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Beverly Engel, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist
with over thirty years of experience working primarily with
survivors of childhood and adult abuse. She is considered one of
the world's leading experts on emotional abuse recovery and is
author of twenty nonfiction books on the subjects of emotional and
sexual abuse recovery, relationship issues, and female
Her books include The Emotionally Abused Woman, The Emotionally Abusive Relationship, and Healing Your Emotional Self. She has appeared on many national television shows, including Oprah and Starting Over, has appeared on CNN, and was nominated for the Books for a Better Life Award for her powerful book, The Power of Apology.
"This book provides an in-depth understanding of the many ways
shame sustains the harm of past abuse, and outlines a powerful
program for using self-compassion to free yourself from these
bonds. Read it and heal."
--Kristin Neff, PhD, author of Self-Compassion
"In this beautifully written book, Beverley Engel offers us a scholarly, yet easily-accessible understanding of the nature of shame and the harm that it does us. She also articulates very clearly how compassion is one of the most important antidotes for shame. After all, it's easy to be compassionate toward people we like--but real compassion is for when things get tough. No one can read this book without coming away with considerable insights into the problematic ways we often treat ourselves and the value of developing compassion--not just as an easy option, but as a courageous way to deal with our inner struggles. I can't recommend this book highly enough; it is well-researched, highly informative, and helpful. A real gift to those struggling with the inner conflicts of self-doubt and criticism."
--Paul Gilbert, PhD, author of The Compassionate Mind
"With uncommon clarity and kindness, the author speaks directly to the invisible heart of childhood abuse--shame. Readers will recognize the authentic voice of a former victim as she gently guides them on the healing path to self-compassion. It is an artful distillation of self-compassion theory, research, and practice for those who have suffered long enough. I can't recommend it highly enough."
--Christopher Germer, PhD, clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion
"Marriage and family therapist Engel (The Emotionally Abused Woman; Healing Your Emotional Self; The Power of Apology) here focuses on resolving the shame issues of abuse victims by proposing strategies for 'self-compassion.' Addressing the reader personally, Engel first analyzes the concept of debilitating shame, differentiating it from guilt, and then describes the effects of shame and the strategies people use to overcome it. The author then skillfully presents and combines a number of therapeutic methods put forth recently regarding the development of mindfulness in clients, which can lead to a more compassionate view of themselves. By combining these mindfulness approaches with the specific focus on the shame reactions of childhood abuse victims, Engel helps the participating reader to develop more awareness of how their past trauma affects their present lives. Calling this process 'The Compassion Cure Program' and using many case study examples and more than fifty exercises, Engel delivers an accessible path for suffering beginners attempting therapeutic mindfulness practice. Readers are shown ways to develop five elements of self-compassion: self-understanding, self-forgiveness, self-acceptance, self-kindness, and self-encouragement."