To recover from the ramification caused by childhood sexual abuse survivors need to be encouraged, challenged and given guidance, preferably from someone who's walked the journey already, who knows how hard it is but still has the guts to say "Come on, get out of bed. You CAN do this!"
Shattered Pieces, Mended Lives: A practical handbook for survivors of childhood sexual abuse is such a resource.
The book incorporates the core elements of trauma recovery combined with a down-to-earth, real life example of what it takes to heal. Each chapter contains stories, followed by solutions, practical suggestions and workbook style questions and answers. It's written as an easy to read personal guide - a roadmap - that can be used to plot out, understand and to engage in the healing process.
The strategies suggested throughout the book align with counselling trauma therapy, cognitive behavioural theory, psychoeducation, narrative therapy and strength based approaches.
Shattered Pieces, Mended Lives begins by taking readers through the first steps of recovery. They're shown compassionate understanding; that they're not alone, their situation isn't hopeless and with the right help they can change their future.
Readers are asked to look inside themselves and accept the damage that's been done. They're implored to put aside any hindrances to their healing such as ignoring or down-playing the significance of childhood sexual abuse, and to seek help from a professional counsellor to support them on the hard road ahead. Readers are encouraged to include God in the healing process, even if they have little or no understanding of God, with the aim of having a higher being that believes in them and fights for them on their behalf.
The book shows in simple, illustrative language, how to process the core damage of sexual abuse. Readers are taught to dig deeper past the surface issues - reactions, outbursts and destructive behaviours - to identify the real problems. They are then guided through the process to deal with and grieve over those deep emotional hurts.
Shattered Pieces, Mended Lives helps readers to defuse any lies the sexual abuse has inflicted on them: that they are at fault, dirty or worthless. They're encouraged to explore how they see themselves, and are shown how to rebuild their self-worth and self-respect. The book's visual explanations and exercises help reveal to readers who they really are and the tremendous value they have.
Throughout the book readers are given the tools to overcome the common long-term hurdles. They'll learn to transform the way they think, let go of resentment and anger, and minimise the impact of everyday reminders of past trauma.
Shattered Pieces, Mended Lives concludes by reminding readers of the benefits of trusting relationships: the warmth, care and the belonging that's felt. Readers are encouraged to discard past betrayal and rejection, and learn afresh how to develop healthy emotional and physical relationships.