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Sexual Abuse By Health Professionals: A Personal Search for Meaning and Healing Hardcover – June 12, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division; 74th Revised edition edition (June 12, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802042694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802042699
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,709,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

P. Susan Penfold is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gary R. Schoener on September 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Penfold is one of the very few of the professionals who themselves have been victims of professional abuse who has had the courage to share her story. Most are fearful of being subjected to negative attention. Beyond her honest and heartful story and experience, which will help other victims and professionals seeking to help them, she contributes a wonderful analysis of the problem and what is known about it in the professional literature. This is a very unusual "double barreled" approach and provides for great richness. This is a book that I have read more than once, and one which many victims of professional misconduct of all types find inspiring. As a clinical psychologist and someone who helps people with this sort of issue, it is an invaluble resource.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. M Marson on March 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Penfold writes with two different "voices" for two different audiences. First, she writes for women who have been sexual exploited by health care professionals. Second, she writes for health care professionals. She was a sexual victim of a practicing psychiatrist (also her professor) while she was a medical student. Writing in two voices, one for professionals and one for laypersons, is an extremely difficult task. Penfold is impressively successful in her endeavor.
My first immediate and personal response was total disbelief. Feelings are difficult to intellectualize, but I will make an effort. The case illustrations are too bizarre and a professional observer (one without an agenda) could easily interpret these client/patient complaints as being delusional.
A long list of questions plagued my mind during the entire duration of reading this well written book. Most of my concerns have been left unanswered. Most importantly, Penfold does not come off as a sympathetic figure, but rather as someone who should have known better and responded to her difficulty with greater immediacy. The real problem with Penfold and perhaps all psychotherapists is that we possess sophisticated skills in employing rationalization to justify our mistakes and frailties to ourselves and others. At the end, I remained frustrated because Penfold never had the guts to file a complaint, but claims she is able to shepherd her sexually exploited patients to do what she could not. Her intellectual ability to explain her plight is eloquent, but nevertheless shameful. I hate myself for these thoughts because they are classic illustrations of "blaming the victim." In those circumstances, could I have done better? I like to think I could, but realistically I do not know what I would have done.
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