© 2017

The Value of Shame

Exploring a Health Resource in Cultural Contexts

  • Elisabeth Vanderheiden
  • Claude-Hélène Mayer


  • Provides new comprehensible perspectives on contemporary research on shame

  • Discusses shame concepts from a positive psychology perspective across cultures

  • Highlights new insights on the concept of shame for researchers and practitioners in the field of psychology and cultural studies


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Elisabeth Vanderheiden, Claude-Hélène Mayer
    Pages 1-39
  3. Theoretical Perspectives on Shame and Culture

  4. Culture-Specific Perspectives on Shame

  5. The Application of Shame and Culture in Therapeutic and Counseling Practices

About this book


This volume combines empirical research-based and theoretical perspectives on shame in cultural contexts and from socio-culturally different perspectives, providing new insights and a more comprehensive cultural base for contemporary research and practice in the context of shame. It examines shame from a positive psychology perspective, from the angle of defining the concept as a psychological and cultural construct, and with regard to practical perspectives on shame across cultures. 
The volume provides sound foundations for researchers and practitioners to develop new models, therapies and counseling practices to redefine and re-frame shame in a way that leads to strength, resilience and empowerment of the individual.


Shame across Cultures Shame from a Positive Psychology Perspective Cultural Issues in Positive Psychology Concepts of Shame Shame and Counselling Health, Well-Being and Shame Resilience, Culture and Shame Shame and Psychotherapy Shame and Guilt as Cultural Constructs Shame and Emotion

Editors and affiliations

  • Elisabeth Vanderheiden
    • 1
  • Claude-Hélène Mayer
    • 2
  1. 1.Katholische ErwachsenenbildungMainzGermany
  2. 2.Institut für therapeutische Kommunikation und SprachgebrauchEuropean University ViadrinaFrankfurt (Oder)Germany

About the editors

Elisabeth Vanderheiden, pedagogue, theologian, mediator, managing director of the Catholic Adult Education Rhineland-Palatinate and the federal chairman of the Catholic Adult Education Germany. She has published articles in the context of vocational qualifications, in particular qualification of teachers and trainers, as well as current topics of general, vocational and civic education and intercultural opening processes.

Claude-Hélène Mayer is an adjunct professor at the European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, and a Senior Research Associate at the Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. She has published several monographs, text collections, journal articles and special issues on mental health and well-being, conflict management and mediation in transcultural contexts, health-related and well-being and women in leadership.

Bibliographic information


“This book makes an extraordinary contribution to social sciences as it highlights the positive side of shame as a health resource; therefore, it is highly recommended to educators at all levels, interculturalists, sociologists, those who work with refugees and migration, as well as psychologists and psychiatrists.” (Kiyoko Sueda, Journal of Intercultural Communication, Issue 21, 2018)

“‘The aim of this book is to synthesize empirical research-based and theoretical perspectives on shame in various cultural contexts’ … . This book shows us how we can transcend the divide between the pathological side and the positive side for shame. That is why I highly recommend this landmark publication to both PP researchers and clinicians.” (Paul T. P. Wong, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 62 (34), August, 2017)