1st Edition

The Voice of Shame Silence and Connection in Psychotherapy

Edited By Robert G. Lee, Gordon Wheeler Copyright 1997
    426 Pages
    by Gestalt Press

    426 Pages
    by Gestalt Press

    Shame and shame reactions are two of the most delicate and difficult issues of psychotherapy and are among the most likely to defy our usual dynamic, systemic, and behavioral theories. In this groundbreaking new collection, The Voice of Shame, thirteen distinguished authors show how use of the Gestalt model of self and relationship can clarify the dynamics of shame and lead us to fresh approaches and methods in this challenging terrain. This model shows how shame issues become pivotal in therapeutic and other relationships and how healing shame is the key to transformational change.

    The contributors show how new perspectives on shame gained in no particular area transfer and generalize to other areas and settings. In so doing, they transform our fundamental understanding of psychotherapy itself. Grounded in the most recent research on the dynamics and experience of shame, this book is a practical guide for all psychotherapists, psychologists, clinicians, and others interested in self, psychotherapy, and relationship.

    This book contains powerful new insights for the therapist on a full-range of topics from intimacy in couples to fathering to politics to child development to gender issues to negative therapeutic reactions. Filled with anecdotes and case examples as well as practical strategies, The Voice of Shame will transform your ideas about the role of shame in relationships - and about the potential of the Gestalt model to clarify and contextualize other approaches.

    I: Theory
    Shame and the Gestalt Model - Robert G. Lee
    Self and Shame: A New Paradigm for Psychotherapy - Gordon Wheeler
    II: Applications
    Finding Our Sons: A Male-Male Gestalt - Gordon Wheeler and Daniel E. Jones Chronic Illness and Shame: One Person's Story - Kitty Stein and Robert G. Lee
    Homosexuality and Shame: Clinical Meditations on the Cultural Violation of Self -Allan Singer
    Lesbian Identity and Context of Shame - Mary Ann Huckabay
    The Waif and Mr. Hyde: One Couple's Struggle with Shame - Robert G. Lee
    Shame, Guilt, and Codependency: Dana's World - Gordon Wheeler
    A Woman and Her Body: The Cycles of Pride and Shame - Iris E Fodor
    III. Perspectives
    Shame and the Making of a Social Class System - Philip Lichtenberg
    Shame in the Therapeutic Dialogue - Lynne Jacobs
    When Therapists Cause Shame: Rupture and Repair at the Contact Boundary -Stuart N. Simon and Pamela Geib
    Absence and Shame: A Cross-Cultural Encounter - Maryse Mathys
    Shame and Guilt in Gestalt Therapy: Theory and Practice - Gary Yontef
    Epilogue - Gordon Wheeler


    Robert G. Lee, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist in private practice in Cambridge and Newton, MA, specializing in research and treatment of shame issues in individuals, couples, and families.

    Gordon Wheeler, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Cambridge, MA, working with children, adults, and families.  He writes and speaks widely on men's development and gender issues.

    "Outstanding...Lee and Wheeler have created a rich new landscape for Gestalt therapy by bringing together an impressive array of writers, all of whom weave new insights about shame into Gestalt theory.  This book is a must for all psychotherapists."

    - Gershen Kaufman, Ph.D., Michigan State Univeristy, author of Shame: The Power of Caring

    "Lee and Wheeler have finally given the emotion of shame a full-throated voice in psychotherapy.  Empirical evidence has now cumulated supporting the ubiquitous presence of shame as the primary negative emotion in almost all psychopathologies.  But until this work, we have not had as clear a picture of how shame presents clinically and how we need to respond to it therapeutically.  Rich and detailed case studies abound to illuminate the theoretical insights.  Lee and Wheeler have now brought shame fully out of the psychotherapeutic closet."

    - David R. Cook, Ed.D., professor emeritus of marriage and family therapy, University of Wisconsin-Stout

    "With The Voice of Shame, the Gestalt model takes another big step toward fulfilling its promise as a truly relational approach - one that can locate the person in his or her social context without losing sight of individual dynamics and process.  At the same time, the use of the Gestalt lens clarifies the crucial place of shame and related issues in therapeutic process, intimacy, and family dynamics.  Clinicians of every school should welcome this valuable new addition to the literature of shame."

    - Sonia March Nevis, director of the Center for the Study of Intimate Systems, Gestalt Institute of Cleveland