1st Edition

Overcoming Childhood Sexual Trauma A Guide to Breaking Through the Wall of Fear for Practitioners and Survivors

By Sheri Oz, Sarah-Jane Ogiers Copyright 2006
    332 Pages
    by Routledge

    332 Pages
    by Routledge

    Go beyond the pain and fear of sexual abuse to heal the trauma

    Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) can be a physically and emotionally painful soul-shattering experience that can traumatize a person for a lifetime. The Wall of Fear: Crossing the Wall from Trauma to Recovery from Childhood Sexual Abuse is a unique exploration of the subjective experiences of both client and therapist as they together travel the path to recovery. Therapists get a clear illustration of the therapy process while CSA survivors are offered a gauge with which to judge their own progress toward recovery. New therapeutic concepts are clearly presented and extensively discussed while sensitively charting the experiences of clients on the journey toward healing.

    As Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” The Wall of Fear charts the arduous progress of a survivor from the initial understanding that they need help and guidance, to choosing the correct therapist, to the emotional roadblocks most clients face on their own personal recovery from the hell of CSA. The authors team up to courageously provide readers with a comprehensive and candid portrait of their experiences of CSA therapy while demonstrating the approaches which effectively enhance healing. Features include schematic drawings of the stages of therapy, the client’s own diary from her youth through her therapy in adulthood, client drawings illustrating progress in therapy, and effective art exercises that can be used at the beginning of therapy. The text includes extensive references, useful appendixes, and a helpful glossary of terms for the layperson.

    Topics in The Wall of Fear include:

    • the nature of sexual trauma (the new concept of the World of Trauma)
    • growing up traumatized—and its effect on friendships, sexual development, dating, and mate selection
    • couples’ relationships and sexuality
    • selecting a therapist
    • the new concept of The Wall of Fear
    • closure
    • coping with the therapy process
    • parenting by CSA survivors and the impact on the next generation
    • the subjective experiences of both therapist and CSA survivor

    The Wall of Fear stands as a testament that no matter what sexual trauma a person may endure, there is hope for recovery. This is insightful, crucial reading for survivors of CSA and therapists at all levels of expertise.

    • Foreword (Christine A. Courtois)
    • Preface
    • Acknowledgments
    • Chapter 1. Why Is Childhood Sexual Abuse So Traumatic? (Sheri Oz)
    • Defining CSA
    • Power and Exploitation
    • The Child’s Experience of the Abuse Event
    • Chapter 2. Trapped in the World of Trauma (Sheri Oz and Sarah-Jane Ogiers)
    • Control
    • Growing Up a Survivor
    • Into Adulthood
    • Chapter 3. Intimate Relationships and the World of Trauma (Sheri Oz)
    • The CSA Survivor in an Intimate Relationship
    • Couples Relationships
    • Changes in the Relationship During the CSA Survivor’s Therapy
    • Sexuality
    • Modifying the Couples Contract
    • Chapter 4. Choosing a Therapist: A Client’s Perspective (Sarah-Jane Ogiers)
    • The Basics
    • Knowing a Poor Fit
    • The Ideal Therapist
    • Coda
    • Chapter 5. Stages of Therapy: Breaking Through the Wall of Fear (Sheri Oz and Sarah-Jane Ogiers)
    • The Map of the Therapeutic Process
    • Starting the Journey
    • The Wall of Fear
    • Continuing the Journey
    • Chapter 6. Closure: Coming to Peace with the Past (Sheri Oz and Sarah-Jane Ogiers)
    • Confrontations
    • Revenge Fantasies
    • Forgiveness
    • Justice
    • Reconciliation
    • Forgiveness Again
    • Closure
    • Chapter 7. How I Get Through Therapy in One Piece (Sarah-Jane Ogiers)
    • Support Network
    • Coping Alone
    • Epilogue
    • Chapter 8. Children of Survivors: Growing up in the Shadow of Trauma (Sheri Oz)
    • What the Research Says
    • Should I Tell My Children I Was Abused?
    • The Voices of the Children
    • A Final Word to Survivor Parents
    • Chapter 9. Being a Therapist: Notes on Working with CSA Survivors (Sheri Oz)
    • Starting Out
    • What the Literature Says About Being a CSA Therapist
    • My Own Experiences as a CSA Therapist
    • Boundary Issues in the Literature
    • Personal experience with Boundary Dilemmas
    • Special Challenges in Clinical Work
    • Concluding Words
    • A Final Thought
    • Appendix A: Beginning Therapy (Sheri Oz)
    • Before-and-After Drawing
    • Two-Photo Collage
    • Timing of the Exercises
    • Appendix B: Interview Questions
    • The Questionnaire
    • Glossary
    • References
    • Index


    Sheri Oz, Sarah-Jane Ogiers