William Levin is a clinical psychologist who received his Ph.D. from the Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY. Upon completion of his training, Dr. Levin and his wife settled in the Chicago area, where they have since lived and worked and raised their three children. Dr. Levin has been in full-time private practice since 1990. He works psychotherapeutically with children, adolescents and adults, individuals, couples and families. He consults to the staffs of local special education departments and schools.
Early in his career, Dr. Levin noticed that all of his clients had significant feelings of shame, and that these shamed feelings were at the base of whatever difficulties led them to seek therapeutic help. He also noticed that it wasn’t just his clients who had such foundational shame, but seemingly everyone. He began to wonder if this was a natural and necessary state of affairs, or if, as he suspected, it was unnatural and unecessary and therefore avoidable. This discussion presents the results of exploring those questions.
We mistrust our human nature, and that mistrust is both shamed and fearful. This leads us to relate to our children in shaming and frightening ways, which causes us to grow up with the symptoms of foundational shame and fear. We mistake these symptoms for our nature itself, erroneously confirming our mistrust. This book describes how we can escape this vicious cycle.