Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw

healing the shame that binds you

This work, by the late, great John Bradshaw has for many years been a source of much support and growth to those who grew up in “dysfunctional families”, and let’s face it, many families fit this category. I recently revisited this classic book and found it as relevant now as when it was first published in 1988.

Bradshaw is described as a “self-help Guru” but this is to trivialise the impact his approach to helping human distress had on modern psychotherapy and particularly the understanding of the whole topic of addiction. Bradshaw sees the seeds of current distress and dysfunction as rooted in our early experiences in our family of origin. He explores the prevalence and the toxic nature of shame and how, if it is allowed to fester, becomes the source of our addictions, compulsions and self-loathing. Bradshaw offers practical  ways of overcoming this unhealthy and destructive shame.

He shares much with Louise Hay, author of “You can heal your life” and his methods sometimes mirror the “Twelve Steps” programmes used in overcoming addictions. But the most compelling aspect of Bradshaw’s writing is he is talking from the heart and from personal experience. He has walked the walk. His understanding and empathy will resonate with many people who struggle to understand why their lives are not better. Bradshaw offers a very believable “why” and, just as important, he offers a “how” to make things better. He does this with huge compassion and gentleness, qualities he urges the reader to apply to themselves. This is his enduring legacy.


You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue online here.

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