As a therapist who has worked with severely traumatized children, I have found Dr. Prior's book to be extremely helpful in understanding the complex forces that drive these children to relive their original trauma again and again. Dr. Prior integrates relevant object relations theory, and takes us inside the sexually abused child's violent, tormented world where so much conflict centers on being able to trust and believe in him/herself. Using the case example of Damon, Dr. Prior shows us how to provide sharp, effective treatment geared toward restoring the sexually abused child's sense of safety and trust, so he/she can risk coming out of his/her defensive shell, and give up the victim/persecutor role as a mode of relating to others.
Overall this book is written in a clear, practical way, and provides a thoughtful exploration into the psyches of severely traumatized children. Dr. Prior's spirit shines through in his work, and the book encouraged me to think more deeply about how terrifying it is for such a child to live on the edge of annihilation anxiety, and how to sensitively address this disturbing phenomenon. I highly recommend it as a steady guide and souce of inspiration to all therapists who embark on the difficult journey into the traumatized child's dangerous object world, and wish to come out on the other side reaping its great rewards.