I want to thank Gershan Kaufman for his ground-breaking work on shame. Kaufman's book
has been my number one resource in naming the demon I call toxic shame. My book would not be possible without his pioneering efforts. I'm also indebted to the anonymous writer of the Hazeldon publication entitled
for my understanding of healthy shame as that which signals our essential human limitation and, of the more than human/less than human polarity of toxic shame. Several other people have been important to me in understanding the dynamics of shame. They are Sheldon Kopp, Marilyn Mason, Merl Fossum and Terry Kellogg. Kip Flock, my friend and co-training therapist in Los Angeles has been extremely helpful in my developing the concepts in this book. Kip and I have spent countless hours discussing and clarifying the concept of shame. I want to thank my colleagues at the Center for Recovering Families in Houston (especially Mary Bell) for their continued support. I thank John Daugherty, George Pletcher, and Rev. Mike Falls, my best friends, for sharing their pain and vulnerability with me. Their non-shaming acceptance has allowed me to share my toxic shame with them. Together we've reduced the power of toxic shame in our lives. Thanks to my publishers, Peter Vegso and Gary Seidler, for their continued commitment and total support of my work. I'm grateful to Marie Stilkind for her painstaking editing and for encouraging me to trust my own style, and to the production staff at Health Communications. My publicist Diane Glynn and her able associate Jodee Blanco, have gone far beyond the call of duty in promoting my work. This book would not have been possible without the incredible patience of Barbara Evans, who diligently typed and retyped my manuscript (at all hours of the day and night). Barbara's grasp of this material made her far more than a typist for me. And lest I forget (which I too often do) my greatest gratitude goes to my Higher Power, whose Grace has saved me from my toxic shame.