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    It Wasn’t Your Fault

    Freeing Yourself from the Shame of Childhood Abuse with the Power of Self-Compassion

    Shame is one of the most destructive of human emotions. If you’ve suffered childhood emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, you may experience such debilitating shame, self-criticism, and self-doubt that you are left feeling damaged and unlovable. In order to begin healing, it’s important for you to stop blaming yourself for the abuse—and for the ways you have reacted to it (i.e. alcohol and drug abuse, sexual addiction, promiscuity, self-destructiveness or abusive or victim-like behavior toward others).

    In this powerful book therapist and childhood abuse recovery expert Beverly Engel presents a breakthrough therapeutic program based on self-compassion to help you heal your shame and begin seeing yourself in a more realistic and positive way. By following the step-by-step exercises in this book, you’ll learn how to cultivate understanding, forgiveness, acceptance, kindness and encouragement toward yourself. If you are ready to focus on your strengths, your courage, and your extraordinary ability to survive, this book will help you finally replace feelings of shame with new feelings of pride.


    Susan Forward, PhD
    Susan Forward, PhD Author of Toxic Parents and Mothers Who Can’t Love
    What a wonderful book! Beverly Engel has a deep understanding of how abuse and neglect affect children. Once again, she has written a much-needed, breakthrough book for those recovering from abuse. This time, she presents a profoundly powerful program to help survivors overcome one of the most devastating effects of abuse—debilitating shame. In it she teaches survivors how to practice self-compassion—an amazing healing tool. I highly recommend this book to anyone who was abused or neglected in childhood or adulthood. Susan Forward, PhD, author of Toxic Parents and Mothers Who Can’t Love
    Christopher Germer, PHD
    Christopher Germer, PHD Clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion.
    With uncommon clarity and kindness, the author speaks directly to the invisible heart of childhood abuse—shame. Readers will recognize the authentic voice of a former victim as she gently guides them on the healing path to self-compassion. It is an artful distillation of self-compassion theory, research, and practice for those who have suffered long enough. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
    Kristin Neff, PhD
    Kristin Neff, PhD Associate professor of human development at University of Texas at Austin and author of Self-Compassion.
    This book provides an in-depth understanding of the many ways shame sustains the harm of past abuse, and outlines a powerful program for using self-compassion to free yourself from these bonds. Read it and heal.
    Paul Gilbert, PhD
    Paul Gilbert, PhD Author of The Compassionate Mind and professor at the University of Derby in the United Kingdom and director of the mental health research unit at Derbyshire Mental Health Trust.
    In this beautifully written book, Beverly Engel offers us a scholarly, yet easily-accessible understanding of the nature of shame and the harm that it does us. She also articulates very clearly how compassion is one of the most important antidotes to shame. After all, it’s easy to be compassionate toward people we like—but real compassion is for when things get tough. No one can read this book without coming away with considerable insights into the problematic ways we often treat ourselves and the value of developing compassion—not just as an easy option, but as a courageous way to deal with our inner struggles. I can’t recommend this book highly enough; it is well-researched, highly informative, and helpful. A real gift to those struggling with the inner conflicts of self-doubt and criticism.