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Abuse Trauma: Resources for Therapists & Adult Survivors

Featured Books in this Category / Main Booklist

Featured Books 

Beginning to Heal: a First Book for Men and Women Who Were Sexually Abused as Children. Ellen Bass & Laura Davis, $15.50

Based on the bestseller by Bass and Davis, The Courage to Heal, this companion volume offers hope and guidance for all survivors starting the healing journey.


Bloodletting: a Memoir of Secrets, Self-Harm & Survival. Victoria Leatham, $24.95

On the outside, she appears to have it all. She's creative, beautiful, and confident. But inside Victoria Leatham struggles with silent, secret, and unbearable pain. In her late teens, Leatham is struck with an undeniable urge to cut herself. Oddly, the wounds she inflicts on herself mute the pain she feels inside. This memoir, a darkly humorous and often chilling account, vividly details Leatham's ordeal and reveals her most intimate thoughts as she struggles with cutting and a range of other psychological problems including eating disorders, sexual promiscuity, substance abuse, and bipolar disorder. And finally, it describes her discovery of the psychological secret that helps her escape from this spiral of self-destruction.


The Body Never Lies: the Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting. Alice Miller, $17.00

World-renowned psychoanalyst Alice Miller has devoted a lifetime to studying how the cruelties inflicted on us as children cripple us as adults. In this new work, Miller goes further, investigating the long-range consequences of childhood abuse on the body, be it cancer, stroke, or other debilitating illnesses. Using the experiences of her patients along with the biographical stories of literary giants such as Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, and Marcel Proust, Miller shows how a child's humiliation, impotence, and bottled rage will manifest itself as adult illness. This is an empowering work that enables readers to come to terms with their repressed emotions and break the cycle of violence. Alice Miller, the Swiss psychoanalyst, is the author of The Drama of the Gifted Child and Prisoners of Childhood.

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A Bright Red Scream: Self-Mutilation and the Language of Pain. Marilee Strong, $18.50

Mistakenly viewed as suicide attempts or senseless masochism — even by many health professionals — "cutting" is actually a complex means of coping with emotional pain. Marilee Strong explores this hidden epidemic through case studies, startling new research from psychologists, trauma experts, and neuroscientists, and the heartbreaking insights of cutters themselves who range from troubled teenagers to middle-age professionals to grandparents. Strong explains what factors lead to self-mutilation, why cutting helps people manage overwhelming fear and anxiety, and how cutters can heal both their internal and external wounds and break the self-destructive cycle. A Bright Red Scream is a groundbreaking, essential resource for victims of self-mutilation, their families, teachers, doctors, and therapists.


Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal. Donna Jackson Nakazawa, $32.99

Your biography becomes your biology. The emotional trauma we suffer as children not only shapes our emotional lives as adults, it also affects our physical health, longevity, and overall wellbeing. Scientists now know on a bio-chemical level exactly how parents’ chronic fights, divorce, death in the family, being bullied or hazed, and growing up with a hypercritical, alcoholic, or mentally ill parent can leave permanent, physical “fingerprints” on our brains. When children encounter sudden or chronic adversity, excessive stress hormones cause powerful changes in the body, altering our body chemistry. The developing immune system and brain react to this chemical barrage by permanently resetting our stress response to “high,” which in turn can have a devastating impact on our mental and physical health.

Donna Jackson Nakazawa shares stories from people who have recognized and overcome their adverse experiences, shows why some children are more immune to stress than others, and explains why women are at particular risk. Groundbreaking in its research, inspiring in its clarity, Childhood Disrupted explains how you can reset your biology — and find ways to heal.

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The Courage to Heal: a Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 4th Edition. Laura Davis & Ellen Bass, $31.00

This 20th anniversary edition of The Courage to Heal brings contemporary research and tools to this compassionate classic. Completely revised, updated and expanded, this edition brings personal stories together with clear explanations, practical suggestions and support throughout the healing process.

Many new features include:

  • Current research on trauma and the brain
  • An overview of powerful new healing tools such as imagery, meditation, and body-centered practices
  • Additional stories that reflect a greater diversity of survivor experiences
  • A comprehensive, up-to-date resource guide
  • Insights from the authors’ experience since the first edition was published

Free From Lies: Discovering Your True Needs. Alice Miller, $20.00

Since the landmark publication of The Drama of the Gifted Child, no one has been more influential than Alice Miller in empowering adults whose lives were maimed emotionally and physically as children. Now Dr. Miller goes even further, presenting groundbreaking theories that enhance communication between therapist and patient and enable the adult to express powerful emotions that have been trapped for years. Practical and perceptive, Miller’s work explains what we can expect from therapy, how we can identify the causes of our own pain, and why subconscious pain, unaddressed for decades, manifests itself later as depression, self-mutilation, primal inadequacy, and chronic loneliness. With its responses to readers’ letters and powerful stories, Free from Lies is the culmination of a life devoted to healing others.


Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale. Rachel Lloyd, $19.99

During her teens, Rachel Lloyd ended up a victim of commercial sexual exploitation. With time, through incredible resilience, and with the help of a local church community, she finally broke free of her pimp and her past and devoted herself to helping other young girls escape "the life."

In Girls Like Us, Lloyd reveals the dark world of commercial sex trafficking in cinematic detail and tells the story of her groundbreaking nonprofit organization: GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services. With great humanity, she shares the stories of the girls whose lives GEMS has helped — small victories that have healed her wounds and made her whole. Revelatory, authentic, and brave, Girls Like Us is an unforgettable memoir.

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Invisible Girls: the Truth About Sexual Abuse. Patti Feuereisen, $22.95

A book for teen girls, young women and everyone who cares about them.


It Wasn't Your Fault: Freeing Yourself from the Shame of Childhood Abuse with the Power of Self-Compassion. Beverly Engel, $21.50

Shame is one of the most destructive of human emotions. If you suffered childhood physical or sexual abuse, you may experience such intense feelings of shame that it almost seems to define you as a person. In order to begin healing, it's important for you to know that it wasn't your fault. In this gentle guide, therapist and childhood abuse expert Beverly Engel presents a mindfulness and compassion-based therapeutic approach to help you overcome the debilitating shame that keeps you tied to the past. By following the step-by-step exercises in this book, you'll gain a greater understanding of the root cause of your shame. And by cultivating compassion toward yourself, you will begin to heal and move past your painful experiences.

With this book, you will develop the skills needed to finally put a stop the crippling self-blame that keeps you from moving on and being happy. You'll learn to focus on your strengths, your courage, and your extraordinary ability to survive. Most of all, you'll learn to replace shame with its counter emotion — pride.


Mean Mothers: Overcoming the Legacy of Hurt. Peg Streep, $27.99

Drawn from research and the real-life experiences of adult daughters, Mean Mothers illuminates one of the last cultural taboos: what happens when a woman does not or cannot love her own daughter. This essential volume focuses on the subtle forms of psychological damage inflicted by mothers on their unappreciated daughters — and offers help and support to those women who were forced to suffer a parent’s cruelty and neglect.

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Morningstar: a Warrior's Spirit. Morningstar Mercredi, $19.95

A powerful and moving story of one woman's victory over abuse, poverty, and discrimination to recover her life, her self-esteem and the love of her son. Sexually abused from an early age, by family members and the boyfriends she turned to for consolation, she was promiscuous, alcoholic and a drug user by the time she was thirteen. She had a son when she was seventeen and then married at eighteen. Days and weeks of sobriety were followed by weeks and months of drinking and self-abuse.

Then, when her son was four, things began to change. Morningstar found support, from the community, from her son, and from within herself, to be a good mother, find employment, keep relationships and reconnect with her family. Today, she is a strong and creative member of her community, and eager to tell her story of defeat and ultimate triumph. Honest and self-critical in her descriptions of many attempts and repeated failures, she gives enormous credit to her son, for his constant love, his determination to be honest with her, and his unfailing confidence in her ability to succeed.


The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: a Guide to Healing, Recovery and Growth, 2nd Edition. Glenn Schiraldi, $29.95

The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook  introduces survivors, loved ones, and helpers to the remarkable range of treatment alternatives and self-management techniques available today to break through the pain and realize recovery and growth.

This updated edition incorporates all-new diagnostics from the DSM-5 and covers the latest treatment techniques and research findings surrounding the optimization of brain health and function, sleep disturbance, new USDA dietary guidelines and the importance of antioxidants, early childhood trauma, treating PTSD and alcoholism, the relationship between PTSD and brain injury, suicide and PTSD, somatic complaints associated with PTSD, and more.


Stolen Tomorrows: Understanding and Treating Women’s Childhood Sexual Abuse. Steven Levenkron, $17.50

Stolen Tomorrows looks at the variety and consequences of women’s childhood sexual abuse. The book encourages women to recognize and seek care for their history of abuse. As well, the book offers therapists empathic insight into the work of helping survivors to heal.

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Survivor Moms: Women’s Stories of Birthing, Mothering and Healing after Sexual Abuse. Mickey Sperlich & Julia Seng, $39.95

Sexual abuse and the reactions to it affect mothers' whole lives — from thinking about having children all the way to being grandmothers. These effects are far-reaching and deeply felt. SURVIVOR MOMS shares narrative excerpts from interviews with women who have survived abuse; along with the clinical perspectives of midwives and contributions from other healthcare professionals. Whether you are a survivor, a midwife, a mental health provider, or you know a survivor who is on this path, you will learn from this book about mothering and the ongoing journey of healing and surviving.


Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders: an Evidence-Based Guide. Edited by Christine Courtois & Julian Ford, $60.65

Chronic childhood trauma, such as prolonged abuse or family violence, can severely disrupt a person's development, basic sense of self and later relationships. Adults with this type of history often come to therapy with complex symptoms that go beyond existing criteria for PTSD. This important book brings together prominent authorities to present the latest thinking on complex traumatic stress disorders and provide practical guidelines for conceptualization and treatment. Evidence-based assessment procedures are detailed and innovative individual, couple, family, and group therapies are described and illustrated with case vignettes and session transcripts.


Treating Survivors of Childhood Abuse: Psychotherapy for the Interrupted Life. Marylene Cloitre, Lisa Cohen & Karestan Koenen, $55.50

Meeting a key need, this book presents a modular adult psychotherapy approach grounded in extensive clinical experience and research. Provided is a flexible, empirically supported framework for helping clients manage symptoms related to past physical or sexual abuse; build emotion regulation and interpersonal skills; and process traumatic memories and their associated feelings of fear, shame, and loss. Session-by-session guidelines include many suggestions for tailoring interventions to each person's needs in the context of a safe, supportive therapeutic environment. Designed in a large, easy-to-use format, the book includes over a dozen reproducible handouts, worksheets, and other tools for clinicians and clients.


The Unsayable: the Hidden Language of Trauma. Annie Rogers, $18.00

In her twenty years as a clinical psychologist, Annie Rogers has learned to understand the silent language of girls who will not—who cannot—speak about devastating sexual trauma. Abuse too painful to put into words does have a language though, a language of coded signs and symptoms that conventional therapy fails to understand. The Unsayable is a book with the power to change the way we think about suffering and self-expression. For those who have experienced psychological trauma, and for those who yearn to help, this brave, compelling book will be a touchstone of lucid understanding and true healing.

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Victims No Longer: the Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse. Mike Lew, $24.99

Victims No Longer examines the changing cultural attitudes toward male victims of abuse and sexual trauma. With compassionate and practical advice, Mike Lew helps survivors to identify and validate childhood experiences, explore healing strategies, work through issues of trust and intimacy, establish a support network and make life choices that aren't determined by abuse.


When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women. Penny Simkin & Phyllis Klaus, $43.95

When Survivors Give Birth provides survivors and their maternity caregivers with extensive information on the prevalence and short- and long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse, emphasizing its possible impact on childbearing women. Challenges in the client-caregiver relationship are thoroughly portrayed, with much practical advice for improving trust and communication as well as self-help techniques to handle abuse-related distress. Chapters on birth counseling, psychotherapy, and clinical care of survivors make this book a useful resource for survivors and all who work with them.


Women Who Hurt Themselves: a Book of Hope and Understanding. Dusty Miller, $18.50

Dusty Miller is widely recognized as the first expert to identify the roots of "cutting" and other self-injurious behavior in women. These women suffer from a pattern of behavior in which they reenact severe psychological or physical harm done to them as children. In the decade since her work was first published, new research has supported Miller's perspective. In her introduction to this tenth anniversary edition, Miller discusses what self-harming women and abuse survivors have known all along: that self-injury activates endorphins that actually calm the psychic pain of old wounds. She describes the latest treatments geared to this view and offers hope and understanding to the women themselves and to those who care for them.

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Complete Booklist

Beginning to Heal: a First Book for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. Ellen Bass & Laura Davis, $15.50

Bloodletting: a Memoir of Secrets, Self-Harm & Survival. Victoria Leatham, $24.95

The Body Never Lies: the Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting. Alice Miller, $17.00

A Bright Red Scream: Self-Mutilation and the Language of Pain. Marilee Strong, $18.50

Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal. Donna Jackson Nakazawa, $32.99

The Courage to Heal: a Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 4th Edition. Laura Davis & Ellen Bass, $31.00

Free From Lies: Discovering Your True Needs. Alice Miller, $20.00

From Rage to Courage: Answers to Reader's Letters. Alice Miller, $20.00

Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale. Rachel Lloyd, $19.99

Healing the Trauma of Abuse: a Women's Workbook. Mary Ellen Copeland & Maxine Harris, $29.95

I Can't Get Over It: a Handbook for Trauma Survivors. Aphrodite Matsakis, $27.95

Invisible Girls: the Truth about Sexual Abuse. Patti Feuereisen, $22.95

It Wasn't Your Fault: Freeing Yourself from the Shame of Childhood Abuse with the Power of Self-Compassion. Beverly Engel, $21.50

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Mean Mothers: Overcoming the Legacy of Hurt. Peg Streep, $27.99

Morningstar: a Warrior's Spirit. Morningstar Mercredi, $19.95

Outgrowing the Pain: a Book for and about Adults Abused as Children. Eliana Gil, $18.00

The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: a Guide to Healing, Recovery and Growth, 2nd Edition. Glenn Schiraldi, $29.95

Stolen Tomorrows: Understanding and Treating Women's Childhood Sexual Abuse. Steven Levenkron, $17.50

Survivor Moms: Women's Stories of Birthing, Mothering and Healing after Sexual Abuse. Mickey Sperlich & Julia Seng, $39.95

Trauma and Addiction: Ending the Cycle of Pain through Emotional Literacy. Tian Dayton, $15.95

Traumatic Stress: the Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body, and Society. B. Van der Kolk et al, $57.50

Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders: an Evidence-Based Guide. Edited by Christine Courtois & Julian Ford, $60.65

Treating Survivors of Childhood Abuse: Psychotherapy for the Interrupted Life. Marylene Cloitre, Lisa Cohen & Karestan Koenen, $55.50

The Unsayable: the Hidden Language of Trauma. Annie Rogers, $18.00

Victims No Longer: the Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse. Mike Lew, $24.99

When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women. Penny Simkin & Phyllis Klaus, $43.95

Women Who Hurt Themselves: a Book of Hope and Understanding. Dusty Miller, $18.50

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