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Hopkins, S. (1995). Shame: The Exposed Self. By Michael Lewis New York: Free Press.. Psychoanal. Psychother., 9:306-309.

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(1995). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 9(3):306-309

Shame: The Exposed Self. By Michael Lewis New York: Free Press.

Review by:
Sharon Hopkins

The author of this wide-ranging book approaches the topic of shame from his perspective as a psychiatrist, therapist and researcher in child development. The book is replete with observational data and examples from all of these fields. He focuses on shame as a normal emotion that is part of social life, and one that indeed has an adaptive function. He offers an account of shame which is rooted in cognitive psychology and, although he makes certain use of psychoanalytic ideas (particularly of Freud's structural model), he rightly notes that classical psychoanalysis and object-relations theory do not offer a well-thought-out or systematic account of shame. While Lewis occasionally draws on the work of American self-psychologists who have written most extensively on shame, his own views do not fall within a psychoanalytic frame of reference.

The author begins by addressing the ubiquity of shame and our everyday encounters with it (interaction with parents, learning situations and marital conflict). He

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