Healing the Wounded Heart: The Heartache of Sexual Abuse and the Hope of Transformation - eBook  -     By: Dan B. Allender
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Healing the Wounded Heart: The Heartache of Sexual Abuse and the Hope of Transformation - eBook

Baker Books / 2016 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 9781493401512
ISBN-13: 9781493401512

Publisher's Description

First published in 1989, Dan Allender's The Wounded Heart has helped hundreds of thousands of people come to terms with sexual abuse in their past. Now, more than twenty-five years later, Allender has written a brand-new book on the subject that takes into account recent discoveries about the lasting physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual ramifications of sexual abuse.

With great compassion Allender offers hope for victims of rape, date rape, incest, molestation, sexting, sexual bullying, unwanted advances, pornography, and more, exposing the raw wounds that are left behind and clearing the path toward wholeness and healing. Never minimizing victims' pain or offering pat spiritual answers that don't truly address the problem, he instead calls evil evil and lights the way to renewed joy.

Counselors, pastors, and friends of those who have suffered sexual harm will find in this book the deep spiritual guidance they need to effectively minister to the sexually broken around them. Victims themselves will find here a sympathetic friend to walk alongside them on the road to healing.

Author Bio

Dan B. Allender (MS, Barry College; MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary; PhD, Michigan State University) is professor of counseling psychology and former president of The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology in Seattle, Washington. He travels and speaks extensively on sexual-abuse recovery, love and forgiveness, worship, and other related topics. Allender is the author of fifteen books, including The Wounded Heart, and is coauthor of God Loves Sex.

Product Reviews

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  1. Springfield, MO
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Face the past in order to move on
    August 20, 2016
    Deuce Skunks
    Springfield, MO
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I stumbled across this book while trying to overcome a deep depression that set in after a recent trauma brought back memories of abuse from my childhood. This book, and its companion workbook, have been the cornerstone as I started my path toward healing. Parts of the book don't really "fit" my situation, but overall, it's very insightful and has sound suggestions on working through the past in order to move on toward a brighter future.

    It's not the traditional "forget, forgive, and move on" mentality that so many Christian advisors seem to chime. Instead, he urges you re-enter the past, grieve over the child (yourself) that was wounded, and allow that younger version of yourself back into your present world. "Curse what God curses, and bless what God blesses" is a main focal point. Break evil's bind of dissociation and shame, and bless the person that God created you to be - past and present.

    I read this book alone the first time through, and spent a lot of time crying because of the shame I felt in admitting that I was ashamed of my past. But sometimes you know that your only real option is to face the past, and that's when this book is a necessity. After I finished reading it, I read it to my husband. And we're now (very slowly) working our way through the workbook. It's been a few months already, and we're still on part 1 of this long journey. But I can feel the storm trying to lift.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Must-Read for Abuse Survivors
    May 25, 2016
    Melissa
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    For those that have read Allenders first book you will love this one. I actually liked it much better.

    Where the first one seemed a bit more textbook-like (although extremely good) this one speaks more to the heart, I believe.

    Dr. Allender talks more about the evil in the abuse and how the enemy uses it to ruin us. He also talks more about varying levels of abuse. Also, side effects that we often dont associate with our abuse.

    Although it is difficult to read at times, because of the hurt that still rises up, I think for any survivor of abuse this will be an invaluable resource and hopefully allow you to pinpoint areas of hurt in your own life that still linger.

    This book opened my eyes to areas of abuse that I hadnt identified as abuse but I am beginning to see it as such and need to deal with that.

    If you are an abuse survivor or know someone who is I highly recommend this book.

    A copy of this book was given to me by Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
  3. Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Hard to Read but Insightful
    April 7, 2016
    Seasons of Grace
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This is the first book I have read as a help book for victims of sexual abuse. It was extremely insightful and educational. It is amazing the incredible number of people who have suffered, or maybe even are suffering abuse. There are many who don't even realized what they went through was abuse.

    The first part of the book was honestly a bit overwhelming. It was a sort of introduction to many aspects and forms of sexual abuse from things people would consider in consequential to very serious. At times it was very difficult to read, and think that such atrocities could happen. Yet, I believe to an extent this part of the book is relevant because it lays foundation for the healing aspect of the book - which begins in part two. Dan Allender explains how through these areas of abuse, people curse themselves, and allow evil to enter. Most of the time unknowingly and also as a form of self-protection. Dr Allender says:

    The calling of the good therapist is to follow the story of abuse and its aftermath closely enough to see the tracks of evil. There will always be a unique configuration of debris, a pattern of evil's intent that gives and indication of the covenants the victim has made consciously or unconsciously with the realm of darkness.

    The second part of the book addresses the healing path and gives hope to those who may be in despair. Dan talks about joy, hope, peace, forgiveness. He describes how each can be reached. He stresses that the path is long and the goal not easily achieved. Superficial solutions do not necessarily fix the problem but are like medication just masking the root. The abused must be able to face the abuse, name it, and figure out what lies he or she is believing. They must be able to grieve, as well as bless. Some of it is complicated, and as I mentioned before not for the faint of heart, but worth it! A journey of true healing.

    I think one can learn much from this book. I am not sure if it is possible to use it alone with out the help of a therapist. (Although it seems some therapists do more harm than good, so finding the right one is essential) It is amazing how sexual abuse affects so many different areas of a person's life. Dan goes into alot of the science and psychology of how God designed our brains and bodies to function so as to be able to deal with stress, abuse, etc. And how those parts although simply doing their job, can hinder us from healing properly unless it is dealt with instead of just shoved under the rug and forgotten. He also gives insight into how to handle someone else's story and without causing even more pain or undermining what they have been through.

    The great news! There is hope for recovery. There is healing for the wounded heart. God is at the root of it all, and with His help it is possible. He designed us, we are wonderfully made, and He is able to do above and beyond what we can imagine. So if you are struggling, get this book- even if it is just a kick-off point, a beginning, seek help so God can heal your heart.

    The labor of this pilgrimage is not to gain freedom or joy as much as it is to be captured by the story so of Jesus and his death, resurrection, and ascension. But we don't do so by forgetting or ignoring our story. We do so by entering our own death, resurrection, and ascension in order to learn his story and live out his story through our own.

    Disclosure: This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to review it positively.
  4. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    Read With Salt
    March 23, 2016
    Laura
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    I, based on my personal experience as a person who has endured and overcome trauma, and my admittedly incomplete understanding of basic human psychology, don't agree with half of this book. I think that at least half of the remaining half is overstated. On top of all of that, it's a little bit dry.

    However...

    There's some good things to learn that can be found here, and the author does a decent job of making his point understood. It's a thought-provoking read at the very least, and it's important to get yourself thinking. I definitely recommend reading it, but don't go around trying to diagnose and fix yourself or your friends based on what you read here (a good practice in any case). As with all informational and self help books in our age, the proverbial grain of salt is needed. But just as a meal isn't a bad meal if you need to add a little salt, this book isn't a bad book despite needing to be understood in perspective.
  5. Arden, NC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Helping Victims Rise & Live Well Beyond The Trauma
    March 9, 2016
    ADFehl
    Arden, NC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    25 years ago, Dr. Dan Allender first published The Wounded Heart. This year he returns with Healing The Wounded Heart, which offers Christianity-based thoughts and recommendations for how to successfully come out on the other side of traumas. While the focus in this book is on sexual abuse, Allender does also get into the damage that tends to follow physical and emotional traumas as well. While there have been stacks of books written on the topic, what helps the reader lean into this one is Allender revealing that he himself was a victim of sexual abuse.

    He opens the discussion, so to speak, with looking at the various ways recent generations have been bombarded by sexually explicit material, more so than our ancestors. Some examples examined include the gradual sexualization of commercials, music videos, even girls' dolls. (Speaking of music videos -- he uses the video for Britney Spears' "Oops, I Did It Again" as a prime example of sexualization too easily influencing youth. Problem is, he spelled it as "Brittany Spears". Had to laugh, thinkin' "c'mon man, you want to point fingers at people, at least be decent enough to spell the name right!") He also looks at the rapid growth of internet technology / content and how much more readily accessible it is to the young as opposed to just a few decades ago. Allender points out that recent studies show that these days kids are typically experiencing pornographic materials for the first time when they are between the ages of 10-14 years old. He even mentions something I wasn't even aware was an actual thing -- internet predators using the process of "typosquatting" to lure victims to them: "Pornographers often utilize the technique called "typosquatting," in which frequently accessed children's internet sites that might be misspelled by a child are used as portals to funnel children to pornograpic sites."

    Seriously, WHY DOES THIS KIND OF THING EXIST?! The twisted ick of it all!

    Being a survivor of physical, emotional and sexual abuse myself as well as being an advocate for helping protect and educate others from ever getting caught in a sicko's web, I was curious what Allender had to say. It was a mixed bag for me, personally. While some of what he had to say really did resonate with me and my past experiences, at other there were passages where he got pretty impassioned -- which was admirable -- but also veered a little further into fire & brimstone preaching than I was comfortable with. (The very last chapter of the book, entitled "Thy Kingdom Come" is pretty much just a sermon all by itself.) There were parts in there where, to me, he did start to sound on the edge of getting a little judgmental about general talk regarding life choices. That and there were a few bits where he seemed to contradict himself. Still, some of the most powerful sections that really spoke to me:

    Chapter 3: "The Body's Response To Abuse" (this one chapter was co-written with Dr. Heather Mirous of Northwestern University) -- I had never really thought to connect my current health struggles with what may have been happening years ago inside my body during the time I was trying to survive those traumatic moments. It definitely got me thinking! It was a little scary to learn about the damage these kinds of traumas do to the body's telomeres, but within the book's Appendix section there is reassurance -- Allender mentions that recent research suggests that this damage can be slowed or even reversed with a dedicated body / mind care program, one that includes consistent exercise, balanced diet and proper stress management, among other things. :-)

    Chapter 5: "The Damage of Covert Abuse" -- this chapter looks at subtle forms of trauma and abuse that is SO slick that you might not even realize it is actually abusive. This section was particularly eye-opening for me because I've struggled with certain things regarding my relationship with both my parents, things that I had difficulty putting into words but put me at unease. Turns out the things I thought or was told I was being overly sensitive about actually fall under what's called "emotional incest". What makes it tricky is that there might not be any physical harm per se, but standard child-parent boundaries are either broken or non-existent, often leading to a child being subtly emotionally abused and unsafe within the home, the place that a child SHOULD know as a safe haven from dangers of the outer world.

    Chapter 10: "Caring For Another's Story" -- a vitally important chapter, discussing how one should behave when a friend or family member becomes vulnerable enough to share their abuse story. It took me years to give any details of my past to anyone for fear of being judged, being told I brought it on myself (as I WAS told the very first time I shared anything). I'm so glad Allender thought to include this other side of the equation.

    I was also impressed that Allender included a whole chapter on male victims of abuse -- Chapter 6: "Men At War". Yet another super important part of the abuse discussion that too often gets overlooked -- that it IS, as Allender himself is proof of, possible for males to be sexually victimized.

    So, for me anyway, this one had its strengths and weaknesses. Not bad for a read-through if this is a topic you are particularly passionate about being educated on, but it wouldn't be my very first recommendation on the subject.

    There is also a companion workbook for this title for anyone interested.

    FTC Disclaimer: Baker Publishing Group kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.
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