Book Review: “Healing the Trauma of Domestic Violence”

Book Review: “Healing the Trauma of Domestic Violence”

A workbook for survivors

Breaking free from an abusive relationship is a difficult and often overwhelming task, but even after the relationship has ended, the effects of the abuse often remain. Survivors of abusive relationships should seek the help of a professional in sorting through their residual emotions and traumas. But there are some resources you can use on your own, such as Healing the Trauma of Domestic Violence: A Workbook for Women (New Harbinger Publications, 2004) by Edward S. Kubany, PhD, Mari A. McCaig, MSCP, and Janet R. Laconsay, MA.

Each chapter in the workbook deals with some aspect of healing from domestic violence. The primary focus of the book is recovery from the posttraumatic stress disorder that often accompanies domestic violence, and chapters address such issues as anger, negative self-talk, managing stress, overcoming guilt, and identifying potential perpetrators. Chapters are laid out in an easy to follow fashion, generally offering a summary of the subject, followed by a self-assessment, and culminating with practical and proven strategies for healing. The authors use cognitive trauma therapy principle to help measuring improvement. Survivors are asked to revisit their responses from the whole process after completing the workbook so they can see their progress.

This workbook is an excellent supplement to therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder. It gives survivors a safe means of expressing their fears, emotions, and feelings of guilt and shame, but it also insightfully and compassionately offers survivors alternative ways of thinking. For example, in the chapter “The Power of Nonnegative Thinking,” the authors write, “Asking why does you no good at all! The next time you ask why, quickly ask yourself a ‘what’ question: ‘What am I going to do about it?’ If your answer is ‘nothing,’ change the subject. You are wasting your time.” Strategies like this give this book its power. This book doesn’t just ask “why.” It offers readers ways they can accomplish healing from such a difficult experience.

Image via New Harbinger Publications

Kelly Sundberg, an Ohio-based Solo Mom, writer, and editor. She blogs about surviving and thriving after domestic violence at Apology Not Accepted. You can follow her on Twitter at @K_O_Sundberg.

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