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Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse Paperback – April 27, 2008
"Happy This Year!" by Will Bowen
A practical, yet inspirational work that proposes it’s the inner world of our psyches that determines happiness, not outside forces. | Learn more
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From the Back Cover
About the Author
- Publisher : Zondervan; unknown edition (April 27, 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0310285291
- ISBN-13 : 978-0310285298
- Item Weight : 12.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.75 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #132,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
Top reviews from the United States
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The book is divided into three parts: the nature of abuse, the effects of abuse, and the healing path. He delivers, resoundingly, what each part promises. Mixing insights from psychological studies, careful exegesis of Scripture, and case studies, Tracy fully explores the horrific damage that abusers and abusive families perpetrate on victims. But he does not fall into the trap of ennobling and white-washing the victims. He also explores the (understandable) sinful responses of victims to their abuse, and he’s not afraid to label those responses as sin.
In a word, this is gentle pastoral care of souls ravaged by abuse, wrapped into an insightful, honest volume. Whether you are coming from the “Christian counseling” side of the aisle, or the “Biblical counseling” side, you’ll find much that’s useful. Tracy does a good job of staying true to Scripture while fully employing the observations and statistics of the world of psychology.
The chapters on "Facing the Brokenness" and "Rebuilding Intimacy with God" are outstanding. Here is real hope and practical guidance for counselors who are working with victims of abuse and molestation.
As a sidelight, those who are helping combat veterans dealing with PTSD might find useful insights in this volume. Tracy does a good job of showing the relationships between various kinds of high-stress high-trauma experiences.
The weakest part of the book, in my estimation, is his chapter on forgiveness. While I find myself in agreement of most of what he has to say, I think there are better treatments elsewhere. It’s a niggling, quibbling point, though, when you consider the overall excellence of the book.
He describes how the unwillingness of family members to take their complaints seriously often leaves victims even further traumatized and how this can ultimately affect their view of God and, in turn, their own identity and sense of self. This, then, can make it almost impossible to enjoy Him and His love or to lead a life of reasonable happiness.
I especially appreciated the author's discussion on shame in relation to all if this.
Next, the author shares some principles and a simple strategy for helping victims find healing and restoration in Jesus. I particularly liked his discussion on the three types of forgiveness: judicial forgiveness that only God can give, psychological forgiveness where we hand our right to vengeance over to God, and relational forgiveness where the relationship is restored. The latter is not always possible or even healthy, however. (See Romans 12:18).
Finally, the numerous case studies, testimonies and even explained art work make it an easy and inspiring read.