by Christina Enevoldsen
Though this is written specifically for survivors of incest, survivors of any type of abuse will find this helpful. It’s a book, workbook and journal in one.
“Every aspect of my abuse was a disconnection from my identity and individuality. It was a denial and dismissal of my value and physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental boundaries.
“The abuse separated me from my personhood. I was an object to be used for someone else’s enjoyment. My wants and needs weren’t considered. My welfare was dismissed. I didn’t have permission to say no or to run away.
“My defense was to separate from my mind, emotions and body. The lies that I told myself further separated me from myself and from reality. The secret kept me isolated. I needed to keep my distance to keep the secret. Guarding my actions, guarding my words. My family and the rest of the world went on as usual while I was shattered.
“I remained an outsider in my own life. I dissociated when I felt threatened or overwhelmed. Without a healthy foundation, that was most of the time. I turned to addictions to avoid feeling and knowing. Being me—whoever that was—was too painful.”
by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis
This is an inspiring, comprehensive guide that offers hope to sexually abused women. The authors provide a map of the healing process, thoroughly explain the effects of abuse and suggest techniques for working through healing in a realistic but encouraging way. The last section of the book includes abuse stories from survivors.
“The environment in which you live—the people you see—affects your ability to make changes. People who are working to grow and change in their own lives will support you with encouragement and by example. People who are living out the pattern you’re trying to break will continually such you back in. Respect the power of influence.”
by Richard B. Gartner, Ph.D.
Beyond Betrayal is written specifically for male sexual abuse survivors who were abused by male or female perpetrators. This book explores the different types of abuse, revealing its profound impact on one’s self-concept of a man and the difficulties of developing intimate relationships.
“The world gives medals to men for subduing prey, not for being subdued. We’re told that the best men win. As a general once said, in war there’s no second prize. It’s clear: a real man can’t be a victim.
“So if you were sexually abused, where does this leave you? As a boy, maybe you felt pulled apart. Your three images of man were caught up in an impossible conflict: Maybe you disliked the boy you were. Maybe you felt you couldn’t become the boy you wanted to be. And you very likely felt you couldn’t develop into the man the world expected you to become. These conflicts may have left you feeling cut off and lost. You were disconnected from the man you were becoming. You were detached from your self—the self who felt hope about growing up, the self with strength, will, determination, and a sense of discovery.”
by Darlene Ouimet
This is an inspiring, encouraging book for men and women suffering from the effects of any type of abuse. The author suffered from chronic depression, Dissociative Identity Disorder and PTSD, but overcome them all. Through her own journey of healing, Darlene provides insights and hope for others to emerge from their own brokenness.
“I wasn’t born broken. It was through my examination of where the broken began that I was able to move from questioning “what is wrong with me” to questioning “what happened to me?” The change in my life was dramatic. Depression fell away, my mood swings leveled out and I completely stopped dissociating. I started to feel excited at the prospect of each new day! My joy in discovering my true self was profound. After a lifetime of struggle, I found freedom and wholeness. I vowed that I would find a way to share it with a hurting world.”
by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis
Beginning to Heal offers hope and guidance to men and women survivors of sexual abuse. This is based on The Courage to Heal by the same authors. This book takes you through the key stages of healing, from crisis times to breaking the silence, grief, and anger, to resolution and moving on.
“As a survivor of child sexual abuse you have a lot to grieve for. You grieve for the ways you were hurt. You grieve for not being protected, for the things you missed out on as a child. You grieve for the time and effort it takes to heal, for the relationships and happiness you have lost.
“You may have to grieve for you lost faith or give up the idea that the abuser had your best interests at heart. You may have to grieve for the fact that you don’t have suitable grandparents for your children, or a family you can depend on. You must also grieve for the shattered image of a world that is fair and safe for children. You will grieve for your lost innocence and ability to trust.”
by Renee Fredrickson, Ph.D.
This book explains the causes of repressed memories, how to regain your memories, and how to use your memories to heal.
“The abuse is not only hidden from public view but from the view of the family members themselves. The family members believe the façade of normalcy because it is what they have grown up with. Anything that does not fit is buried or rationalized away. Anyone who tells the secrets or points out the sickness is punished or even exiled. The façade is maintained at the expense of individual family members.”
by E. Sue Blume
Secret Survivors shows how sexual abuse is often at the root of such problems as depression, sexual and eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, and phobias and panic disorders. The author explains the natural, healthy needs that underlie the aftereffects and how to meet them in healthy ways.
“…In addition to social and gender-based circumstances, incest survivors often are prepared to be victims—or to fail to see the victimization. The incest survivor often knows things feel bad but does not know how bad they are or how much better they can be. And her choices are confined by her narrow field of expectations and her broad field of tolerance.”
by Maureen Brady
Beyond Survival is a fifty-two-week journal of self-exploration, liberation and empowerment for male and female survivors of sexual abuse. It offers tools and techniques—from reading and writing to visualization and taking concrete action—that aids the healing process.
“For change to occur in us, we must be willing to enter the wilderness of the unknown and to wander in unfamiliar territory, directionless and often in the darkness. We must be willing to release our victim’s role. That was who we were. That is not who we are now.
“We dread the feeling of “lostness” that goes along with being in the wilderness of our unknown self. Many of us were children forced into adult roles. We had to know how to take care of things. We tried to parent our parents so that they could grow up and help us. We don’t like to be the newcomer, the student, or the patient; we are more comfortable being the old-timer, the teacher, or the doctor.
“But it is time to take our turn at being unformed, unsure, not confident. We deserve to be able to let ourselves fall into fragments and feel fragmented awhile. We do not need to keep every little thing under control. In fact, we find ourselves only by allowing some falling apart to happen.”
by Kenneth M. Adams, PH.D.
Through illustrative examples, Silently Seduced provides perceptive insight that helps male and female incest survivors understand what happened to them, how their lives and relationships continue to be affected and how to begin the process of recovery.
“Covert incest occurs when a child becomes the object of a parent’s affection, love, passion and preoccupation. The parent, motivated by loneliness and emptiness created by a chronically troubled marriage or relationship, makes the child a surrogate partner. The boundary between caring and incestuous love is crossed when the relationship with the child exists to meet the needs of the parent rather than those of the child.”
by Ken Graber, M.A.
This book provides comfort and guidance for partners in the process of recovery. The author draws from personal experience to show how partners can accept responsibility for their own issues, support the recovery of the sexual abuse survivor and work toward resolving relationship problems together.
“Remember that we are unconsciously attracted to others who remind us of our family of origin. If we recognize any dysfunction in the survivor, it is highly likely that we are also the products of a dysfunctional family and have problems of our own. Similarly, recognizing that survivors come from dysfunctional backgrounds probably means that they were attracted by some of the same dysfunctions in us. Recovery works best, not when the survivor is identified as the problem that needs fixing, but when both partner and survivor are committed to personal growth and working on their own issues. Common issues and relationship issues can be worked on together. If as partners we refuse to face our own problems and fail to work toward correcting our behavior and eliminating dysfunction in the relationship, then the survivor in recovery will be the one who outgrows us and leaves.”
by Patricia Evans
This book provides descriptions and examples of verbally abusive relationships, encouragement for the abused and guidelines for dealing with abusers.
“The verbal abuser especially undermines the partner’s self-perception. If the partner is told with gradually increasing frequency that she is illogical, too sensitive, always trying to start an argument, competitive, always has to be right, etc., she may become conditioned to accept more and more abuse while experiencing more and more self-doubt. This conditioning is like brainwashing. It may extend beyond herself to her family, her interests, and her most cherished ideals.”
by Stephen Arterburn and Jack Felton
Toxic Faith uncovers the beliefs, characteristics and rules of an abusive religious system and shows how to break free of an unhealthy dependency on religion.
“When authority is well placed, it respects the individuals over whom it has authority. When it is not well placed, it is our responsibility to expose the abuse and be part of the solution. Christ challenged the religious authorities who turned away from God and toward rules developed by men. Christ stood up to those people and told them they were wrong. He tried to produce change by what he said and by how he lived. If we are to follow his example, we must intervene when abuse is part of submission. We must have the courage to follow Christ’s example and overturn the system, be it a marriage or an organization, if that system is wrong. Silent submission in the face of violence, dishonesty, and abuse will only allow that abuse to be passed on to new generations.”
by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
Boundaries explains the purpose and benefits of boundaries and how to implement them. This book is a guide to improving your relationships, finding a path to freedom and regaining control of your life.
“Our real concern with others should not be “Are they doing what I would do or what I want them to do?” but “Are they really making a free choice?” When we accept others’ freedom, we don’t get angry, feel guilty, or withdraw our love when they set boundaries with us. When we accept others’ freedom, we feel better about our own.”
by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
Safe People shows how to make wise decisions in relationships from friendships to romance. It teaches how to recognize what makes people trustworthy and includes twenty traits of unsafe people.
“Some people feel that they are entitled to trust. We often hear of someone saying, ‘So you don’t trust me.’ Or ‘Are you questioning my integrity?’ Or ‘You don’t believe me.’ They get defensive and angry because someone questions their actions, and they think they are above being questions or having to prove their trustworthiness. But none of us is above questioning, and to take offense at it is very prideful.”
by Ken Singer, MSW
Ken Singer LCSW’s release ‘Evicting the Perpetrator’ comes as a result of 30+ years experience working with sexual abuse victim/survivors as well as juvenile and adult abusers. The most recent book on the topic of male sexual assault and abuse, Mr. Singer’s approach is the only one that includes a discussion of how sexual trauma and abuse impacts the brain and the manner in which it restructures itself in response to the experiences. His ideas are expressed and articulated with the same spirit and intention that has guided his work as a clinical therapist: ‘in the hope of preventing more victims’, and to help others already touched by the hand of sexual abuse and assault, to overcome its legacy.
“This book is different from the many books published for adult survivors of sexual abuse. The symptoms and consequences of abuse have been written about many times, providing the good advice that “it wasn’t your (the survivor’s) fault. However, many survivors, especially men, may believe that it was their fault for ‘allowing’ the abuse to take place, not fighting back or not reporting the abuse. This feeling persists because, despite efforts by the survivors and others to reduce the sense of blame in the victims, the role of the abuser has not been examined for what it was. The goal of this book is to help survivors and those supporting them to understand how abusers are able to do what they do”
by John Bradshaw
In an emotionally revealing way Bradshaw shows is how toxic shame is the core problem in our compulsions, co-dependencies, addictions and the drive to super-achieve. We are bound by our shame. But drawing from 22 years experience as a counselor, he offers the techniques to heal the shame. Using affirmations, “inner voice” and feeling work, plus guided meditations and other useful healing techniques, he points the way to freedom from the shame of the past, offering vital recovery techniques.
“Because of its preverbal origins, shame is difficult to define. It is a healthy human power which can become a true sickness of the soul. There are two forms of shame: nourishing shame, and toxic/life destroying shame. Because toxic shame stays in hiding and covers itself up, we have to track it down by learning to recognize its many faces and its many distracting behavioral coverups”
by Mike Lew
The first book written specifically for men, Victims No Longer examines the changing cultural attitudes toward male survivors of incest and other sexual trauma. Now, in an expanded Second Edition, this invaluable resource continues to offer compassionate and practical advice, supported by personal anecdotes and statements of male survivors. Victims No Longer educates survivors and professionals about the recovery process – speaking to the pain, needs, fears, and hopes of the adult male survivor.
“The reality is that abuse exists. It is real and it is common. It takes many forms, some blatant and others more subtle. The spectrum of child abuse ranges from neglect to physical violence. It includes torture, beatings, verbal and psychological maltreatment, child pornography, and sexual abuse (ranging from seductive behavior to rape) Abuse appears in varying combinations, durations, and intensities. What all forms have in common is their devastating, long-term effects of the child.”
by Mic Hunter
This book has been referred to as a landmark in the field of child sexual abuse literature. Like ‘The Courage to Heal’ it is an essential book that helps anyone struggling with childhood trauma to find the hope and strength to recover and lead fulfilled adult lives.
“The effects of childhood sexual abuse are frequently lifelong and severe. They are so profound not only because sexuality is so personal but also because there is more than a sexual aspect to the abuse. Sexual abuse is also physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual abuse. It affects all areas of life. In addition, sexual abuse is not accidental…. it is not something that happens to you, it is something that is done TO you, by someone, on purpose. Although the offender may not have intended to hurt you, he or she did intend to be sexual with you and thereby did you harm”.
By Alice Miller
Originally published in 1984, “Thou Shalt Not Be Aware” explodes Freud’s notions of “infantile sexuality” and helps to bring to the world’s attention the brutal reality of child abuse, changing forever our thoughts of “traditional” methods of child-rearing. Dr. Miller exposes the harsh truths behind children’s “fantasies” by examining case histories, works of literature, dreams, and the lives of such people as Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, Gustave Flaubert, and Samuel Beckett. Now with a new preface by Lloyd de Mause and a new introduction by the author, “Thou Shalt Not Be Aware” continues to bring an essential understanding to the confrontation and treatment of the devastating effects of child abuse.
“The general public tends to doubt the prevalence of sexual abuse of children by older siblings and adults and to deny its lasting effects, because the necessary repression of what one knew as a young child blocks any later insight into the subject. Furthermore, it is not in the best interest of adults, once they are in a position to take over the active role themselves, to uncover the motives behind their actions. But most important, the principles of “poisonous pedagogy” insist that parents’ actions toward their children be regarded exclusively as loving and beneficial and that children be denied the right to protest”.
The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being
by Daniel J. Siegel
Leading neurobiologist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., presents a new framework for maintaining mental health and well-being. Three human experiences have been documented as promoting well-being: secure attachment, mindfulness meditation, and effective psychotherapy. Siegel’s unifying theory shows that the effects of these three experiences have a similar neural mechanism. Siegel uses theory, science, and anecdote to reveal how to transform the brain as well as promote well-being. The book is divided into four sections: Mind, Brain, and Awareness; Immersion in Direct Experience; Facets of the Mindful Brain; and Reflections on the Mindful Brain. Appendices include Reflection and Mindfulness Resources, Glossary and Terms, and Neural Notes on the Anatomy of the Brain. Siegel’s book stands out for its skillful weaving together of the interpersonal, the inner world, the latest science, and practical applications, all envisioned as a whole.
“Being aware of the fullness of our experience awakens us to the inner world of our mind and immerses us completely in our lives. This is a book about how the way we pay attention in the present moment can directly improve the functioning of body and brain, subjective mental life with its feelings and thoughts, and interpersonal relationships”.
Neuroscientific discoveries have begun to illuminate the workings of the active brain in intricate detail. In easy-to-understand prose, Being a Brain-Wise Therapist reviews the basic principles about brain structure, function, and development, and explains the neurobiological correlates of some familiar diagnostic categories, such as depression, anxiety, dissociation, addiction, and other disorders conditions.
“The influence of parents on their children’s temperament takes us back to the main theme of this book: the impact of early attachment experiences on mental health. Even at the level of basic science, disturbances in the processes of regulation/integration are being recognized as the core of mental suffering. Whether we consider easily identifiable traumatic experiences or the subtler devastation of quiet but disturbed relationships with parents, the consequences for brain development can define the trajectory of a life”.