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Say It Out Loud: Revealing and Healing the Scars of Sexual Abuse Paperback – 6 May 2014
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"Part memoir, part self-help book, Dolan's work sets out to describe her personal journey healing from sexual abuse in an effort to help other victims begin or continue to recover. In riveting detail, the author describes her feelings and thoughts as she walks readers through the therapeutic process and intersperses it with advice on keeping or letting go of relationships, creating a respite, and developing a relationship with a therapist. She asserts there is no end point to healing and discusses how she manages anxiety, anger, depression, and the desire to self-injure. This book is recommended for anyone suffering from sexual abuse who is seeking understanding."
--Kathy Marcantonio, former counselor and community education volunteer of Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. (ConnSACS) Board of Directors "Always being the 'good girl, ' pleasing others, and internalizing your feelings is self-destructive. Our childhood is stored in our body, and if we do not heal our wounds someday, the body will present its bill. Roberta Dolan had the courage to transform and heal herself. The techniques she utilized to do so and the changes she made can benefit all those who have ever been abused, physically or psychologically. I strongly recommend reading this book to help you to release whatever pain exists within you and to restore your own life and body. It is never too late to leave the past behind and begin anew, as Roberta did."
--Bernie Siegel, MD, author of 365 Prescriptions for the Soul and 101 Exercises for the Soul "Roberta Dolan has found the courage to tell the story of her horrific sexual abuse in a book with the smart title Say It Out Loud. At least as much effort is spent on guiding others through the process, step by step, for which she is eminently qualified, not only as a survivor, but as a counselor with a master's degree. But it is her own story that is the most compelling as she mines the darkest corners of her soul with honesty and integrity. By nurturing the healing process of others along the way, she heals herself. And that is contagious. I recommend her book to survivors at all stages of healing and to those who love and support survivors."
--Trish Kinney, author of Silver Platter Girl "Say It Out Loud is an intimate and courageous account of the steps that must be taken to recover from predatory sexual abuse. Dolan shares her healing process by walking the reader through her agony and into her eventual experience of joy. The complexities and beauty of the human heart are exposed in a frightened child now adult, who, because of the care of a therapist and a loving husband, can finally be free."
--Gwen Plano, author of Letting Go Into Perfect Love "Roberta has single-handedly, with honesty and love, provided us with not only a moving account of her experience but a practical guide for those recovering from childhood sexual abuse. Without hesitation, I recommend this book to those dealing with the lingering effects of childhood sexual abuse, to those family members and friends who support a survivor, and to those who work with survivors and their families. Roberta has changed, and will continue to change, lives. Thank you!"
--Sharon D. Chappelle Ph.D
"Roberta Dolan has unpacked the vicissitudes of her own personal healing journey in a way that informs, supports, encourages, and inspires others who have been sexually abused and those who love them. The book is practical in its structure, and her sensitivity and compassion flow from each paragraph. Prescriptive but not preachy, there is an intelligent, uplifting, kind, and gentle quality about Say It Out Loud that is unique among books of this genre, which I believe makes it accessible to readers at any point of their own journey."
--Catherine McCall LMFT, author of the Piano Stops and Never Tell: the True Story of Overcoming a Terrifying Childhood
About the Author
Roberta Dolan is a former special education teacher with a master's degree in counseling. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Roberta has made it her mission to end the silence of sexual abuse, lend support to survivors, and educate others on preventing child sexual abuse through seminars, her blog Write to Survive, and her open discussions with anyone who will listen. Say It Out Loud: Revealing and Healing the Scars of Sexual Abuse is Roberta's first book. Her personal story of hope for all victims has been published in RAINN's online journal, End the Silence. In an effort to support other new writers, Roberta founded the Writers' Network of Central Connecticut. When they are not at home in Connecticut, Roberta and her husband, Tim, enjoy traveling in their RV.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The book is a kind of survival handbook -- as a self-help book it breaks down the subject of recovery into manageable parts: Preparing for the journey (setting the stage, ground rules, relationships); Tools for the journey (creating a respite, journaling, visualization); Living the journey (control, asnxiety, anger, depression, through the darkness), and Life (the ongoing journey). But this is not a dry academic tome: throughout the book, Roberta illustrates the points she makes with her own journal entries and short discussions of the course of her own therapy, which lasted six years. She is straightforward about the issues she faced, but she does not burden you with gory details. It's an informative read, but not prurient.
My only reservation about the book relates to Roberta's therapy: I have spent a total of about 30 years in therapy with 3 different therapists, and I never experienced the level of direct involvement from my therapist that Roberta had. I also did not have a supportive significant other. So the kind of support she got may not be a realistic expectation for everyone, and it is certainly not a requirement for healing -- you CAN make it regardless.
By using her personal journal entries, she brings to life the horror she endured. Roberta then shares many methods that led her from that darkness to the light. The methods she shares can be used in many difficult situations Whether you are reading this book for yourself, or as a person supporting someone else, you will find it both helpful and inspiring.
For anyone who has been sexually abused, or knows someone in that situation, the book provides a place to turn, a place to start. Notably, the strategies or "tools" that the author shares are clear, practical, and easy to follow. They leave the reader with a sense of empowerment, which I believe was the author's intent. So well done.