“Seldom have I encountered a book with such heart, depth and compassion. [The book] includes profiles of survivors sharing their feelings of shame, fear, pain and anger. Gorgeous photographs help us put a face to their stories of triumph over darkness and pain. Eloquently written and deeply touching, I highly recommend [this] book to survivors, their friends and families and the psychotherapists who work with them.”
Beverly Engel, LMFT, author of more than twenty self-help books including, It Wasn’t Your Fault: Freeing Yourself from the Shame of Childhood Abuse with the Power of Self-Compassion.
“Emily Samuelson has given us a treasure: first person accounts by traumatized individuals that demonstrate their resourcefulness and resilience in addition to their hurts and psychic wounds. With delicacy and empathy, she has gathered together an extraordinary group of stories. It is a wonderful accomplishment.”
Richard Gartner, PhD, Founding Director of Sexual Abuse Service, William Alanson White Institute, New York City. Author: Beyond Betrayal: Taking Charge of Your Life after Boyhood Sexual Abuse and Betrayed as Boys: Psychodynamic Treatment of Sexually Abused Men; Co-Founder and Past President: MaleSurvivor
“Dr. Samuelson has compiled a book that is both disturbing and inspiring. The reader’s disturbance comes from the graphic tales of abuse, and survivors’ struggles for recognition and help. The inspiration comes from how they made sense of what happened to them and how they heroically survived and overcame their past. A very compelling book, illustrated with arresting photos of the survivors, for both professionals and the general public”
Christine A. Courtois, PhD, ABPP, Past-President, Divi.56, Trauma Psychology, American Psychological Assoc. New Books: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Scientific and Professional Dimensions, 2nd ed.; It’s Not You, It’s What Happened To You; Spiritually-Oriented Treatment of Trauma
“Emily Samuelson has brought together a virtual support group of thriving survivors who have been on the hero’s journey. Their travels through darkness and pain into the light give inspiring testimony that it is possible to heal from sexual abuse.”
Marilyn Van Derbur, incest survivor, former Miss America, and author, Miss America By Day
“After a chaotic year, Samuelson unearthed a terrible memory: Her father had sexually assaulted her. In her debut book, she recalls grappling with this new discovery. It’s a cruel irony, but going through the healing process while treating abused kids allowed the author to provide keen insights into the psyche, lending a human touch to the hard work of recovering from abuse.
…Samuelson compiles accounts of fellow survivors in an as-told-to format…[She] is careful to frame each interview within a larger context of processing abuse, interspersing chapters with vivid observations and experiences of her own. She talks about the power shame wields over survivors, the importance of boundaries, and the problem of extreme self-doubt, deftly bringing the issues from abstraction to reality by using her own life as an example. All of the interviewees’ accounts are accompanied by portraits, their looks of joy and determination emphasizing just how much Samuelson’s subjects have achieved.
A deeply humanist portrait of healing and freedom. ”