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Stolen Tomorrows: Understanding and Treating Women's Childhood Sexual Abuse Hardcover – March 17, 2007
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"With compassion and patience... he demystifies the condition and brings it into the mainstream of medical practice. He is also very readable." New Statesman"
About the Author
Steven Levenkron is a psychotherapist and the author of seven previous books, including Cutting and The Anatomy of Anorexia. He lives and practices in New York City.
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I've been searching for books to read on sexual abuse, so I ordered this one. Though I have sought some counseling myself over my past (I'm now 62), I found this book a confirmation in many ways of my eschewed thought patterns I've wrestled with throughout my life. The only factor that bothered me is that I've never suffered from bulimia, anorexia, or cutting myself, nor have I purposely sought out physically abusive relationships (only fantasized over such).
However, to say that my sexual violation has not changed my personality since I was five or driven my patterns of thinking into unhealthy attitudes and low self-esteem, would be a lie. It's one thing to understand some of the more dangerous and hurtful behaviors directed toward self as a result, but I think the psychological effects of abuse, without all the other physical manifestations, are just as debilitating, such as self-hatred, shyness, depression, inability to accept love, inability to trust men, not being able to stand up for yourself or say no...the list is endless. The case studies were interesting and more of a validation that what I've faced as a result of my abuse is typical of others, as well. To coin a line in the infamous best seller right now about a man abused as a child, all I can is, "I don't know any other way...this is who I am." For some reason, I found that comforting. I didn't ask to be cast into this mold. It was forced upon me.
No new insights, information or therapy techniques that couldn't be found in other books. Information was basic and somewhat dated.
I was intrigued by the title, "Stolen Tomorrows" and was interested in transformational insights and techniques that would empower women to recover and live into new possibilities for the future, rather than stating repeatedly how patients required years of therapy to overcome the impact of sexual abuse.
For the general public, this book could be the support individuals need to understand behaviors without adding yet another layer of judgment and self-loathing.
It's time for updated and accurate information such as this book provides, to get us out of the antiquated and outdated misinformation that is causing more harm than help.