Childhood sexual abuse (adult survivors): self-help books

An Introduction to Coping With Childhood Trauma 
Author Helen Kennerley, 2011

'A comprehensive introduction to understanding, coping with and recovering from the effects of childhood trauma'. 

Suitable for Carers
Review:
This booklet provides an introduction to understanding and coping with the effects of childhood trauma. Drawing on a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) framework, the text guides the reader through various issues and strategies. It provides an examination of maintaining cycles such as avoidance and negative thinking. Attention is paid to the development of healthy coping strategies and how to set realistic and attainable goals. There is a section on thought records, designed to help develop awareness and encourage more balanced perspectives. The chapter on anger seeks to understand the role of anger, the other emotions associated with it and how to manage angry outbursts. There is also a chapter on how to develop healthy relationships, focusing on setting boundaries and exploring trust issues. The inclusion of examples and individual exercises in each section brings the material to life and personalises it for the reader. The text also lists numerous other useful resources. 

Breaking Free: Help for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
Authors Carolyn Ainscough & Kay Toon, 2000

'Sensitively written. Demonstrates the range of experience and feelings involved. Optimistic. Strategies for coping'.

Review: This is a practical up-to-date self-help book for survivors of child sexual abuse. It investigates the lasting effects of child sexual abuse, which may include guilt and shame, depression and anxiety, eating disorders, fear of relationships and sexual problems. The book includes frank and moving accounts by survivors to demonstrate the range of experiences and feelings involved. The authors (two British clinical psychologists with many years of experience in the field) address many sensitive issues in a sympathetic manner. The book offers a positive and optimistic approach and provides survivors with strategies for coping with the potentially very upsetting and painful process of breaking free from their past. Many abuse survivors have reported this book to be especially valuable.

Overcoming Childhood Trauma 
Author Helen Kennerley, 2000

'A complete recovery programme based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Easy to read.

Review: This book was developed as a self-help guide for adults who experienced some form of childhood abuse, either physical, emotional or sexual'. The book explains the links between past trauma and present difficulties. Specific difficulties such as intrusive memories, mood swings, excessive anxiety and issues in relationships are identified. Poor self-image and negative thinking are covered in detail. Various ways to gain control over these problems are described. This book offers practical suggestions which are helpful when dealing with what can feel like overwhelming experiences. All the issues raised are dealt with in a sensitive and practical way.