Survivor Book of the Month – January 21

Survivor Book of the Month

A good self-help book can be an excellent way to kick start, continue or bolster a Survivor’s healing journey.  Every month I will bring to you a book that has helped my own recovery.

This first book is relatively new to my library’s arsenal of self-help.  It is easily read and relates to many aspects of my past.  I like the writing style; the author has an affinity with this subject that is conveyed in an effortless manner.  This means the book is easy to pick up and dive in and out of.  It doesn’t have to be read in order and/or in its entirety.  It is composed in such a way that allows the reader to pick and choose the relevant aspects for them.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker

buy at amzon

Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A GUIDE AND MAP FOR RECOVERING FROM CHILDHOOD TRAUMA Paperback – 13 Dec. 2013

by Pete Walker
3,546 ratings

I have Complex PTSD [Cptsd] and wrote this book from the perspective of someone who has experienced a great reduction of symptoms over the years. I also wrote it from the viewpoint of someone who has discovered many silver linings in the long, windy, bumpy road of recovering from Cptsd. I felt encouraged to write this book because of thousands of e-mail responses to the articles on my website that repeatedly expressed gratitude for the helpfulness of my work. An often echoed comment sounded like this: At last someone gets it. I can see now that I am not bad, defective or crazy…or alone!

The causes of Cptsd range from severe neglect to monstrous abuse. Many survivors grow up in houses that are not homes – in families that are as loveless as orphanages and sometimes as dangerous. If you felt unwanted, unliked, rejected, hated and/or despised for a lengthy portion of your childhood, trauma may be deeply engrained in your mind, soul and body. This book is a practical, user-friendly self-help guide to recovering from the lingering effects of childhood trauma, and to achieving a rich and fulfilling life. It is copiously illustrated with examples of my own and my clients’ journeys of recovering. This book is also for those who do not have Cptsd but want to understand and help a loved one who does. This book also contains an overview of the tasks of recovering and a great many practical tools and techniques for recovering from childhood trauma. It extensively elaborates on all the recovery concepts explained on my website, and many more.

However, unlike the articles on my website, it is oriented toward the layperson. As such, much of the psychological jargon and dense concentration of concepts in the website articles has been replaced with expanded and easier to follow explanations. Moreover, many principles that were only sketched out in the articles are explained in much greater detail. A great deal of new material is also explored. Key concepts of the book include managing emotional flashbacks, understanding the four different types of trauma survivors, differentiating the outer critic from the inner critic, healing the abandonment depression that come from emotional abandonment and self-abandonment, self-reparenting and reparenting by committee, and deconstructing the hierarchy of self-injuring responses that childhood trauma forces survivors to adopt. The book also functions as a map to help you understand the somewhat linear progression of recovery, to help you identify what you have already accomplished, and to help you figure out what is best to work on and prioritize now. This in turn also serves to help you identify the signs of your recovery and to develop reasonable expectations about the rate of your recovery. I hope this map will guide you to heal in a way that helps you to become an unflinching source of kindness and self-compassion for yourself, and that out of that journey you will find at least one other human being who will reciprocally love you well enough in that way.

Reviews

Amazing enlightening book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 September 2018Verified Purchase
For years I thought my childhood and family were ‘normal’… but they weren’t. If I was ever upset I was told that I was over sensitive, emotional etc. I had undiagnosed depression at 16 and was told to ‘get over it’. I didn’t receive any emotional support or physical affection from my parents. They didn’t read me bedtime stories, teach me about puberty, cuddle me and as long as I was at school, that was their job done. I was never even asked about homework and my parents didn’t go to ‘parents evening’ at school. I learned how to survive on my own. From about 11 I essentially looked after myself. When I overheard a friends mother telling him “I love you” my reaction was that’s weird. This book was like reading a description of me and my childhood. It has been extremely helpful to first of all realise that I am normal and having emotions and being sensitive aren’t a bad things . Secondly to understand that I cannot change the past but I can improve the future. I still have a lot of reading and healing to go though!

A vital book for insight and recovery tools
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 March 2019Verified Purchase
I’d say this is the best and most comprehensive book I’ve ever read on the subject. It’s broken down into manageable sections, clear to read, and best of all gives great guidance on coping skills and recovery skills which are really hard to find. If you live in the UK you’ll also find it near impossible to get a diagnosis of C-PTSD let alone any supportive psychotherapy without spending a huge amount in private clinics. So, books like these are important.

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