Pass it down to child

Is Opposite Necessarily Better?

Common sense might say that if we just do the opposite of the shaming we witnessed in childhood it will produce a healthy life, marriage, children, and family.  The flaw in this reasoning is that, without of a person’s heart being regenerated through Christ, the opposite of shame-based is not self-worth, but rather pretentiousness and […]

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Emotionally abusive parent

Unmet Emotional Needs

What If Our Parents Were Wrong? I love the way Robin Grille and Beth Macgregor, in their article entitled “Good” Children – at What Price? help us consider what they call the “secret costs of shame.” Our parents and caregivers’ voices are the first we hear, and in childhood, theirs are the words that echo […]

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The Cleaver family

What Defines A “Good” Kid?

The Price Of Perfection Early in my counseling career I had the opportunity to work with a young woman in her late 20’s.  She sought counseling due to feelings of depression, low self-esteem, and the belief that she was inadequate as a woman, wife, and mother.  She felt like giving up on all of it. […]

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Defective in dictionary

No One Is Born Shamed

Toxic shame is experientially acquired more than it is cognitively learned.  It evolves from an unmet need, into a chronically unmet need, into a false belief, into an altered self-image.  This will develop in uniquely different ways in the lives of individuals who have been exposed to the very same environment.  For some, it may […]

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Multiple generations of family

The Sins Of Our Forefathers

Understanding toxic shame is not the primary objective of this book.  Although it may bring enormous relief, merely ridding our lives of collateral damage caused by toxic shame does not automatically lead to a godly outcome.  We must be even more intentional to fill the vacated spaces in our soul where toxic shame once dwelled, […]

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Toxic Shame Creates False Beliefs

In The Beginning I’m going to make the assumption that most people who are reading this book have at least heard, if not studied, the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, recorded in the first chapter of Genesis at the beginning of the Bible.  They enjoyed a wonderful, intimate connection with […]

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Productive Shame Teaches Finiteness

Long before the internet and MP3s were ever even thought of, “A-side” and “B-side” were terms frequently used to refer to the two sides of a phonograph record.  The A-side usually featured a song that its artist, producer, or record company focused their promotions toward in hopes of it becoming a hit record.  The B-side (or “flipside”) was […]

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We Reproduce Who We Are

Our Shame-Based Identity For several years, I pored over countless books, studies, and teaching videos, to glean nuggets of wisdom that would help me be a more effective husband, father, and citizen.  I met weekly with a small group of like-minded men who were committed to deep, honest vulnerability and accountability. Although I sat under […]

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Identity Dependence

Identity Dependent:  The New Twenty-First Century Codependent While codependent relationships may seem complicated, the root cause – as well as the reason behind its evolution – is actually simpler than one might think.  Put simply, codependency is when a person’s self-worth is dependent on something external to themselves that is not emotionally healthy or beneficial, […]

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Classic Patterns Of Codependence

The “classic” codependency model has been well described by the organization Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc., and is referred to as “Recovery Patterns of Codependence.”  This organization has done an outstanding job of not only providing the important characteristics of codependency but organizing them into typical clusters in which they are most often observed. Denial Patterns Codependents […]

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