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The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse Paperback – August 13, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 204 customer reviews

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  • The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
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  • The Wounded Heart Workbook: A Companion Workbook for Personal or Group Use
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

You may think you don’t know anyone who has been sexually abused, especially if most of your friends and acquaintances are Christians. But the statistics indicate otherwise. The Wounded Heart is an intensely personal and specific look at this most “soul deadening” form of abuse. Personal because it may be affecting you, your spouse, a close friend or neighbor, or someone you know well at church; and specific because it goes well beyond the general issues and solutions discussed in other books.

Dr. Allender’s book reaches deep into the wounded heart of someone you know, exploring the secret lament of the soul damaged by sexual abuse and laying hold of the hope buried there by the One whose unstained image we all bear.

About the Author

Dr. Dan B. Allender received his MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary and his PhD in Counseling Psychology from Michigan State University.

Dan taught in the Biblical Counseling Department of Grace Theological Seminary for seven years (1983–1989). From 1989–1997 Dan worked as professor in the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling program at Colorado Christian University, Denver, Colorado. Currently, Dan serves as Professor of Counseling Psychology and President at Mars Hill Graduate School (MHGS.edu) in Seattle, Washington.

He travels and speaks extensively to present his unique perspective on sexual abuse recovery, love and forgiveness, worship, and other related topics. He is the author of The Wounded Heart (NavPress), and has coauthored four books with Dr. Tremper Longman III, Intimate Allies (Tyndale), The Cry of the Soul (NavPress), Bold Love (NavPress), and Breaking the Idols of Your Heart (IVP). Dan and his wife, Rebecca, have three children and live in Seattle, Washington.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress; New edition (August 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600063071
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600063077
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you want powerful accuracy in a Christian setting this is the book! I also highly recommend getting the workbook to go along with it.

I got this book because of a friend's recommendation, and I'm so glad I did. Though I was offended at first (I realized later I wasn't at a point where I wanted to hear the truth). I put down the book for a couple of years until I wanted to try processing it again.
Please understand dealing with the issues in this book is HARD WORK! So if you need a break--take it. Honestly, the difficulty is not with the book, it's with the process of facing the truth.

I'm going through this book for the 3rd time now and still gaining more healing with it. I've also bought this book for several friends because I find it to be the most helpful in dealing with the results of abuse. I've also given it to my husband and some of my close friends for them to read to understand me and what I deal with better. And now I'm working with my church to start the Wounded Heart seminar. :)

Just remember, if you do get this book (and I hope you do), take your time and don't give up. It's worth it.
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Format: Paperback
"The Wounded Heart" is a love letter beneficial to any person suffering from victimization, although it is specifically written to the victims of sexual abuse. Written in captivating and empathetic style by Dr. Dan B. Allender, (M. Div. and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology) it must be put down regularly in order to take in small doses the healing offered therein.

Not content to simply ruminate on the past, this book deals with the current relationships in the life of the abused, most particularly, what Dr. Allender calls the "Abuser Surrogate" because the cycle so often repeats itself throughout the lives of victims because of the repercussions of abuse. He has words for the victim as well as to the "surrogate" who may be very abusive him/herself or may just need encouragement in helping the relationship recover from the effects of abuse.

Of all the "interventions" I have known and experienced, "The Wounded Heart" is the most genuinely insightful of them all. Free of pop psychology and psychobabble, it delves into the reality of the victim. This resource sheds forgiveness, hope and encouragement abroad in the heartsick soul. It encourages the heart to dare to dream of a time when life will no longer be ruled by a reactionary lifestyle. It emboldens the heart to dare to hope, to dare to trust, and to dare to leave behind contempt for itself and contempt for others.

Such aspirations are lost in an earlier lifetime for most victims of sexual abuse. They are often encouraged to think that the route to healing is as simple as "forgiving yourself" and remembering where to place the blame. However, this self-forgiveness often comes across as a blanket statement that nothing one can do after victimization is really blameworthy. At first taste, the idea is sweet in the mouth.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is excellent, but should not be read in isolation. If done in a group setting led by someone you trust, you will have companions to journey with as you face your past and the pain of abuse. I have seen change in my own life and in the lives of friends as we worked through the workbook together.

Beginning with identification of present day problems and symptoms related to abuse, it continues with your past history, walking you through your responses to victimization. Denial and memory issues are dealt with as well. It is the best tool I know of to help you connect the effects of past abuse with ongoing damage to relationships in the present. It helps you learn to navigate your internal emotional realm with greater clarity, asking you to walk down paths you have previously avoided because of denial, fear, and confusion.

This book stands out because it goes beyond victimization to helping you examine how your responses to abuse have carried over into adulthood, often in sinful ways. It is unflinchingly honest and the work is difficult. If you are not prepared to examine your heart, I suggest that you put this book aside for another day. It offers no quick fix band-aids, but addresses the need for a thorough cleansing of the wound, bringing your pain to the surface where it can be dealt with. It helps you learn to deal with the damage done to your mind, heart, and emotions, and acknowledges that the difficulty of the struggle is prolonged. It doesn't let you off the hook when it comes to examining your sin, but it is written with empathy and understanding, offering a biblical path to healing and restoration. If you choose to go through this book while entrusting your heart and healing to God, you will be richly rewarded as you begin to see change in yourself and in your relationship to God and others.
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Format: Paperback
I am a mental health counselor who specializes in abuse victims. The
Wounded Heart is the best book I have ever read on this topic and I recommend it to all my clients. Thank you Dr. Allender for your wisdom and insight.
Deedra Hunter, M.S.,LMHC
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The biggest breakthrough I achieved in reading this book is learning that Forgiving does not mean Forgetting. I can achieve my own healing over time and with counseling and I can forgive my abuser but I am not required by God to pretend the abuse never happened. I encourage anyone who has suffered sexual abuse as a child to read this if they want to gain understanding for what happened, what they felt, and want to move their lives forward in search of healing.
This book provides a path to healing that involves confronting the abuser in an effort to allow the abuser to take responsibility and find forgiveness and healing as well if they desire it.
I consider myself a well adjusted individual but recognize damage exists from past abuse and affects my every day relationships (personally and professionally) in subtle ways I never realized until I read this. I am working to overcome the shame involved with having been abused and my abuser is now reading this book as well as seeing a counselor to address the past.
I also recommend the dvd's.
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