Shame and Anger in Psychotherapy

Author(s) : Leslie S. Greenberg

Shame and Anger in Psychotherapy

Book Details

  • Publisher : American Psychological Association
  • Published : February 2024
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 318
  • Category :
    Individual Psychotherapy
  • Category 2 :
    Clinical Psychology
  • Catalogue No : 97744
  • ISBN 13 : 9781433838965
  • ISBN 10 : 1433838966
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This book examines shame and anger, their relationship with one another, and how mental health providers can work with each of them to produce therapeutic change.

Although very different emotions, shame and anger are highly related in therapy. Because shame and anger have both adaptive and maladaptive forms, intervention differs depending on what type of shame or anger is being experienced and in what sequence they occur. Therapists need to consider the type of shame or anger they are dealing with and how the two emotions interact before they can make process diagnoses of what is occurring at different moments in a session.

This book emphasizes the benefits of accessing and experiencing shame and anger viscerally to promote emotion change in therapy. It teaches therapists how to help clients access their shame or anger in a safe therapeutic setting to make this emotion amenable to transformation, and create new narratives based on the transformed feelings.

Reviews and Endorsements

As a bona fide expert on emotions, Greenberg’s exposition of shame and anger is surely destined to be an enduring contribution to the field. This deeply integrative work incorporates sources ranging from Darwin, the Buddha, and Schopenhauer, to Spinoza, attachment researchers, and the most cutting-edge emotion-focused empirical work. The number of subtle distinctions that many readers will likely be unaware of will make this book a great source of learning—guiding the reader through emotion-focused therapy in an explicit, step-by-step fashion, with many clear, concrete, and rich transcripts. It is a true gift to the field to have such a seasoned clinician and scholar delve so deeply into two emotions that are so central to the work of depth-oriented psychotherapy.
Andre Marquis, PhD, Associate Professor, Counseling & Human Development, Warner School of Education, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

This is a treasure trove of a book written by one of the foremost experts on the role of emotion in psychotherapy. Readers will gain a richly detailed understanding of how both anger and shame function, as well as of clients’ subjective experience of them. The book presents concrete and practical research-based suggestions for practice. These are illustrated by extensive and useful clinical examples. This is a book for practicing therapists, theorists of psychotherapy, researchers, and students.
Arthur C. Bohart, PhD, Counseling Psychology Department, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA; Professor Emeritus, California State University, Dominguez Hills

Ask therapists about their clients’ sadness or anxiety and many of them will tell you, “I got that.” The author skillfully describes when and how to help regulate such toxic and pervasive effects of shame and anger. And as in his previous books, Greenberg scores at the theoretical, practical, and empirical levels. This book is another majestic hat trick from a clinical researcher extraordinaire.
Louis G. Castonguay, PhD, Pennsylvania State University, University Park; Former President of the Society for Psychotherapy Research

In this very well-written volume, Leslie Greenberg, who is a world expert on the study of emotion and a pioneer of emotion-focused psychotherapy, brings his sophisticated theoretical and clinical acumen to bear on two central affective states—shame and anger. He elucidates both the obvious and subtle interactions between these emotions—for example, how one can mask the other—thereby easing the clinician’s recognition of and ability to work with these emotions. The fascinating and informative cases bring to life the various ways in which such feelings manifest themselves in therapy, and provide an unusually helpful guide for clinicians to enhance any brand of therapy they practice. Highly recommended!
Stanley B. Messer, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Former Dean of the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Emotion: Its Nature and Function
3. Shame in Psychotherapy
4. Helping Clients Arrive at Shame: Relational Validation and Accessing
5. Regulating Shame
6. Accessing and Transforming Shame
7. Case Examples
8. The Many Shades of Anger
9. Activating Interrupted Anger
10. A Model of the Resolution of Interrupted Anger and its Validation
11. Working with Non-Adaptive Anger
12. Case Example
13. Conclusion: Anger and Shame, for Better or for Worse

About the Author(s)

Leslie S. Greenberg, PhD, is Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of psychology at York University in Toronto, Canada and the primary developer of emotion-focused therapy. He has authored many books, the most recent being Changing Emotion with Emotion (2021). He has received the Distinguished Research Career Award of the International Society for Psychotherapy Research, as well as the Distinguished Professional Contribution to Applied Research from the American Psychology Association. Dr. Greenberg has also received the Canadian Psychological Association Professional Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Profession. He is a past president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research. Although retired, Dr. Greenberg is still currently training and supervising people internationally in emotion-focused approaches.

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