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Guilt, Shame, and Anxiety : Understanding and Overcoming Negative Emotions
by M.D. Peter R. Breggin


Overview - With the first unified theory of guilt, shame, and anxiety, this pioneering psychiatrist and critic of psychiatric diagnoses and drugs examines the causes and effects of psychological and emotional suffering from the perspective of biological evolution, child development, and mature adult decision-making.  Read more...

 
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More About Guilt, Shame, and Anxiety by M.D. Peter R. Breggin
 
 
 
Overview
With the first unified theory of guilt, shame, and anxiety, this pioneering psychiatrist and critic of psychiatric diagnoses and drugs examines the causes and effects of psychological and emotional suffering from the perspective of biological evolution, child development, and mature adult decision-making. Drawing on evolution, neuroscience, and decades of clinical experience, Dr. Breggin analyzes what he calls our negative legacy emotions--the painful emotional heritage that encumbers all human beings. The author marshals evidence that we evolved as the most violent and yet most empathic creatures on Earth. Evolution dealt with this species-threatening conflict between our violence and our close-knit social life by building guilt, shame, and anxiety into our genes. These inhibiting emotions were needed prehistorically to control our self-assertiveness and aggression within intimate family and clan relationships.
Dr. Breggin shows how guilt, shame, and anxiety eventually became self-defeating and demoralizing legacies from our primitive past that no longer play any useful or positive role in mature adult life. He then guides the reader through the Three Steps to Emotional Freedom, starting with how to identify negative legacy emotions and then how to reject their control over us. Finally, he describes how to triumph over and transcend guilt, shame, and anxiety on the way to greater emotional freedom and a more rational, loving, and productive life.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781616141493
  • ISBN-10: 1616141492
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publish Date: December 2014
  • Page Count: 317
  • Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Psychology > Emotions
Books > Self-Help > Mood Disorders - General
Books > Psychology > Psychotherapy - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-10-20
  • Reviewer: Staff

This engrossing self-help guide from psychiatrist Breggin (Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal) relies on a speculative account of how human evolution still affects our emotional well-being today. Breggin’s premise is that many emotional problems stem from the conflict between two central human impulses rooted in evolution: the need for intimacy and a propensity for aggression. He goes on to argue that the three titular emotions served early humans by bridging these two impulses, inhibiting the most incendiary emotions so that familial and societal relationships could survive. By this reasoning, those people with the highest capacity for self-restraining emotions were those who survived and passed on their genes. Breggin thus intends to help readers free themselves of these no longer necessary, negative “legacy” emotions. Criticizing the main run of self-help tomes as inconclusive, Breggin claims that it is indeed possible to willfully oust guilt, shame, and anxiety from our emotional repertoires. He proceeds to show how negative legacy emotions are exacerbated by developments in language and childhood trauma. Breggin conveys empathy and maintains a clear, conversational tone while spelling out his prescriptions for overriding destructive impulses in a variety of real-world situations. (Dec.)

 
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