de Thierry is a mum of four brilliant boys, a practising psychotherapist, a qualified primary school teacher, and founder of two organisations that offer therapy and therapeutic education in many cities in the UK. She lives in Bath.


Another brilliant book by Betsy de Thierry. Shame is such a crucial area and emotion, however one that is often overlooked. Therefore it is great to see a book that offers a deeper understanding and practical ideas for support around shame. This book is written in an accessible, engaging, and informative way. The doodles and reflective questions are fantastic too. A welcome addition to any book shelf! -- Karen Treisman

Thorough, underpinned by extensive researched and well articulated. de Thierry manages to write a short guide about shame, a challenging task but one very well executed. If you're looking to understand shame, how it seeps into our being from a very young age and how 'toxic shame can be like a poison in our subconscious', then this guide is for you. For parents, educators, therapists and social workers, this guide is an essential starting point pulling together all the latest knowledge, research and experience.

-- Lisa Cherry, BA (Hons) Sociology, ITEC Dip HM, S.A.C. Dip., Life Coaching and Counselling, Reiki Master
The Simple Guide to Understanding Shame in Children by Betsy de Thierry is thoughtful insight into how shame has such a pervading hold on us all, sometimes with disastrous consequences. De Thierry argues that feelings of shame are often at the root of unhelpful behaviours and linked to a primeval fear we may be abandoned or rejected by our tribe or society. Unwittingly, though, it remains a thread that runs through traditional parenting and the education system, driving the sensitive child towards shame rather than away from it and cutting off crucial relationships with others. The Simple Guide to Understanding Shame in Children by Betsy de Thierry is an important read for adoptive parents and those working with children who may already be sensitive to shame due to damaging life experiences. This book provides a key to understanding the sometimes bewildering and distressing behaviours by those locked in the grip of shame. -- Jill Turner, Editor, Adoption Today

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