Self-help books on Abuse
There are so many popular psychology texts in the shops that it can be difficult to know where to begin. This set of book-lists was compiled by staff of the University Counselling Service to respond to those students who have asked us what they might read on this topic.
Our selection is not intended to be the 'final word' - we are sure that there are many other good and helpful books out there; in any case we recognise that what is helpful is very subjective and depends on personal circumstances.
Books are listed in alphabetical order by author. Copies of some of these books are available to borrow on a weekly basis from the University Counselling Service.
The descriptions given are intended to provide a summary of the contents but should not be taken to imply that the Counselling Service endorses the opinions expressed.
Date of information: Jan 2006, updated Feb 2010
The Courage to Heal -
A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
Ellen Bass & Laura Davis, Hutchinson Children's books, 1992
A guide for sufferers of child sexual abuse. This book offers advice on coming to terms with the past while moving positively into the future. It provides an explanation of the healing process, first person accounts of recovery and practical suggestions derived from the authors' work with hundreds of survivors.
My Father's House
Sylvia Fraser, Virago, 1989
From the age of seven Sylvia Fraser shared her body with a 'twin' who lived a separate life from her, created to cope with her sexual abuse by her father. As an adult she had no recollection of her abuse but a connection remained. In this memoir, she reveals how she reclaimed her lost self.
Overcoming Traumatic Stress
Claudia Herbert & Ann Wetmore, Constable & Robinson, 1999
A self-help guide which helps sufferers and their families to work through managing and accepting their Reactions, learning to accept the trauma itself and then letting go and moving on.
Overcoming Childhood Trauma
Helen Kennerly, Constable & Robinson, 2009
A CBT self-help book manual for those who are struggling with the legacy of any form of abuse in childhood.
Moira Walker, Open University Press, 1992
An overview of the experience of women and men who were the subject of physical, sexual and psychological abuse in childhood. Includes interviews with survivors of child abuse, and at the same time seeks to understand the context in which abuse takes place.