A nationally recognized author and codependency expert examines the roots of shame and its connection with codependent relationships. Learn how to heal from their destructive hold by implementing eight steps that will empower the real you, and lead to healthier relationships.
Shame: the torment you feel when you’re exposed, humiliated, or rejected; the feeling of not being good enough. It’s a deeply painful and universal emotion, yet is not frequently discussed. For some, shame lurks in the unconscious, undermining self-esteem, destroying confidence, and leading to codependency. These codependent relationships—where we overlook our own needs and desires as we try to care for, protect, or please another—often cover up abuse, addiction, or other harmful behaviors. Shame and codependency feed off one another, making us feel stuck, never able to let go, move on, and become the true self we were meant to be.
In Conquering Shame and Codependency, Darlene Lancer sheds new light on shame: how codependents’ feelings and beliefs about shame affect their identity, their behavior, and how shame can corrode relationships, destroying trust and love. She then provides eight steps to heal from shame, learn to love yourself, and develop healthy relationships.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Codependency Book Out There! November 28, 2016, By Madcat1776
One of the best books on codependency out there, in my opinion. If you are seeking understanding about codependency, or understanding yourself or a loved one, this book has everything you need. Highly recommended!
5.0 out of 5 stars That was the best Kindle purchase I’ve ever made July 21, 2016 By Amazon Customer
It’s like the author looked into my soul and wrote a book about me. I just finished chapter 2 and have already written 27 pages of notes…This book is giving me a bit of hope as I can relate to every single word it says. I had no idea people experienced what I experience daily. It’s a sense of comfort that I can’t describe, realizing that I’m not crazy or a different breed of human. Tears are streaming down my face because I can’t thank the author enough for this “gift” she has given me – validation for everything I have been feeling all my 38 years of life.
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT, January 15, 2015 By Gina
This book is a life changer!! It is spot on!! I have read other books on codependency, but I have to say this is one of the best. Love Love Love it!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 22, 2015 By Janine Eganon
Top notch reading. The most helpful book I have read on the subject of Codependency. Ms Lancer’s writing style is clear and concise and her book is full of insights into the workings of the codependent mind. It has given me answers to questions I have had for most of my life and, in so doing, has brought about a lot of positive changes for me. I feel validated and understood and overwhelmingly relieved to learn that I’m not crazy after all. That there is rhyme and reason to the dark labyrinth of my mind. Ms Lancer’s book shines a light on the path towards freeing ourselves from the dark places in our minds and all those self-defeating behaviors that trip us up and lead us back into the labyrinth of shame. I do not exaggerate when I say that this one book has taught me more about myself … who I am and why … and the ways in which shame has affected every aspect of my life than anything else I have read. It has given me hope and inspired a better future for myself. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who is genuinely interested in becoming the best version of yourself that you can be.
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and practical ways to overcome shame, October 12, 2014 by Steve Heller
Great book. I’ve read Brene Brown’s work, which is research based and good and Darlene Lancers’ book offers so much more insight and practical guidance mined from her years of experience as a therapist. If you want to have healthier relationships and live a happier life, this book is a great tool!
5.0 out of 5 stars A Life Changing Liberating Book
April 21, 2015 By Chartered Psychologist (England)
I recently found this brilliant book by Darlene Lancer and quickly realized it is probably the best ‘self-help’ book I have ever read, recommended or used (over a period of 40 years as a Psychologist). Both content and process are spot on and it is also a very readable and useful book.This is a life changing book which everyone should read. This is likely to be the best money you have ever spent.
5.0 out of 5 stars I just started reading Conquering Shame and Codependency, July 31, 2014 by TG
I just started reading Conquering Shame and Codependency and I already feel so relieved. The explanation of the shame piece was a real epiphany! I’ve been on a path of recovery for the past 20+ years but this book has the missing information that I have been looking for. Thank you for writing it.
5.0 out of 5 stars At last a book about being truly human August 11, 2015, By Anonymous
I have found that since reading this book that it has finally cast a spotlight on the quagmire of my deepest beliefs about myself and how I can truly start to honor myself and challenge these crippling beliefs. I’ve found that I am much more open to my therapy sessions and I actually feel a sense of hope. I can not recommend this book highly enough. Each page is filled with wisdom. I feel armed to really Have the knowledge and tools to start to live my life from a much more healthier place. Some one give this lady a Nobel piece prize because I can sense the inner conflict in my life beginning to subside. Thank you so much Ms. Lancer
5.0 out of 5 stars From A Codependent Author and Fan, July 24, 2014 By Lisa A. Romano
As Darlene breaks the concepts down, the reader begins to soften its hate towards the innocent Self–and in so doing, Darlene is able to send her healing intent directly to the heart of her reader right where the healing journey must begin.
GOOD JOB DARLENE!!!! Namaste…
Codependency for Dummies is the most comprehensive book on the topic to date. It describes the history, symptoms, causes, and relationship dynamics of codependency and provides self-assessment questionnaires. The majority of the book is devoted to healing and lays out a clear plan for recovery with exercises, practical advice, and helpful daily reminders to help you know, honor, protect, and express yourself. It clarifies deep psychological dynamics that underlie codependency, yet is written in a conversational style that’s easily understandable by everyone. You will learn:
- How to raise your self-esteem
- The difference between care-giving and codependent care-taking
- The difference between healthy and dysfunctional families
- How to set boundaries
- How to separate responsibility for yourself and for others
- How to overcome guilt and resentment
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow August 21, 2015, By Margaret Connor
Just simply the most eye opening, amazing source of self help/knowledge I’ve ever encountered. It is my new best friend.
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive book on codependency June 29, 2016, By Sal
Amazing book. This is the definitive book on codependency. Darlene Lancer is so generous with her dedication to helping people get over personal issues. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to make their relationships stronger, deeper, more intimate, more fun, and last longer.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for codependents February 2, 2016, By Angie Amazon Addict
Love this book!! I literally bought 10 to hand out to friends/family!
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Changed My Life, November 29, 2015, By Amberla Tepeon
For me, this is the self help book to end them all. This book has truly changed my life. I bought one for my sister and one for my mother. Codependent No More is good too but I like this one better.
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on Codependency I have read, and I have read them all. Highly recommend it, August 3, 2014, By Ginni Schmidt
Best book on Codependency I have read and trust me I have read them all. Great source of information and solution. I highly recommend it to anyone suffering from this debilitating behavior.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book on all accounts, December 4, 2014 By Mark Walker
Amazing book on all accounts. Just finished and already the changes to all aspects of my life are truly dramatic, and that’s just by merely being aware of what’s really been going on over the years, and then taking a few baby steps in the right direction. For those of you who have spent the years reading one self-help book after another and never really finding lasting solutions, I’d recommend you give this book a go as you just might be surprised that it applies to you like no other.
5.0 out of 5 stars Total blessing, August 26, 2013 By KatyManna
Darlene is so in depth with her explanations and yet, she makes it so easy to understand and apply to my own life. It speaks to me so clearly. This is my favorite book on codependency recovery without question.
4.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener of a book!, 22 May 2013 By Beverley Cosgrove –
This is a superb ‘must read’ for anyone that thinks they may be a codependent, for anyone who does or has lived with an alcoholic and for those wanting to escape damaging patterns of behavior. This book, which I read in one sitting and is now underlined and highlighted to an inch of its life, has made me a stronger person, who can now take the first steps in recovering from codependency. Highly recommended!
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Wonderful, September 18, 2013 By Andrew
Just finished your Codependency For Dummies. It was brilliant! Your work is an absolute godsend. As if it was written for me! Thank you so much for your work, it is truly transformative. Every day I thank you for your insight and capacity to communicate.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Book on Codependency! 11 August 2016 By John
Terrific book on codependency. I will say this is the best book book that I have read on the subject. The author is very sincere and gives an incredible insight into codependency and great ideas on how to overcome it. Thank you Darlene Lancer for this gift that will help many.
10 STEPS TO SELF-ESTEEM: The Ultimate Guide to Stop Self-Criticism
From 27 years of experience working to empower individuals, Darlene Lancer has written the ultimate guide to overcoming self-criticism – the single biggest destroyer of self-esteem. 10 Steps to Self-Esteem is both comprehensive and concise, outlined in an easy form to remember, both 1-10 and A-J. This 27-page ebook packs powerful, practical suggestions and self-esteem building exercises in each step that you can do on your own. It will help you build self-awareness, discipline your mind, change your beliefs, develop self-forgiveness and self-acceptance, and improve your happiness.
If you prefer to listen to a webinar, How to Raise Your Self Esteem, or would like an audio-visual companion to the ebook that also covers the cause and symptoms of high and low self-esteem for self-assessment, with actionable steps you can apply, buy the webinar, as well HOW TO RAISE YOUR SELF-ESTEEM
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise, clear, effective June 30, 2016 By Amazon Customer
I’ve done a ton of self help reading and this book packs a lot of the essentials for building self esteem without making you read hundreds of pages. I’d heavily recommend getting two of her other books I’ve read Codependency For Dummies and Conquering Shame and Codependency.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have Easy Guide, September 14, By Traveler (Cody, WY USA) –
This is the absolute best guide I’ve read to deal with self-criticism. No wading through lots of text that doesn’t solve the problem, great exercises that really work, something for every type of individual depending upon how you best learn tools and techniques. They’re fun and use all aspects of your mind. Lancer uses writing, voice, drawing, acting; some are analytical, and others use imagery. The book is laid it out numerically and alphabetically, so that it’s easy to remember. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to raise their self-esteem.
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is sheer brilliance Aug. 30, 2014, by da2014
This book is sheer brilliance. I am struggling with accepting love from others, and this book is exactly what I was looking for. The ideas for identifying and changing self-talk are unique and powerful. Be prepared for positive changes!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Step by step Improve your Self-Esteem, Highly recommended August 15, 2016 By Perry
Follow step by step to Improve your Self Esteem. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 20, 2016 By Vernon Banks
5.0 out of 5 stars Effective insights, reminders, and a practical path to self-esteem August 6, 2014 By a customer
I highly recommend this book. Potential benefits include healthier relationships, success in business, and improved emotional health. It goes without saying that following Darlene Lancer’s Ten Steps to Self-Esteem will increase self-esteem. It offers a minimum of theory and explanation with a maximum of practical steps. For me, however, the book’s value went beyond that.
The idea of treating a self-critic as another person, turning an adversary into a friend and coach, was a new idea for me. So was recognizing a self critic as potentially a well-intentioned entity that needed understanding and compassion. I think the most important aspect of Lancer’s advice for dealing with a self-critic is to evaluate the critic’s criticism. What I learned from Lancer is that rhymes “integrate the brain’s right and left hemispheres to enhance holistic brain function.” I also learned that adding memory can “stimulate emotion and evoke alpha and theta non-ordinary brain waves that increase memory and learning.” Thanks to the author for the insights, reminders, and a practical path to self-esteem.
Do you say what you think, express how you feel, and ask for what you want? How you speak immediately conveys your self-esteem. Whether in parenting, in a relationship, or in business, assertive communication enhances your effectiveness, confidence, and personal and professional success. Conflict is a big source of stress. You’ll learn new techniques for standing up to abuse and managing conflict and communication problems. Being assertive and setting boundaries and limits actually reduce stress and build self-esteem, while benefiting your career, relationships, and sense of well-being.
How to Speak Your Mind is an assertiveness training handbook that explains what it means to be assertive and how to achieve it. It details all of the elements of assertive and nonverbal communication. The steps to become assertive are laid out, as well as common mistakes to avoid. Once you learn assertiveness, you’re ready to set boundaries with people. You’ll understand the meaning of limits and how to determine your bottom line. You’ll be able to verbalize your boundaries and know the secret to making them effective.
5.0 out of 5 stars Boundaries August 9, 2016 By Soupysayles
I have never read a better book about boundaries. I learned how boundaries was associated with assertiveness & better self esteem & self love.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Quick “Must Read” April 12, 2013 By Dan Perdue
A very clear and easy to understand guide to understanding how to communicate and set boundaries for yourself. This short read skips the fluff of many other self help books and gets to the point. This is a must read guide for anyone who has struggled with authentic communication or is working through a history of codependency. Follow the manageable steps to being assertive with your communication and setting limits on how others treat you. Eye opening.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, January 4, 2016 By MidwestMomon
She’s really good. The advice here was something I could not only relate to, but actually use in daily life at work and get results. It was so good I bought more of her work.
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful Content on Becoming Assertive, August 24, 2013 By Ivan
I purchased this book to gain a better understanding of being assertive, and the price and reviews were exactly what I was seeking. In the past, I was an aggressive communicator, but in an effort to become a better person (kaizen) I vowed to change. However, without a planned approach … I’ve recently become passive-aggressive which has affected the way I communicate, the author is on target with her results to situations. I believe the material in this book will help me create a framework for being a more assertive communicator. Good weekend read.
Codependency Recovery Daily Reflections is a codependency daily reader for anyone in addiction recovery or healing from codependency, abuse, or low self-esteem. It’s jam-packed with valuable information, daily reminders, and links to quality articles that will keep your personal transformation on track as you build self-esteem and practice the suggested recovery tools. Inspirational quotes, self-help exercises, and probing insights that heighten self-awareness are provided to further your growth.
Codependency Recovery contains the best posts from three years of Facebook’s CodependencyRecovery page shared by thousands of Facebook fans. Followers from world over attest that reading these posts have opened their eyes and helped them turn their lives around to recover from codependency. The 365 entries contain words and images hand-crafted by codependency and relationship expert Darlene Lancer.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, October 27, 2014 By Amazon Customer
Very encouraging daily reflections.
The Twelve Steps of Twelve-Step programs can be used to attain spiritual transformation and unshackle the true self from the constraints of the ego. Incorporating concepts of Carl Jung, Spiritual Transformation in the Twelve Steps is a workbook that provides exercises and an in-depth, psycho-spiritual analysis of how each step is designed to be practiced to achieve this spiritual awakening whether or not you believe in God. It describes a powerful process of personal transformation anyone can use, but is particularly oriented to those in addiction and codependency recovery.
The Twelve Steps are based upon universal principles, which provide an effective model for living. “Working the steps” not only frees you of addiction, but also a holds the promise of a personality transformation, attested to by thousands of members of Twelve-Step programs. Renowned psychiatrist Carl Jung had a major influence on the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson. Jung believed that each person has a personal journey of transformation to enable expression of his or her innate potential. Jung felt that this transformation involved replacing the ego with the larger Self as the driving force of one’s life and that spirit replacing spirits could cure alcoholism.
5.0 out of 5 stars Don’t Live Without It August 29, 2016 By Robbie
Very well presented, with all of the reasons behind the steps. Well worth having as your resource manual.
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Anyone Wanting Guidance and Understanding of the Twelve Steps, December 11, 2014 By Lisa Federiksen
Darlene Lancer has done a beautiful job of making the power and wisdom of the Twelve Steps accessible, whether you’ve never tried a Twelve Step program or have worked the Steps previously. She shares the fascinating, rich history of the influences on and development of the Steps and offers suggestions for new ways of interpreting and implementing, helpful questions to ponder and exercises and writing prompts that will surely help readers work the Steps. For as Darlene so eloquently explains, “In working the steps, you become teachable and begin to see yourself realistically — the good and bad, strong and weak, and in true relationship to others.” ~Lisa Frederiksen, Author of a “Quick Guide to Addiction Recovery: What Helps, What Doesn’t” and “If You Loved Me, You’d Stop!”
5.0 out of 5 stars An Indispensable Guide June 16, 2015, By ConstantReaderNYC
I first discovered Lancer’s writings through my work writing about addiction and treatment. Her easily accessible writing style and thorough coverage of codependency and drug addiction, as well as other theories in Psychology has made her books and many articles a go-to source of information for my work. After reading Spiritual Transformation in the 12 Steps I am eager to apply the teachings to my own life as well as rely on this book as a research reference.
I appreciate how throughout the book Lancer incorporates Jungian theory, which has the effect of deepening reader understanding of the foundation of each of the 12 steps. But make no mistake this book succeeds in being easily readable and relatable. Lancer takes us through each of the 12 steps with attention on drug addiction and the codependent relationships that often surround it. One of the book’s greatest achievements is that it includes help for codependent individuals page after page. The book is practical to the core. At the end of each step Lancer provides a list of questions, each of which is a great jumping off point for greater self-inquiry and discovery. Among the many pieces of advice, making amends to oneself has great personal resonance. As the book is a veritable treasure trove of healthy recommendations, there is a lot in here for everyone.
Yet another achievement of the book is that it also fits within the spiritual philosophy of Easterners such as Swami Vivekananda (referred to in Step 2) and the teachings of western spiritual teachers such as Eckhart Tolle (referenced in different steps). As an avid reader of spirituality based books (esp. Ram Dass, Swami Yogananda, and Gangaji), this aspect of Lancer’s book is particularly appealing to me.
Lastly, one of books greatest surprises further deepened my trust in Lancer. I learned that she understands the 12 steps not only as a clinician, but because she has worked the 12 steps in her work with Al-Anon. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning a method of personal transformation. Even seasoned 12 steppers can benefit from this book. Reading it was itself an act of purification. 5 out of 5 stars.
Guilt can be an unrelenting source of pain, keeping us stuck in the past and preventing us from being present and loving ourselves and others. Guilt may simmer in our unconscious, or we may condemn ourselves–not once, but over and over. Either way, toxic guilt is insidious and destructive and can sabotage our goals and relationships. It lowers our self-esteem and makes us easy targets for blame and manipulation. Unresolved guilt can cause anger and resentment, not only at ourselves, but also toward others. On the other hand, recovery from guilt encourages us to get along with others, improve ourselves, and build self-esteem. Even if what we did was wrong, we can still find self-forgiveness. Freedom from Guilt and Blame provides a step-by-step workbook for healing guilt and finding self-forgiveness and self-compassion.
Self-forgiveness is self-essential to self-worth. Yet, for many of us, self-acceptance remains elusive due to toxic guilt – sometimes for a lifetime. Freedom from Guilt and Blame is designed to free you from guilt’s grip. It will help you sort out healthy from toxic guilt and distinguish it from other emotions, such as shame and regret. You’re guided to review and assess your values, motives, responsibilities, actions, and beliefs, and understand the negative impact of perfectionism and codependency. To overcome guilt, three methods are set forth in detail: cognitive, self-compassion, and spiritual. Applying these specific self-healing techniques and exercises will generate self-acceptance and self-forgiveness.
Listen to an interview about the book.
Book Review of Freedom from Guilt and Blame by Patricia Hamilton at Patricia’s Wisdom:
“Lots of gems are found in this self-help text and they are well explained and defined. If I were still working as a counselor, I would have a number of copies of this book to share with clients and students.
“Lancer, a lawyer turned Family Therapist has a way with words that is helpful and easy to understand. Her definitions of guilt, blame, shame, anger and self-esteem are worth the price of ownership. Then she takes her precise definitions and uses anecdotal evidence to show their outcome and manifestations. One does not need to guess how guilt plays out in their own relationships and actions because of her precise explanations.
“The definitions and examples are accompanied by exercises that allow the reader to fully participate in their own understanding and in changing behaviors that are not leading to healthy outcomes. The exercises on self-forgiveness are most helpful in removing sticking points and letting go.
“Young people would learn and understand FREEDOM FROM GUILT AND BLAME; would find it useful to have on their shelf for future reference when they were caught in an emotional loop of behaviors. When people of all ages know and understand they can make different choices.
“A very helpful book to read, reference and keep handy. Good ideas and exercises for starting a successful New Year and making changes in one’s life and behaviors.” Read whole review.
5.0 out of 5 stars Freedom from Guilt and Blame September 12, 2015, By Jim Scarborough
Another wonderful book by Darlene.
DEALING WITH A NARCISSIST – 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries with Difficult People
Codependency author and expert Darlene Lancer explains the narcissist’s mind and motives and the personality of their partners. Dealing with a Narcissist reveals the unconscious forces driving their mutual attraction and relationship dynamics and sheds light on the damaging impact narcissists have on their partners and children. This is also workbook with strategies that can improve your self-esteem and help you maintain your self-respect and set boundaries in relationships with addicts, narcissists, or emotionally abusive people.
If you were at first charmed by a narcissist, you soon had to contend with self-centeredness, defensiveness, and escalating criticisms and demands. Trying to satisfy them can feel impossible, and neither stops abuse, nor produces genuine caring and reciprocity. You end up frustrated and hurt that your feelings and needs are dismissed or ignored. Steadily, your self-esteem, confidence, trust, and independence decline in the relationship, as you give up more of yourself. Whether you want to improve your relationship or are ambivalent about staying or leaving, Dealing with a Narcissist – 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries provides clarity and tools to handle interactions with difficult people. You’ll strengthen your self-esteem and gain the ability to set boundaries and communicate effectively. Eight steps are recommended with specific exercises and techniques, which are applicable to any relationship with a difficult person—whether passive-aggressive, controlling, abusive, manipulative, or with a borderline or narcissistic personality disorder.
5.0 out of 5 stars I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS BOOK WHOLEHEARTEDLY November 25, 2016, By Amazon Customer
This book was an eye-opener regarding some relationships I have and has given me. . . a healthier approach and attitude towards these persons and . . . an understanding of what they are going through. I would recommend this book wholeheartedly.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars February 17, 2016, By Anna
A set of valuable tips for anyone dealing with NPD in relationship.
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book May 12, 2016 By Kathleen N.
Excellent book if you have a narcissist in your life and you don’t know what to do. This book helped me to finally understand what I was dealing with in a close personal relationship and that I wasn’t going crazy, that the person’s perception of relating to others is off and solely self-centered. It was a relief to get some understanding and realize that I can’t help this person communicate more effectively or relate to others in a “normal” way.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, Informative Read! July 11, 2016 By Laura Stamps
Darlene Lancer not only defines narcissism in this easy-to-use book, but she also covers the various forms of emotional abuse, how to set firm boundaries, and how to effectively deal with the narcissists in your life. Regain your self-esteem, self-worth, and learn how to love yourself again. Grab this book. It’s a treasure!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value for time and money January 27, 2016, By fldcdeb
Great assist for getting off of “stuck.” Highly recommend.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Source of Information and Wisdom August 11, 2016 By Ponytail Pam
Excellent, clear explanation of the varying degrees of the narcissist and the ways to relate with the individual to protect yourself and be able to thrive. Darlene has a way of imparting information that makes life less puzzling and brings more peace with the wisdom you gain from reading her works. Sometimes you just want someone to give you wise counsel and this book is just that if you have a narcissist in your life
Breakups can be severely painful. Love stimulates such powerful and pleasurable neuro-chemicals that rejection can feel like withdrawal from a drug. It can compel us to engage in obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior, even in animals. Rejection and breakups are especially hard for codependents, who generally already have low self-esteem. This MP3 audio seminar can help you distinguish normal grief from codependency and discover the hidden reasons why breakups can be so difficult to get over. Identify the pitfalls that apply to you and how unconscious shame and past trauma amplifies suffering. Find out if you’re stuck in a Cycle of Abandonment and how to heal.
Self-esteem is key to success in work, and enjoyment of life and relationships. It affects our thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and how we handle life’s challenges. Low self-esteem underlies addiction, anxiety, depression, codependency, abuse, intimacy problems, and codependency. Our self-esteem is usually determined by our teens, but there are specific things we can do to raise it.
This webinar defines and describes self-esteem both high and low, as well as its sources. It discusses clues and symptoms, so you can assess your own and identify beliefs and behaviors you want to change and those you want to implement. Twelve crucial steps to building self-esteem and self-love are laid out in detail with many actionable tips and exercises you can immediately put into practice.