Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Can shame be useful?

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Modern American culture is down on shame — it is, we are told, a damaging, useless emotion that we should neither feel ourselves nor make others feel. This is particularly the case when it comes to drug and alcohol addiction. The nation’s drug czar, Michael Botticelli, has led a well-intentioned campaign to eradicate feelings of shame in addicted people by, in part, likening addiction to cancer, a disease outside of people’s control.

But in fact, the experience of shame — the feeling that one has failed to live up to one’s own standards — can play a positive role in recovery from addiction, as well as from other kinds of destructive habits.......

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