The Courage to Heal Workbook: For Women and Men Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Paperback – 31 May 1990
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About the Author
Laura Davis is the author of The Courage to Heal Workbook, Allies in Healing, Becoming the Parent You Want to Be, and I Thought We'd Never Speak Again. She teaches writing and lives with her family in Santa Cruz, California.
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I thoroughly recommend this for anybody who has old issues that haven't been fully exorcised.
I haven't read the original courage to heal book, I went straight to the work book as at the time I was finding it hard to concentrate on reading and writing and drawing things out helped me to focus.
It encourages the reader to be pro active in their own healing, but it wisely encourages reaching out for the help of other survivors and trusted friends and family throughout the process for support and their input.
I haven't completely finished it yet ( I know could be a bit premature to be doing a review when I haven't finished it fully but I thought it best to encourage others who are not yet sure whether to try it or not and as it has helped me immensely so far so I thought it would help others too) I started it about 8 months ago and am 2/3 of the way through. Sometimes I wanted to go faster, as though I could rush the memories, feelings and processing but you can't force it overnight. It has really helped me to regularly asses where I am at in terms of my recovery. Where is my anger, what do I still feel guilty about etc.
At the end of each section it asks you the same series of questions to help to acknowledge how you felt working through each section, what you found easy and hard about each part and what you felt you might need to come back to etc. This is really useful just for keeping in touch with your progress so it doesn't feel over whelming, It also means that you feel a sense of achievement for finishing each section.
I am not sure what the authors state about reading it in the order that it is printed but I reckon you could dip in and out of each section as you wanted to and the great thing about it is that you can go at your own pace completely. There is no recommended time frame or suggestion as to how often you should consider using it. You won't lose your place or the flow of the book if you don't pick it up for a while, you can pick it up from wherever you left off.
That puts you in charge of your own recovery which is good I think, it helps you to feel in control.
There is quite a lot of space in the book for you to write in but you will most likely need a bit of extra paper at some points or you could even write all your answers out in a notebook so you can store your work more discretely.
Although it gives you some notes and suggestions for possible answers it really asks you to be honest and come up with your own descriptions and understanding of your thoughts, feelings and memories. It doesn't judge and it doesn't try to tell you how to think or feel. But because of that you do have to be ready to ask yourself those questions and be honest with yourself as well as challenge some of the old ideas about yourself (the ones that have helped you to survive) that you've probably clung onto for a long time.
That can be a long and difficult process but ultimately it is a vital one.
This would also be a great book to use with your therapist or with some basic understanding of the affects of CSA or your own psychology. But this could work for people who are just approaching their recovery too.
Ultimately you get back what you put into this one.
In my opinion nothing beats talking therapies but this has allowed me to be honest with myself prior to discussing some of the points with my therapist, plus it has given me something to focus on in between sessions so I feel like I am focussed and doing as much as I can.
It is also not too American, which can be annoying in many American self help books I find.
I will of course update this should I find it lets me down or loses momentum in its final few chapters.
In addition, people without sexual abuse may find the book very invigorating sexually for releasing themselves from other subtle forms of not enjoying the rapturious joys of sex. Identiy, sexuality, and love are completely and candidly discussed. Well-written and self-redeeming!
...and she does it all with style, class, and a formative authenticity!
Felecia Constance Rowe, Executive Director, The Institute for Advanced Mind Research
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