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71 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars truly inspirational and invaluable
Although I was not sexually abused as a child, I come from a household of extreme pysical and emotional abuse. My counsellor recommended this book to me because she thought that it would be useful to me in helping me understand about the complications and effects of secrecy, shame, trust, grief, sadness and also the ability to pick up the pieces and move on.She was right...
Published on 18 Sep 2003 by Nicky

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing.
Many readers have found this book helpful. Others, like me, may be put off by the lack of solid evidence to substantiate the very sweeping claims about the consequences of experiencing childhood sexual abuse.

The authors seem to reason thus: if victims of childhood sexual abuse describe certain emotional problems, all women who have similar emotional problems...
Published 20 days ago by User201202


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71 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars truly inspirational and invaluable, 18 Sep 2003
Although I was not sexually abused as a child, I come from a household of extreme pysical and emotional abuse. My counsellor recommended this book to me because she thought that it would be useful to me in helping me understand about the complications and effects of secrecy, shame, trust, grief, sadness and also the ability to pick up the pieces and move on.She was right and it has helped me enormously. There was much of this book that was applicable to my circumstances even though the book was not directed at my background specifically, and the section in the back for partners has been incredibly helpful for my boyfriend who has been able to read and understand the impact that our painful and abusive childhoods can have on our lives.
I found making notes as I thought of memories and questions that the book raised to be very helpul and the tasks to do at the end of each chapter to be a good way of noting your progress. If you are already in counselling it's a useful book to follow your progress with too... I found that the first few chapters raised issues and feelings that I had already begun to deal with, and later in the book as it begins to talk about confrontation of abusers, speaking out and moving on, I felt that these were true goals for me to work towards. The womens stories used to portray the varying lifestyles and backgrounds are truly inspiring and you can't help but feel empowered and reassured that we are by no means alone in our despair, anguish, anger and grief.
I would urge anyone who comes from any type of abusive background- physical, emotional or sexual, to pick up this book and give it a go.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have, 20 Jun 2011
Anyone ready to tackle the problems of childhood sexual abuse will not be disappointed when buying this book. Each chapter deals with a specific aspect of the effects of abuse: flashbacks/trauma, forgiveness, anger, recovery, for partners etc. and gives ideas for working through these issues. At the end of the book there are courageous stories written by women who were sexually abused as children - their stories, while heartbreaking, show the strength and courage faced by anyone who has been subjected to the injustice, trauma and horror of abuse. This is not a substitute for counselling but an aid; a good starting place from which to extract yourself from the mental torment and anguish that abuse unfortunately leaves all survivors with.
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52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Any survivor needs this book, 10 Aug 2002
By A Customer
Anyone who is a victim of childhood sexual abuse needs to read this book. It is a book for women which for me, made reading it much easier. The 'self help' books I had used before were much more clinical and full of medical mumbo jumbo, but this one was absolutely aimed at the healing woman and the problems she might or is facing.
It contains case studies of survivors who came forward to help with the book. Some are so harrowing, but it just makes you feel stronger, because these women are an inspiration. The writers both suvivors of sexual abuse specifically aim to make the book a kind caring read. I have owned it for a few weeks and it was recommended to me by my counsellor. I am so glad I have it, I am not sure where I'd be without it now. It certainly replaces my bible!
I also think it is a vital read for anyone involved with helping survivors. It contains a wealth of information which no counsellor/therapist/friend/family should be without. It really helps to give you a perspective on how the survivor will heal, the various stages, emotions, self abuse, confrontations and there is also a chapter specifically for counsellors. I cannot recommend it enough and like I said NO counsellor or helper should be without it.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE survivor's bible, 19 July 2003
By A Customer
I cannot rate this book highly enough! It was recommended to me by another survivor and I found it an absolute godsend from the first page. The book deals with the issues surrounding recovery in a very real, down to earth and practical way. It provides practical tips on how to cope through each stage - but most importantly offers the survivor the welcome reassurance that it is ok to feel as you do during the process of coming to terms with what has happened, and that there IS hope. It is not always easy to read and some of the testimonies are harrowing, but the book has clear chapters which can be dipped into depending on what stage someone is at. The courage of the other survivors shines through, and the book helps to dispel any doubts some may have that what happened 'wasn't too bad'.
This is an amazing book, it has helped me (with the Courage to Heal Workbook) more than any other during my healing process. If you are a survivor wondering whether to buy this book, please do it - it WILL make a big difference. If you are a counsellor or interested in understanding how a survivor feels, this book will help do that.
'Courage to Heal' provides a stepping stone to do just this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I found this really helpful, 23 May 2014
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I would recommend this to anyone who was sexually abused, it can be a bit American in places but its the best book I've read. There are writing exercises which have even been fun!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing., 8 Dec 2014
Many readers have found this book helpful. Others, like me, may be put off by the lack of solid evidence to substantiate the very sweeping claims about the consequences of experiencing childhood sexual abuse.

The authors seem to reason thus: if victims of childhood sexual abuse describe certain emotional problems, all women who have similar emotional problems "must have" been abused in childhood.

This is unreasonable. It's entirely possible that any unhappy childhood experiences (e.g. poverty, divorce, loss of a parent, school bullying, and many others) might result in very similar emotional problems in adulthood. Claiming that these problems can only be due to childhood sexual abuse simply invalidates the felt experience of those with a different kind of past.
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one book on sexual abuse, make it this one, 25 Feb 2002
By A Customer
I have read a few books on sexual abuse, as a survivor, to try and help heal my pain, and this has to be the best. It is very informative and contains many chapters on the affects of abuse, and recovery. It contains many personal stories, some of which are admittedly hard to read, but they are also encouraging. I have lent and recommended this book to friends, all of whom have also found it very helpful. It is a book which you will constantly find yourself referring to, and looking at for support when the going gets tough. I cant recommend it enough!
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27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars essential reading for survivors of sexual abuse or rape!, 18 Feb 2003
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I am a volunteer counseller at Worcesterhire Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre, and read both The Courage To Heal and Beginning To Heal (also by the same authors) not long after starting at the centre, I found both books very interesting and sensitive to the issues, they also include true stories of other womens experiences and practical tips to help anyone who is trying to come to terms with their experiences. Gives a good account of Rape Trauma Syndrome, a recognised reaction to experiences of rape and sexual abuse, I think anyone who is trying to make sense of their feelings around rape or abuse should read these insightful books - excellent!
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27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 6 Mar 2004
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I hadn't cried about my past for ages, then i went and bought this book...I feel like a whole big knot of emotion has sorted itself out since starting to read this book. This, and the workbook, are definately worth buying if you've been through childhood abuse.
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5.0 out of 5 stars hard hitting truthful book, 13 Oct 2014
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This book even I have to admit is not bad at all. It can be hard hitting and does bring back memories and I did not feel patronized into (have a cup of tea/ it happened in the past leave it there) I have not finished the book yet but had to at least thank the author of this book. A lot of books I have read are C.B.T orientated but not this book. A lot more could have been put in but this topic is rather an emotive subject.
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The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
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