Trauma in childhood can wreak havoc on one's life, especially when that trauma is the result of ritualistic abuse. In her book Help for the Fractured Soul, Candyce Roberts explores dissociative personality disorders, and gives valuable insight on how to minister to people who are struggling to recover from terrible soul wounds.
Before reading this book, I had a rather limited understanding of dissociative personality disorders, and was aware of only the former name: multiple personality disorders. Furthermore, I always assumed that these "multiple" personalities were simply the result of demonic habitation that required deliverance ministry. Finally, I was shocked at the frequency that ritualistic abuse occurs in our society according to Roberts.
Roberts' book was eye opening, incredible insightful, and inspiring. She reveals that when someone's personality dissociates, it is a defense mechanism to help them cope, rather than demonic possession. Roberts committed her life to helping people be set free from the damages caused by ritual and Satanic abuse, and goes into detail about the need for extreme grace and long term dedication required when working with people suffering from this kind of trauma, whether it be lay counselors or licensed therapists.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who has struggled with mental health issues, knows someone who has and desperately needs help, or who is considering a vocation in counseling. She offers wisdom, hope, and the reminder that Jesus can heal the deepest wounds.
I am not sure how to review this book. It is well written and interesting. It was upsetting for me to read of the ritualistic abuse. I could not read it all. I am sorry for those who have lived through it and hope they can find help and peace. I did not feel as though this was a book for the average person to read and try to help. I think one could do more harm than good. I also have some doctrinal differences with the author. I gave it four stars because Candyce Roberts's book is a huge blessing to those who can read the book and use the information.
I was given this book free in exchange for my honest opinion.
Drawing on fifteen years of experience as a prayer minister, Dr. Candyce Roberts shares her insights on working with highly traumatized people in her book Help For The Fractured Soul. This book is a guide for laity who are working with abuse victims, specifically in the realm of prayer ministry.
Throughout the book, Dr. Roberts shares many stories from her personal experiences working with victims. These stories, although very sobering, help to give a real-world context to the advice she is giving. Roberts is not afraid to include stories that ended with a less than favorable outcome (e.g. clients who accused her of trying to do more harm and left without finishing counseling). This is a reminder that prayer ministry is not always easy nor does it always end perfectly. She reminds readers multiple times that we cannot change people and that we must get frustrated with their choices - we can encourage healing, but we cannot force someone to heal if they refuse to.
I appreciated that Roberts emphasizes in several places that we must only work within our scope of expertise. She stresses that prayer ministers should never try to diagnose, or take the place of a licensed medical professional/psychologist. Rather we must focus on what we are qualified to do (lead people before the throne of God) and be willing to refer them to a professional if needed.
Roberts reminds readers that before leading a prayer ministry, they must first be healthy themselves and be personally committed to inner-healing in their own lives. Later she gives guidelines for setting boundaries with clients. This is an important reminder to be fully investing in the lives of those to whom you are ministering, but to still value your own life and your own personal health.
While the book is directed at those working with the highly traumatized, I found many truths that could apply to any Christian. I greatly appreciated her words on denial when she said that we will not know the truth if we are living in denial in any area of life. The chapter on forgiveness was also poignant who anyone who has ever been hurt.
Dr. Roberts has clearly worked in this field for many years and has gleaned wisdom from her time as a prayer minister. This book would be a great starting point for anyone interested in prayer ministry or simply for the individual trying to understand and aid a friend who is highly traumatized. However, I will note that this book is clearly for the lay minister. Prayer ministry can be extremely effective, but I don't believe it should replace a qualified counselor or psychologist. Rather the two should be conflated.
Dr. Candyce Roberts, who has a doctorate in Systematic Theology, wrote Help For The Fractured Soul to share strategies with people who help those who have been victims of severe abuse. Many people who have suffered severe abuse, including SRA, can be traumatized to the point of having Dissociative Identity Disorder. Helping people who have been that broken, and who will have a natural mistrust for those in authority, is certainly not a quick fix. Candyce has ministered to these adult survivors for over 15 years as part of her inner healing ministry and shares both techniques and personal stories in this book.
This book is well-written and does not use clinical terms or a formality that would bore even a casual reader. The stories are heart-breaking, yet hopeful, as she relates how the methods she has used and the restoration of the Lord, has healed the broken pieces and a transformation to wholeness has emerged. I found Chapter 12: "Top Ten Keys for Overcoming Trauma" to be wise advice for everyone in maintaining a healthy relationship with the Lord, others, and themselves.
However, I do feel that this book is much better as a tool for those who are part of a ministry dedicated to helping victims of abuse. I remember a time when it seems stories were rampant of repressed memories of abuse, and I would hate for that to happen again. There is no doubt that this evil exists, and there are more cases than the public realizes, yet the power of suggestion can cause people to think that perhaps they are repressing memories; we all know people who cannot hear of a medical issue without being convinced they have contracted a disease. There are also those who think the casual perusal of a book immediately qualifies them to provide treatment to others. So, this is a good book that is interesting to read, but one I would be more likely to recommend to a pastor or mental health care provider.
I received a free copy of this book in return for my honest opinion, from Chosen Books.
As a professional social worker I deal with broken and hurting people all day. Sometimes I need to put my "Counseling Hat" on when dealing with certain situations. The contents in HELP FOR THE FRACTURED SOUL is a wealth of information and encouragement that I can possibly glean from to help those who are broken and hopeless knowing they can heal and become whole once more.