Freeing Yourself from the Shame of Childhood Abuse

It Wasn’t Your Fault: Freeing Yourself from the Shame of Childhood Abuse with the Power of Self-Compassion, by Beverly Engel, LMFT (2015).

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 guidetherapist 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.

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Brené Brown: Why Your Critics Aren’t The Ones Who Count

Brené Brown: Why Your Critics Aren’t The Ones Who Count


Published on Dec 4, 2013

About this presentation

There is nothing more frightening than the moment we expose our ideas to the world. Author and vulnerability researcher Brené Brown shows us how to deal with the critics and our own self-doubt by refusing to “armor up” and shut ourselves off. “Not caring what people think,” she says, “is its own kind of hustle.”

Instead we must “reserve a seat” for the critics and our own self-doubt. “Tell them, I see you, I hear you, but I’m going to do this anyway.”

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2:14 “Design is a function of connection. Nothing is more then vulnerable then creativity. What is art if it is not love?”
3:11 Perspiration from fear
6:48 Theodore Roosevelt quote/passage that changed my life: “It’s not the critic who counts…”
7:39 Everything i know about vulnerability: it is not about winning or losing, it’s about showing up and being seen
7:53 “This is who I want to be I want to create. I want to make thing that didn’t exist before touched them.”
8:14 One guarantee: you will get you ass kicked
8:39 “If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m no interested in your opinion”
9:41 This is where we sweat
10:17 Fear, self doubt, comparison, anxiety
11:06 When you armor up, you shut yourself off from everything that you do an love
11:40 Without vulnerability you cannot create
12:41 Know your critics are there, know what they’re going to say
12:57 Shame, scarcity and comparison
15:20 “When we stop caring what people thing we lose our capacity for connection. When we become defined by what people thing we lose our capacity to be vulnerable.”
16:38 If you’re going to spend your life in the ring/showing up, you’re going to need: 1) Clarity of values
17:18 2) Have person in your life thats going to pick you up
18:14 “People who have the most courage and vulnerability are the ones who are very clear about who the critics are and reserve seats for them.”
19:32 One of these seats needs to be reserved for you

About Brené Brown

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past twelve years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Her groundbreaking research has been featured on PBS, NPR, CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

Brené is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the way we Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Gotham, 2012). In Daring Greatly Brené dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage. Fast Company Magazine recently named Daring Greatly one of the best business books of 2012. Brené’s 2010 TEDx Houston talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the top ten most viewed TED talks on, with over 6 million viewers.

Brené is also the author of The Gifts of Imperfection (2010), I Thought It Was Just Me (2007), and Connections (2009). She lives in Houston with her husband, Steve, and their two children, Ellen and Charlie.

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Living Brave with Brene Brown and Oprah Winfrey

Living Brave with Brene Brown and Oprah Winfrey


Published on November 23, 2015

Video from GCSW Alum and Professor, Brene Brown. See the full episode at:…

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The Power of Vulnerability | Brené Brown

The Power of Vulnerability | Brené Brown


Uploaded on Jan 3, 2011 Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Sense” wearable tech, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on, at Watch a highlight reel of the Top 10 TEDTalks at

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Shame and Anger: The Criticism Connection

Shame and Anger: The Criticism Connection, by Brock Hansen, LCSW (2012)

Our powerful reactions to receiving criticism are linked to the innate emotions of shame and anger. Evolved for survival in primitive circumstances, these sometimes overwhelming reactions do not always serve us well in civilized situations. Extreme reactions to real or perceived criticism can lead to serious psychological illnesses such as depression, addiction and eating disorders. This book gives the reader an understanding of the evolutionary function of shame and anger and the destructive ways in which they can manifest themselves in criticism situations. To help with this problem, the author describes techniques as old as yoga and as new as neurofeedback for quieting powerful emotions and becoming more confident in the face of criticism. These techniques can be used by adults and taught to children to help avoid many of the painful and destructive emotional experiences that shape our self-image and often set the stage for depression and other emotional disorders.

The Survivor’s Guide to Sex

The Survivor’s Guide to Sex: How to Have an Empowered Sex Life After Child Sexual Abuse, by Staci Haines (1999)

Based on the author’s extensive training and experience in working with abuse survivors, The Survivor’s Guide to Sex offers an affirming, sex-positive approach to recovery from incest and rape. While most books on the topic broach sexuality only to reassure women that it is alright to say “no” to unwanted sex, this one encourages women to learn how to say “yes” to their own desires and on their own terms.

Points of discussion include problems common to women survivors. Haines teaches survivors to embrace their own sexual choices and preferences, learn about their own sexual response cycles, and heal through masturbation, sexual fantasy, and play. The Survivor’s Guide to Sex includes resources, bibliography, and an index.