It Wasn't Your Fault: Freeing Yourself from the Shame of Childhood Abuse with the Power of Self-Compassion

It Wasn't Your Fault: Freeing Yourself from the Shame of Childhood Abuse with the Power of Self-Compassion

by Beverly Engel LMFT


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Shame is one of the most destructive of human emotions. If you suffered childhood physical or sexual abuse, you may experience such intense feelings of shame that it almost seems to define you as a person. In order to begin healing, it’s important for you to know that it wasn’t your fault.

In this gentle guide, therapist and childhood abuse expert Beverly Engel presents a mindfulness and compassion-based therapeutic approach to help you overcome the debilitating shame that keeps you tied to the past. By following the step-by-step exercises in this book, you’ll gain a greater understanding of the root cause of your shame. And by cultivating compassion toward yourself, you will begin to heal and move past your painful experiences.

Recent studies show that trauma survivors, particularly those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from abuse, can greatly benefit from incorporating elements of self-compassion into their treatment. Furthermore, the practice of self-compassion has been shown to decrease PTSD symptoms, including, self-criticism, thought suppression, and rumination.

This book is based on the author’s powerful and effective Compassion Cure program. With this book, you will develop the skills needed to finally put a stop the crippling self-blame that keeps you from moving on and being happy. You’ll learn to focus on your strengths, your courage, and your extraordinary ability to survive. Most of all, you’ll learn to replace shame with its counter emotion—pride.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626250994
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
Publication date: 01/02/2015
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 130,874
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

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 empowerment. 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.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 1

Part I The Shame/Compassion Connection

1 How and Why Child Abuse Creates Shame 17

2 Why Shame Is So Debilitating 33

3 How Compassion Can Heal the Shame of Childhood Abuse 51

Part II The Compassion Cure Program

4 The Obstacles to Self-Compassion 67

5 Receiving Compassion from Others 91

6 Allowing Yourself to Feel Your Pain 107

Part III Practicing the Five Aspects of Self-Compassion

7 Self-Understanding 133

8 Self-Forgiveness 159

9 Self-Acceptance 185

10 Self-Kindness 207

11 Self-Encouragement 227

Conclusion 249

Afterword 251

References 253


Beverly Engel lives in Morro Bay, CA.

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It Wasn't Your Fault: Freeing Yourself from the Shame of Childhood Abuse with the Power of Self-Compassion 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is life-changing. Ms. Engel is a survivor of childhood abuse and a therapist. She really knows her stuff. She has an amazing ability to speak to survivors of different kinds of abuse without making others uncomfortable. She gently helps you confront the shame of being abused by someone who was supposed to love you and care for you. The book really makes sense. I kept thinking, "How did she get inside my head?" Apparently there are a lot of people running around with issues like mine, which should be obvious but never ocurred to me before, which is validating, and a huge relief. Then, after blowing your mind by telling you she knows all about you and you aren't alone, she goes on to tell you how to deal those feelings. And it works! I've read a lot of self help books and never got anywhere near this kind of benefit from them. If you suffered abuse in childhood, whether it was verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual, get this book. You don't have to hate yourself, feel inadequate, or beat yourself up any more. Life can be a lot better.