Thursday, 14 July 2016

Book Review: Journey to Heal by Crystal Sutherland and Naming our Abuse by Schmutzer, Gorski, and Carlson

About the Book: A path of hope and healing for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

A woman who was sexually abused as a child is confronted with many internal questions: Am I worthless? Will I get past the pain? Do I matter to God? These and similar questions can carve a deep hole in an already wounded soul. Too often, the lies of worthlessness are believed, the pain becomes too much to handle, and survivors find themselves making choices that lead to more heartbreak. With over 42 million survivors (both male and female) in the United States alone, the need for a clear path to healing is great.

Crystal Sutherland---herself a survivor of CSA---knows that while the recovery process is complex, healing is possible with God's help. For women who want to progress from simply coping to living abundantly, Journey to Heal guides readers through seven essential steps to recovery found in Scripture. Candid and open about her personal journey of healing, Crystal comes alongside her reader as a friend who understands. Infused with biblical truths, stories of hope from other survivors, and practical wisdom, this book leads women to discover the life of wholeness God has for them.

Purchase a copy:

My Thoughts:  This was a difficult book to read due to the subject matter, and due to knowing (as we all do) victims of abuse.  It was a very well written book and would be extremely helpful as a tool to go along with counselling - this book is not a replacement for that!

After each chapter topic or step in the healing process, Sutherland includes a "Journey Essentials" section - a prayer, a scripture, a question, and some personal journalling space.

This book is helpful for those who would like to come alongside and support a friend who is in the healing process, and of course, extremely valuable for those working on their healing.  I highly recommend this book.

About the Book: A stunningly vulnerable look at the horrific realities of sexual abuse and how to overcome them.

Male sexual abuse is increasingly in the news, from scandals in the Catholic Church to exploitations at Penn State. Yet books and programs about healing are still overwhelmingly oriented toward the female survivor of abuse. As men who experienced childhood abuse, the authors of this book are uniquely qualified to address the healing process of male survivors.

Using the metaphor of a car accident, Naming Our Abuse leads the survivor from the Wreck to the Accident Report to Rehabilitation to Driving Again. This four-step model illustrates that healing is a process to be nurtured rather than something that can be healed in a single telling. Following the authors' examples, readers are invited to find solidarity with other male survivors and develop an understanding of their own wounding through journaling exercises.

Purchase a copy:
About the authors:

Andrew Schmutzer is a professor of biblical studies at Moody Bible Institute (Chicago) and a graduate of Dallas Seminary (ThM) and Trinity (PhD). He writes about integrative issues surrounding abuse, trauma, lament, and spiritual formation and speaks regularly on issues of sexual abuse. Find out more about Andrew on his Facebook: Andrew.Schmutzer
Daniel Gorski is a thirty-year veteran software engineer, having worked for AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Alcatel-Lucent, and Nokia. He earned a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Illinois and an MS in Computer Science from Kansas State University, specializing in expert systems and software automation. 
David Carlson is a special education teacher, working in the suburbs of Chicago for the majority of his adult life. He takes great pride in being an advocate for his students and their families, helping them to navigate whatever challenges life may present. He is committed to encouraging and supporting male survivors through the various stages of their healing.

My Thoughts:  If the healing of abused women is seldom discussed, the healing of abused men is ignored even more.  This book is an incredible resource, both for those who have a loved one that has been abused, and for those men who have suffered abuse themselves.

This book moves through four steps on the journey to healing, each step told by all three authors, all of whom are survivors of abuse. This book lets men know that hope and healing are possible.  A desperately needed resource and one I recommend highly.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for organizing the tours for Journey to Heal and Naming our Abuse, and for providing me with my complimentary review copies.

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