04 October 2015

Book Review: Soul of Shame

My friend Curt Thompson's sophomore release, The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves (Zondervan, 2015) does not disappoint. He is a Christian psychiatrist deeply influenced by the field of interpersonal neurobiology and particularly the work of Dan Siegel.

My initial exposure to Curt was when I was asked to be a respondent to his first book, Anatomy of the Soul. I read his book with an analytic eye, prepared to offer my critique. Prior to our talk, though, I was blessed to have a three hour dinner with him and another friend. Although I was still left with questions about his ideas, I felt a connection with the man. I have often joked that he is the only person I have ever presented at a conference with whom I hugged when we parted. I have since read his book four times.

Quite some time ago, he told me that he was working on a book on shame and I could not wait. In recent years, I have done quite a bit of reading about shame including Ed Welch's fine book Shame Interrupted as well as the works of Brene Brown. These works have been professional rewarding and personally helpful.

The Soul of Shame is a particular gift to me, however. As a Christian, a neuropsychologist, and someone interested in shame, this book provides a unique intersection. He weaves his personal and professional experiences together with his discussions of vulnerability and developing an integrated mind, particularly in the context of a body of believers. Though written by a psychiatrist specializing in interpersonal neurobiology, it is accessible, interesting, and wise. 

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