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The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
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The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  171 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Considered a classic in its field, this comprehensive guide will help survivors of sexual abuse improve their relationships and discover the joys of sexual intimacy. Wendy Maltz takes survivors step-by-step through the recovery process using groundbreaking exercises and techniques. Based on the author's clinical work, interviews, and workshops, this guide is filled with fi ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 20th 2001 by William Morrow & Company (first published June 19th 1991)
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Community Reviews

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Carlie
This book has changed my life. I was definitely reading it at the right time, a time when I was ready to face what happened to me and find healing. There are so many ripples in my life now that I didn't realize were related to the waves of abuse that happened over 20 years ago. I let go of a lot of burdens while reading this. Highly recommend it.
Christina
I have found very few books for survivors of rape & sexual abuse that talk about sex specificaly with much detail. So frustrating since (almost) every survivor wants to talk about sex & healing! I love some of the exercises and suggestions in this book. The only complaint I have is it's sometimes a bit too text booky & it feels like "wait, i couldn't actually say that to my partner. i don't talk like that at all!"
Jaclyn Goss
Nov 16, 2008 Jaclyn Goss rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Victims of sexual assualt
A very well written book about sexual healing Do not read if you do not have a lot of time on your hands! It gave me to access blocked memories, which I hadn't remembered. So when I say time, I mean emotional time. Definately a book you will revisit, and one you should buy rather then check out or borrow, due to it's nature to emotionally shock you. Plan on reading this slowely, I bought it four years ago, and I still haven't finished it. Healing takes time.
Chapter on learning possitive touch is
...more
Brandon
A great resource for those that are in a relationship, but may still suffer from past sexual trauma. This can be read by those not in a relationship, but the focus really is on healing a relationship. I recommend this highly.
Lia
Jun 14, 2008 Lia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: survivors of any kind of sexual abuse
Shelves: healing, sexuality, abuse
There aren't very many helpful books about wounded sexuality in this world. This book is the most helpful I have ever found. Maltz has done her research and writes in a validating and encouraging tone.
Robin
Caused a lot of AHA moments that explained behaviour of mine. Wish it delved deeper into certain topics as well as more instructions for non-dating singles.
Jen
If I was just rating on how helpful it was, I might give it five stars, but I can't say that I loved it. Hardest book in the world to read!
Shannonsady
Full of good information for friends and family of survivors as well as abuse survivors.
Alessandra
I decided to pick this book up when I was ready to confront what had happen to me... I had reached a really low point, was more depressed than I wanted to admit and didn't think I was worthy of anything. This book helped me tremendously. It helped me realize that I really needed to become aware and learn to love myself. It taught me awareness and techniques that have been working to help me better cope with intimacy. For awhile, even the idea of a man touching me scared me. I pushed men so far a ...more
Hester Thorpe
I read this book for work, obviously, but I honestly loved every minute of it. As odd as it is to say, the basis of it isn't so much sexual relations (although that's certainly part of it), it's getting people to learn to pay attention to their own needs and levels of comfort or discomfort, as well as practicing communicating those needs to the people in their lives - a skill which we all struggle with from time to time. I think that this book is so well written that even people who have never e ...more
Miklos
3.95
Wendy Maltz and Sexual Healing Journey are on the list of required readings for those working with sexual trauma and for those who have experienced sexual trauma. This book is very readable, comprehensive, and is for individuals and couples.
The problem lies more in the details than anything else. Maltzs position on pornography is sex negative ("erotica is okay, pornography is not", Her book "The Porn Trap", etc.) and her inclusion of terms like sex or pornography addiction are controversial
...more
Caroline
Such a great, valuable read. From beginning to end, Maltz (thoroughly) covers the topic of reclaiming your healthy sexuality following sexual abuse. While this book is certainly most useful for survivors of sexual abuse, their partners, and the clinicians who work with them, her discussion of healthy sexuality should be a must-discuss in every sex-ed classroom. Too frequently when we talk about sex and sexuality, we only focus on the mechanics and negative consequences of unhealthy sexuality. He ...more
Michaela
This should be a bible for people who have been through some sexual trauma. I was sexually abused as a child by my grandfather, rapes by my boyfriend at age 17, and later raped by friend at age 25, and this book covered almost every confusion, thoughts, emotions and behaviors I've ever had (and have). Very helpful tips on how to re-learn healthy sexual life.
Maggie Millar
Sometimes part of healing is learning that we are not alone and the things we feel are normal things for us (as survivors) to feel.
I wasn't going to add this book to my reading list because I wasn't sure I wanted my friends to know that I've read this. I soon realized how hypocritical that was of me. I'm a survivor and I am not ashamed. That is what this beautifully written book helped me realize.
I would recommend it to anyone and everyone who has either been sexually abused or anyone who is c
...more
Susan
I had trouble getting into this one and did not finish it. Not due to the 'heaviness' of the subject matter or my emotional responses to it. Rather, it was more the tone of the author. She comes across as fairly priggish and judgmental and often condescending. It often seemed as if any thought someone might have outside of vanilla heterosexual couplings we 'wrong' and must be avoided. Her repeated admonishments about eschewing masturbation and porn were also really unhelpful and judgmental (yes ...more
Stephanie
Excellent resource and guide for sexual abuse survivors who are struggling with intimacy with their partners when the mind and body tells them otherwise..Step by step precedures on how to ground and establish safety with partners...I recommended it to clients who had done therapy work on PTSD and were ready to take the next step on establishing healthy boundaries with their partners...A classic.
Jamie Hill
An excellent resource for people who experience any degree of childhood sexual abuse. I would highly recommend reading this only while under the supervision of a licensed therapist due to the emotional turmoil one might experience but the contents of this book are extremely helpful and aid in healing and sexual reconnection.
Christine Jackson
A really helpful and empathetic view of how to recover and move forward from sexual abuse.
Reita Jackson
This remains perhaps the best book on sexual healing for survivors of sexual abuse ever written. Written by a therapist who had, at the time of writing the book, seen hundreds of clients with damaged sexuality, this book addresses the topic few other authors tackle. It is best saved for the latter stages of healing, after the initial ground work and safety issues have been addressed. Sexual Healing Journey will likely have triggers, and is best used in conjunction with a skilled therapist. This ...more
Nicole Perry
One of the things I appreciated most about this was the step by step instructions on reclaiming sex after sexual abuse. It's also a topic that I think gets overlooked when we work with people who have experienced trauma. I'm a big believer in healthy sex as an important part of life and this book provides a powerful way forward.

At times it's difficult to read, but take it in pieces, take care of yourself while you read, and it's well worth it. Helpful for partners as well.
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