Safety Notice

If you are a survivor, please be careful in reading the information compiled here. It is impossible to give information on ritual abuse, and about people's opinions about ritual abuse, in a way that is not upsetting and/or triggering. Only you know how much is wise to read, and how much information you can absorb at one time.

Healing: Self-Help Books and Workbooks


American Self-Help Clearinghouse. listing of US and international self-help group websites.

Self-Help Books and Workbooks

L'Abate, Luciano. (2004) A guide to self-help workbooks for mental health clinicians and researchers. Haworth Clinical Practice Press, Binghamton, NY. 221 pps.
NOTE: An annotated bibliography which reviews workbooks according to five criteria: contents, structure, specificity, goal, and level of abstraction.
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Adams, Kathleen. (1998) The way of the journal: A journal therapy workbook for healing.  Sidran Press, Brooklandville, MD.
NOTE: From the publisher: "Adams' ten-step "quick and easy" method was created to provide sexual abuse survivors and dissociative clients with ways to maximize structure, balance, and permission while minimizing overstimulation and overwhelming feeling.... Adams begins the workbook with exercises for short, contained journal entries and proceeds to demonstrate looser, open-ended journal writing techniques. All of these exercises can be completed in less than 30 minutes a day over a two-week period, giving the writer a concrete sense of progress and accomplishment. Each section is followed by "So, how was it?," an evaluation of the specific journal technique used, assisting clients and, if desired, their therapists in identifying which techniques will work best for them in on-going journal therapy.

Bass, Ellen and Davis, Laura. (1988) The courage to heal: A guide for women survivors of sexual abuse. Harper and Row, NY, NY.
TABLE OF CONTENTS (PARTIAL): Healing Is Possible - Believing it Happened - Using the Writing Exercises -The Child Within - Using Guided Imagery  - Grieving - Anger - Disclosures and Truth Telling - Taking Stock Taking Care  - Forgiveness? Recognizing the Damage  - Spirituality - Honoring What You Did  - Resolution and Moving On - The Healing Process  - Getting in Touch With Your Feelings - An Overview; - Trauma and the Brain - The Emergency Stage - Healthy Intimacy - Reclaiming Your Sexuality - Children and Parenting - Relating to Your Family Now - Resource Guide - Finding Help Building Community - Resilience - Special Topics - Abuse by Clergy - Religious Issues
NOTE: From the publisher: "Cherished by survivors, and recommended by therapists and institutions everywhere, The Courage to Heal has often been called the bible of healing from child sexual abuse. This completely revised and updated 20th anniversary edition continues to provide the compassionate wisdom the book has been famous for, as well as many new features:
Contemporary research on trauma and the brain
An overview of powerful new healing tools such as imagery, meditation, and body-centered practices
Additional stories that reflect an even greater diversity of survivor experiences
The reassuring accounts of survivors who have been healing for more than twenty years
The most comprehensive, up-to-date resource guide in the field
Insights from the authors' decades of experience"
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Beckner, Victoria Lemle  and  Arden, John B.  (2008) Conquering post Traumatic Stress Disorder: The newest techniques for overcoming symptoms, regaining hope, and getting your life back. Fairwinds Press, Beverly, MA.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Introduction - Section 1 What Is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Section 2 Overcoming Anxiety, Avoidance and Depression  - Section 3 Taking Care of Your Brain and Body - Section 4 Healing Trauma by Improving Relationships- Section 5 From Trauma to Growth
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Bean, Barbara and Bennett, Shari  (1993) A guide for teen survivors. Lexington Books, NY, NY.
NOTE: A workbook and informational resource for teenagers who have been sexually abused. Contains material on incest and ritual abuse.

Cori, Jasmin Lee, (2007) Healing from trauma: A survivor's guide to understanding your symptoms and reclaiming your life. Avalon Pub, Cambridge, MA.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: 1: Shit Happens -What Is Trauma? Why Do Some People Suffer More Than Others? Hidden Traumas - Identifying Your Traumas: Exercise - Will It Always Be Like This? Two Kinds of Suffering - Ten Points to Remember - It’s a Body Thing - Caught in Lower Brain Centers - Under the Influence - Taking Back the Control Room -  Resilience - Getting the Traction to Move on - Ten Points to Remember 3: The Footprints of Trauma - Tracks in the Body - Sensitivities - Triggers Triggers Everywhere - The Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man - I Can't Think - Turned to Stone Numbing - Amnesia Flashbacks and Fragmented Memory -Insomnia - Self-Injuring Behaviors - Living in a Broom Closet - Relationship Patterns - Feeling Broken - Alone in an Uncaring World - Ten Points to Remember - 4: Trauma-Related Disorders - Posttraumatic Stress Disorder - Acute Stress Disorder - Depression - Anxiety Disorders - Addictions - Eating Disorders - Dissociative Disorders - Borderline Personality - Physical Diseases Related to Trauma - Casualties of Trauma - Two Cocoons - Exploring Your Cocoon Exercise - Ten Points to Remember 5: The Journey of Healing - A Hard-Won Self - Basic Requirements for the Journey - The Tasks of Healing - Personal Resources - Assessing Your Resources Exercise - The Spiral of Healing - The Importance of Deep Listening - The Drive for Completion - Realigning with Your Wholeness - Each Path Is Unique 6: How to Choose the Right Helpers - Things to Consider When Working with Health Practitioners - Is Psychotherapy for Me? How Long Will It Take? - Choosing the Right Therapist - Wounded and Wounding Healers - When Is It Appropriate to Change Therapists? - Can I Heal Without Psychotherapy? - Ten Points to Remember 7: Selecting Your Interventions - Containment versus Catharsis - EMDR and Alternating Bilateral Stimulation ABS - Point Therapies - Somatic Therapies - Hands-On Therapies for Trauma - Imagery-Based Therapies - Corrective Experiences - Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy CBT - Changing Experience through a Pattern Interruption - Help from Peers - Residential Treatment Programs - The Decisions Are Yours - Ten Points to Remember - 8: Tools for Dealing with Trauma - Keeping One Foot on Solid Ground - Grounding - Finding Your Rock - Controlling Your Arousal Level - Learning to Self-Soothe - Accepting Comfort from Another Person - Seeing Options - Stop, Soothe, Support: An Antidote for Hyperarousal - Refocus, Reconnect, Reenter: An Antidote for Dissociation - The Control Button 9: Tools for Living 1- Becoming a Fierce Protector and Advocate for Yourself - Supportive Life Structures - Knowing Your Medicine - Nurturing Self-Talk - Gaining Control of Your Mind - Objectivity - Strengthening Boundaries - Cultivating a Friendly Relationship with Your Body-  Humor - Journaling - Creativity and Self-Expression - The Gifts of Nature - Snuggling Up to the World - The Best Revenge Is a Happy Life - Ten Points to Remember - 10: Spiritual Issues - An Earnest Search - Hidden Gifts - What Spiritual Life Has to Offer - The Transcendence Trap - Expansion and Contraction - What's Suffering Got to Do with It?  Accepting Life as It Is - An Integrated Spirituality - Toward an Integrated Spirituality - Ten Points to Remember 11: Ain't Broke No More - Signs of Healing - Signs of Wholeness - A New Me - Coming Home - War No More - It's Never Too Late for a Little Happiness - Ten Points to Remember 12: My Story - Ten Points to Remember - Bodywork Therapies - Resources
NOTE: The author is an incest survivor (from infancy) as well as a therapist. Although the book does not deal with ritual abuse, all the information is applicable. The focus is on resilience, gaining control, and creating a renewed life. There are "points to remember" and workbook-type exercises throughout.
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Crosby, Jeremy P.  (2008) A mind frozen in time: A PTSD recovery guide. Dog Ear Publishing, Indianapolis, IN.
NOTE: Adapted from the Publisher: For survivors of traumas related to military service and their families....applicable to most types of traumatic experiences. Chapters are brief, making it easier to comprehend for readers who have difficulty concentrating or retaining what they read and written in "everyday" language.
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Davis, Laura. (1990) The courage to heal workbook: for women and men survivors of child sexual abuse. Harper Collins, NY, NY.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Introduction: About the exercises in this book - Survival skills for healing - Building your support system - Dealing with crisis - Nurturing yourself - Marking the way - Where do I come from? - How did it change my life? - How did I survive?  - Aspects of healing - Resolution and moving on - Remembering - Believing it happened - Breaking silence- Understanding that it wasn’t your fault - Learning to trust yourself - Grieving and mourning - Anger- Confrontations - Dealing with your family now -Guidelines for healing sexually - Resources
NOTE: Carefully thought out cognitive and creative exercises to accompany The courage to heal. Respectful and empathetic through out. Davis says in "About These Exercises," "There may be moments when you feel inadequate, confused or unable to proceed….That means there is a flaw in the design of the book, not in you."
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Davis, Laura. (1992) Allies in healing: When the person you love was sexually abused as a child. Harper Collins, NY, NY.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Part 1: Partner's questions: The basics: Allies in healing: My needs and feelings: Dealing with Crises: More about sexual abuse: Intimacy and communication:: Sex: Family issues: Final thoughts. Part 2: Partner's Stories: Introduction: Jack's Story "Recovering together:" Marise's Story "She works really hard and so do I:" Noah's story "Crisis and cult abuse:" Eric's story "The support of others:" Lorraine's story "Breaking up:" Richard's story "A year at a time:" Scott's story "Building trust over time:" Virginia's story "Forging a commitment:" Healing books and other resources: Index.
NOTE: Written in the format of The Courage to Heal, this book covers topics such as communication, sex, emergencies, and interacting with the survivor’s family. Girlfriends, boyfriends, spouses, and lovers are all included. From the publisher: "A combination of checklists, writing and art projects, open-ended questions and activities...
Survival Skills -- Teaches survivors to create a safe, supportive environment, ask for help, deal with crisis periods, and choose therapy.
Aspects Of Healing -- Focuses on the healing process: gaining a capacity for hope, breaking silence, letting go of shame, turning anger into action, planning a confrontation, preparing for family contact, and affirming personal progress.
Guidelines For Healing Sexually -- Redefines the concept of "safe sex" and establishes healthy ground rules for sexual contact."
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England, Diane. (2009) The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder relationship: How to support your partner and keep your relationship healthy. Adams Media, Avon, MA.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: An Introduction to PTSD - Commonly Prescribed Medications - Therapeutic Approaches for PTSD - Finding the Right Therapist for Your Partner - More Possible Tools for Your Loved One - What Are You Going Through? Take Care of Yourself First - Change Your Thinking - Tools for a Better Relationship - Coping with Painful Realities - Meeting Your Children’s Needs - Should You Stay? Afterword: Seeking Stories
NOTE: From the publisher: "In this book, couples will learn how to have a healthy relationship, in spite of a stressful and debilitating disorder. They'll learn how to: Deal with emotions regarding their partner's PTSD; Talk about the traumatic event(s); Communicate with their PTSD partner when separated by active duty; Handle sexual relations when a PTSD partner has suffered a traumatic sexual event; Help your partner cope with everyday life issues. When someone has gone through a traumatic event in his or her life, he or she needs a partner more than ever. This is the complete guide to keeping the relationship strong and helping both partners recover in happy, healthy ways."
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Gartner, R. B. (2005) Beyond betrayal: Taking charge of your life after boyhood sexual abuse. John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ.
NOTE: This book covers both male and female abuse of boys and young men, by family members, clergy, teachers, babysitters, and health professionals. Dr Gartner's patients share their stories to illustrate the effects of abuse and the process of healing.
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Maltz, Wendy. The sexual healing journey: A guide for survivors of sexual abuse, Third edition. HarperCollins, HarperCollins, e-book, NY, NY.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Realizing There’s a Sexual Issue - Acknowledging the Abuse - Identifying the Sexual Impact - Deciding to Reclaim Our Sexuality - Creating a New Meaning for Sex - Finding Our Real Sexual Selves - Gaining Control over Automatic Reactions - Moving toward Healthy Sexual Behavior - Healing with an Intimate Partner - Techniques for Relearning Touch - Solving Specific Sexual Problems - Enjoying Sexual Experiences
NOTE: From the publisher: " his widely esteemed, comprehensive guide helps survivors of sexual abuse heal from the past, improve relationships, and discover the joys of sexual intimacy. Wendy Maltz sensitively takes readers step-by-step through the recovery process, integrating expert advice with groundbreaking exercises, proven techniques, and first-person accounts of women and men at every stage of sexual healing. This compassionate resource can help you to:
Identify the sexual effects of sexual abuse
Eliminate negative sexual behavior and resolve specific problems
Gain control over upsetting automatic reactions to touch and sex
Develop a healthy sexual self-concept"
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McGee, Sharon A. and Holmes, Curtis F.  Finding sunshine after the storm: A workbook for children healing from sexual abuse. New Harbinger Pub., Oakland, CA.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: First Things First  - Things I Am Proud Of - Who Are My Helpers? You're Not Crazy - My Worry Circle - Take a Bow - What to Do with an Inside Hurt? Help the Helpers - Mirror Mirror on the Wall - What's in a Word? Calico the Cat - Magic Circles - What’s in a Touch?  Three Kinds of Touches - More About Touching - How Little Was I?  Priscilla the Problem Solver - Larry the Lobster - My Problem Solving Plan - My Lips Are Not Sealed - Practice Makes Perfect - All My Feelings Help Me - The Creepy Crawlies - Sticky Brains - I Think I Can - Taking Good Care of Teddy - Prickly Pete - Are You Like a Porcupine? I'm Mad I'm Mad I'm Mad -Volcano Island - Working Off Your Anger - Being Responsible for Yourself - Finding Safe People - You're a Star - Secrets - Be a Secret Detective - PB Is a Worldwide Handicap - Beliefs to Challenge, Beliefs to Practice - Head up in the Clouds - Mamie the Flying Kitten
NOTE: From the publisher: "This book contains forty compassionate activities kids who have suffered abuse can do to raise their self-esteem, establish boundaries, and identify people they can trust." Age range is about eight to ten.
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Napier, Nancy J. Getting through the day: Strategies for adults hurt as children. Sidran Foundation Press, Baltimore, MD.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: When You Have a Need Not to Know - A Better Way - Why Am I So Scared? - Something to Hold Onto - I Feel Like I’m Going to … - I Just Don't Know What To Do - Could That Possibly Be Me? - What About the People in My Life? - What About My Therapist? In Fact, What About Therapy? - References
NOTE: In straightforward language, the author discusses the continuum of dissociation and explains the difference between ordinary mood shifts and trauma-induced dissociation. Chapters are devoted to the therapeutic value of dissociation, triggers, mindfulness, "inner child" parts, shame, your "future" self, and your relationships with family, friends, and therapist.
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Oksana, Chrystine. (1994, 2001) Safe passage to healing: A guide for survivors of ritual abuse. Harper Perennial, NY. NY. Also available as a NookBook.
NOTE: In the format of The Courage to Heal. This book helps demystifies ritual abuse, cults, and methods and offers groundbreaking healing strategies. Standard guide for anyone treating survivors of ritual abuse. Highly recommended. (I cannot believe I can't find the table of contents on the Internet. Unfortunately I gave away my copies.)

Palmer, Libby. (2012) The PTSD workbook for teens: Simple, effective skills for healing trauma. New Harbinger Publications, Oakland, CA.
TABLE OF CONTENTS (PARTIAL): A Letter To Teens - A Letter To Parents - Sharing This Book or NOT - What Is Trauma? Healing From Trauma - Reacting To Trauma: Fight Flee And Freeze - Remembering Trauma - Thinking And Remembering – Avoiding Reminders - Being Jumpy and On Edge - Do You Have PTSD? - Building Support Systems - Talking About Trauma – Asking For Help – Healthy And Unhealthy Coping Skills - Crisis Plans - Breathing Skills
NOTE: From the publisher: "Based in cognitive behavioral therapy, this user-friendly workbook for teens with PTSD and other trauma-related difficulties will help you work through your experience and make sense of your thoughts and feelings. The book includes worksheets and activities to help you reestablish a sense of safety, gain control over your emotions, make peace with your traumatic experience, and reconnect with a positive sense of self."
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Rogers, Alexandra (1994). For survival's sake workbook. The Rogers Co., P.O. Box 1102, Lewiston, NY.
NOTE: Therapy workbook for survivors of ritualistic, religious and organizational abuse, with segments for multiples.

Rosenbloom, Dena, Williams, Mary Beth, Watkins, Barbara E., and Pearlman, Laurie Anne. (2010) Life after trauma: A workbook for healing. Guilford Press, NY, NY.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Before You Begin - After Trauma: Why You Feel Thrown for a Loop - Ways of Coping with Trauma - Thinking Things Through - Feeling Safe; Being Safe - What does it Mean to Trust? - Valuing Yourself and Others - Feeling Close to Others - Healing for the long term - Appendix A Taking Care of Yourself in Health Care Settings - Appendix B Recommended Resources - Appendix C About Psychotherapy - Appendix D How Mental Health Professionals Can Use This Workbook
NOTE: Detailed exercises designed to explore and evaluate basic attitudes, evaluate areas of strength and weakness, and designing ways to act differently in the future.
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Williams, Mary Beth and Soili Poijula (2002) The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms. New Harbinger Publications, Oakland, CA.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: A Look at Trauma: Simple and Complex -  Before Doing the Work: Safety Security and Intention - Identifying and Writing about What Has Happened to You - Helping Yourself When You Experience a Trauma - Coping with Trauma with Less Avoidance and Denial - The Physical Side of PTSD - Dealing with Associated Symptoms of PTSD: Guilt, Survivor Guilt, Shame, and Loss - Difficulty Regulating Emotion (Complex PTSD, Category 1) - Alterations in Attention or Consciousness: Dealing with Dissociation and Traumatic Amnesia (Complex PTSD, Category 2) - Somatization: How Trauma Impacts Your Body (Complex PTSD, Category 3) - How Trauma Impacts the Way You View Yourself (Complex PTSD, Category 4) - Dealing with Your Perpetrators (Complex PTSD, Category 5) - Finding Meaning (Complex PTSD Category 7) - Final Thoughts and Exercises
NOTE: From the Author: "While the majority of those who have experienced direct trauma or who have witnessed trauma will heal,  even persons who do not develop full-blown post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, will experience a number of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress: flashbacks; intrusive thoughts and memories; hyper reactivity; avoidance of persons, places, things, and other triggers; jumpiness; and other symptoms. Other persons have experienced lifelong traumas that are character changing; many of these people suffer from a syndrome that researchers are just beginning to describe, called complex PTSD. This workbook was conceptualized as a resource for the survivor who experiences a few or many of the symptoms of PTSD or complex PTSD. When we were first asked to develop this book, we asked colleagues to share exercises that might help survivors do the work themselves. We also began to focus on the exercises we use in our own clinical work. Indeed, our clinical experience is what makes us qualified to author this book. Both of us are primarily grunt workers in the trenches of the field of trauma. We have met with many clients on a regular basis for both short-term and long-term therapy. That extensive experience allows us to say that though the road of healing may be long and difficult, healing can and does happen. In this workbook, you will have the opportunity to complete numerous exercises that will give you insight into your symptoms, your beliefs, your behaviors, and your feelings about the trauma or traumas you endured. Many of these exercises can be completed in the book itself, so that the book becomes a record of your recovery from trauma as well as a resource for you to turn to again and again throughout that recovery. Other exercises can be completed in a separate notebook or journal, which can also be used to expand upon the exercises you complete in the book or to record your other thoughts and feelings along your journey to healing. We hope that this book will help you on that journey."


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