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Helping Male Survivors of Sexual Violation to Recover: An Integrative Approach - Stories from Therapy Paperback – 19 Apr 2018
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Sarah Van Gogh has written a powerful and engaging book, driven by case vignettes from her private, individual clinical work, with which she has interwoven the theory of others and elaborated - through visual diagrams - her own understanding of the dynamics at play. This work is especially gripping in light of the men with whom she has worked closely who are typically ashamed of sharing such detail about themselves. Sarah shares the minutiae of the work so that we can truly get under their skin and understand their experiences with compassion and clarity. Author: Dr Estela Welldon, author of Mother Madonna Whore, and Playing with Dynamite. Founder & Honorary Life President International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy, and Visiting International Professor, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
Sarah Van Gogh has written this text with great intelligence, with tremendous sensitivity, and with distinct literary flair. Readers will be extremely moved by her unique compassion for male survivors of abuse and trauma, and clinical practitioners will learn a great deal from her many years of experience. In view of the high rate of suicide among those who have suffered early abuse, this book has the potential to save lives. Author: Professor Brett Kahr, Senior Fellow, Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, London, and Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health, Centre for Child Mental Health, London
This powerful book addresses a taboo and shame filled topic. Using a delicate sensibility but not shirking harsh realities, Sarah Van Gogh opens our eyes to the complexities of such work. She skilfully navigates neurobiology, trauma and dissociation alongside both classic and innovative therapeutic approaches. We are invited into the private confines of the consulting room where we meet and witness vulnerable victims, and are taken to the heart of their struggles, always respectfully, never voyeuristically, in work that gives hope for the curative power of intimate safe therapeutic relationships after profound trauma. Author: Graham Music, PhD, Consultant Psychotherapist, Tavistock Centre london
An incisive guide to working effectively with men who have experienced sexual violation in childhood or adulthoodSee all Product description
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I particularly enjoyed the creative ways Sarah illustrates working with clients using music and drawing, and how effective this can be in unlocking something for the client that may be difficult for them to articulate verbally. What is really great about this book is that Sarah shows she is not infallible and it was good to see the use she made of her supervisor in helping to advance the work with clients.
There is a real honesty in this book, which as a recently qualified counsellor I found refreshing and I'm sure it is a book I will return to often.
As a recently qualified counsellor and simply as an individual, I found Sarah’s book an invaluable resource and reading each case study felt captivating and it felt a privilege to witnes the way Sarah mingles theory, practice, experience, invaluable insights and soul.
I would definitely recommend this book to all practitioners and also to anyone who is interested in this topic.
The content is relevant to my work as a counsellor in training and I bought the book hoping to find much in it that would be relevant but, for me, it went beyond that. Reading it, I felt keenly for the fictionalized survivors and became engrossed in their stories and, also, by the therapeutic approach of the author.
A valuable resource, certainly, but additionally a book to appreciate for the absorbing way it is written and the sensitive way it treats what is a difficult subject.
The book, however, far from attempting to be a definitive cookbook on how to “do” therapy with male survivors of sexual abuse (if ever could there be one), focuses instead on the joys and tribulations that such work involves and how psychotherapy is in its deepest essence a fine art involving risk, uncertainty, often thinking on our feet and making mistakes. The author also makes a convincing case how imagination and working creatively can be at the heart of what we do, especially with extremely traumatised clients for whom putting things into words may be less suited to capture their inner experiences and turmoil.
The clinical vignettes, though fictitious, are deeply engaging and I found myself profoundly moved by some of the stories (such as Stu’s) and how it affected both client and the therapist. The author seems to be truly passionate about her work with this specific client group and she shares her inner process both during and outside the session with an honesty not usually found in similar books. In the end, I was left feeling great compassion for both the clients and the therapist along with a measured sense of hope – this work can be messy and painstakingly difficult but a worthwhile endeavour nonetheless.
A deeply human, moving and insightful book.
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