Incorporating the voices of professionals counselling survivors of abuse, and those of the survivors themselves, this book provides the reader with a theoretical understanding of people who have endured abuse situations, as well as practical approaches to counselling them. Focusing on the emotional needs of survivors, the contributors discuss, from the viewpoint of their own experiences, effective and useful practice and the provision of appropriate and accessible services in this field.
The effects of different types of abuse and abusive environments, and a variety of methods for dealing with their aftermath, are explored, with chapters dealing specifically with, among other topics:
drug users who were sexually abused as children
issues for practice in working with domestic abuse
therapeutic responses to people with learning disabilities who have been abused
counselling people who self injure
psychodynamic counselling and older people who have been abused
the impact on professional workers.
The 13 chapters here are wide-ranging; they include a contribution on work with people with learning difficulties and work with older people, areas of adult abuse that have been compartmentalised and set aside from mainstream interests. Other marginalised groups or individuals are also included such as drug users and male victims, survivors of domestic violence and those who self-injure. Each chapter is followed by a helpful reading list or references. Students may well find these chapters very instructive and compelling... This text looks set to appeal to a variety of readers from who may seek out individual chapters to practicing counsellors who may wish to see well-organised text with up to date material that is concisely written without being superficial. -- Issues in Social Work Education This fairly short book, with 13 brief chapters, covers a lot of ground and wins my vote because it is clear and concise. Its strength lies in the wide perspective the editor takes on abuse, including domestic violence, drug abuse, elder abuse and self-injury as well as the childhood sexual and physical abuse which one would expect in a book of this nature. One may read it because of interest in a particular client group but I would recomend reading through the whole book, because the key points in abusive experiences are, are not suprisingly, repeated in almost every chapter..... The voices of the victims and survivors are heard strongly in this book, with two complete chapters and many parts of chapters speaking of personal experiences. Most of these writers are also working to help other survivors. Some contributors accept the abusive part of themselves and, in so doing, share thoughts about challenging it and disarming it. Others deny any idea of an 'abuse cycle' but perhaps fail to realize that inflicting self-harm, drug misuse, eating disorders, depression and sexual promiscuity may also be an expression of one's inner abuse reacting against the self instead of towards others. This volume is aimed at those workers who already have a good grasp of their own professional expertise and limitations. It will not replace a wide knowledge of basic abuse dynamics, but it does provide helpful and supportive information on particular client groups. It is a useful addition to the professional library. -- BASPCAN (British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) This is a reader which deliberately sets out to give equal prominence to those who have experienced abuse and the workers who are trying to help. It covers personal experiences of abuse, drug users who have been sexually abused as children, good practice in domestic abuse, men as sex abusers and survivors, working with people who self injure and dissociative disorders. Zetta Bear has done an excellent job editing the collection and has added a valuable chapter "Working with Uncertainty". Many of the chapters contain guidance for practice and that is a helpful feature... If you want some reasoned information and argument about false memory syndrome and ritual abuse, this book has it and at the same high standard as all the other contributions. -- Probation Journal All the chapters give real insight into the issues... The good practice principles that are implicit and explicit throughout the book are excellent and can be transferred into a youth counselling situation. -- Youthwork This is an interesting book written from the perspective of survivors of child sexual abuse, providing detailed, and rather harrowing, accounts of recovery from early experiences of childhood abuse. Overall, this is a timely, interesting and important publication which will be read sympathetically by those working with child sexual abuse victims, which may contribute to a responsible debate about the nature of traumatic amnesia and which in the words of the editor, Zetta Bear, may "serve as a marker for the responsible and ethical allocation of resources in the future". -- British Journal of Psychiatry