Drawing on a series of in-depth interviews illuminating the phenomenology of shame in the general public, Miller systematically explores the various dimensions of the shame experience. The complex relationships between shame and female sexual development, shame and phallic inhibition, and shame and orality are among the topics critically reexamined.
"Susan Miller has culled and expanded on the professional literature by a meticulous explication of shame. Approaching her subject from both phenomenological and psychoanalytic perspectives, she describes rich and varied encounters with this feeling state based on extensive research interviews and a comprehensive review of the literature. Despite its brevity and lucid prose, one should avoid reading this book in one sitting. The work demands and merits considerable reflection. The reader who does so will be rewarded by this major contribution to the understanding of the varieties of feeling states."
- Kathryn J. Zerbe, M.D., Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic
"A useful addition to the growing literature on shame, one which is well worth investigation by the practicing psychotherapist. I believ the Miller has touched most of the relevant bases on shame, and I can agree with many of her conclusions. I particularly endorse her openness and inclusiveness in attempting to integrate instinct theory with object-relations and self-psychological perspective, and in capturing both the defensive and expressive elements of shame as an affective experience."
- Andrew P. Morrison, M.D., International Journal of Psychoanalysis