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With the Phoenix Rising: Lessons from Ten Resilient Women Who Overcame the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse

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9780787947842: With the Phoenix Rising: Lessons from Ten Resilient Women Who Overcame the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse
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The devastating effects of childhood sexual abuse have been widely chronicled, validating the difficulty with which many survivors struggle. Often overlooked are the millions of women who have overcome early trauma to lead successful, happy lives. Why do these women-whom we might otherwise have expected to fail-have such tremAndous strength and resilience? This question is at the heart of With the Phoenix Rising as it paints a moving and optimistic portrait of ten women who have overcome the trauma of childhood sexual abuse and shows how their resilient success can be encouraged in others who have suffered similar traumas.

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From the Back Cover:

The Resilience of the Human Spirit

Why do some women overcome traumatic childhood experiences while others, understandably, suffer terrible psychological consequences?

The devastating effects of childhood sexual abuse have been widely chronicled, validating the difficulty with which many survivors struggle. Often overlooked are the millions of women who have overcome early trauma to lead successful, happy lives. Why do these women―whom we might otherwise have expected to fail―have such tremendous strength and resilience? This question is at the heart of With the Phoenix Rising as it paints a moving and optimistic portrait of ten women who have overcome the trauma of childhood sexual abuse and shows how their resilient success can be encouraged in others who have suffered similar traumas.

“Through its emphasis on survivors’ strengths and resilience over the life course, this book brings a new focus to the study of child sexual abuse. Therapists, researchers, and survivors will gain an important understanding of resiliency in the context of family, community, and women’s lives. The authors give voice to women who have overcome the trauma of abuse.”
―LINDA M. WILLIAMS, director of research, the Stone Center, Wellesley College

“This important book breaks new ground....For any reader wishing to be inspired by stories of the human spirit’s triumph over adversity.”
―DANIEL BROWN, Harvard Medical School, Simmons School of Social Work

“The women’s voices of With the Phoenix Rising bring to life the spirit and hope every survivor can discover. This wonderful book has something to offer new clinicians as well as seasoned trauma professionals.”
―LINDA T. SANFORD, author of Strong at the Broken Places

“Full of practical wisdom and perspective for trauma clinicians working with all trauma survivor groups. Survivors will find their strengths and dignity cherished without giving the slightest aid-and-comfort to perpetrators and their apologists. With the Phoenix Rising palpably enlarges what we know about how a trauma survivor can construct a good human life.”
―JONATHAN SHAY, staff psychiatrist, Department of Veterans Affairs; author of Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character

From the Inside Flap:

Untold numbers of women have suffered severe childhood abuse and yet show remarkable strength in their ability to persevere in their relationships with themselves and others. In spite of their past and continued pain and suffering, they are able to make sense of their adversity and work to move beyond it, to focus on having a meaningful life filled with love, growth, and connection to community. But why do these women triumph over their painful experiences and memories when, understandably, so many others do not? With the Phoenix Rising tells the stories of ten women who have successfully integrated the experience of traumatic childhood sexual abuse into their lives. Their lessons provide hope for fellow survivors and give clinicians the insight they need to help encourage such resiliency in women with similar devastating histories.The authors, led by Boston University professor Frances Grossman, interviewed and studied ten women over the course of several years to learn what contributed to their resiliency. Their stories-their own sense of what helped them to lead successful lives-have been integrated into a framework essential for mental health professionals who assess and treat women with severe trauma histories. This framework will guide clinicians as they help their clients shift their sense of themselves from damaged to resilient. Clinicians will gain insight into the resilient strategies-setting boundaries, utilizing coping techniques, and looking out for the mind and body-used by these women and how these traits can be developed in their clients.With the Phoenix Rising focuses beyond the pathology that dominates the literature on the subject, enabling behavioral health care practitioners to broaden their perspective regarding survivors to one of strengths, not just pain and injury, and to integrate these factors and processes into working successfully with those who have suffered child abuse.The Resilience of the Human SpiritWhy do some wom

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