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The Courage to Heal Workbook: A Guide for Women and Men Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

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In this groundbreaking companion to The Courage to Heal, Laura Davis offers an inspiring, in-depth workbook that speaks to all women and men healing from the effects of child sexual abuse. The combination of checklists, writing and art Projects, open-ended questions and activities expertly guides the survivor through the healing process.

Survival Skills—Teaches survivors to create a safe, supportive environment, ask for help, deal with crisis periods, and choose therapy. Aspects Of Healing—Focuses on the healing process: gaining a capacity for hope, breaking silence, letting go of shame, turning anger into action, planning a confrontation, preparing for family contact, and affirming personal progress. Guidelines For Healing Sexually—Redefines the concept of "safe sex" and establishes healthy ground rules for sexual contact.

460 pages, Spiral-bound

Published January 1, 1990

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About the author

Laura Davis

13 books73 followers
In her 30+ year career as an author and writing teacher, Laura Davis has written seven non-fiction books that change peoples’ lives. Laura’s ground-breaking books have been translated into 11 languages and sold more than two million copies.

The Courage to Heal and The Courage to Heal Workbook paved the way for hundreds of thousands of women and men to heal from the trauma of sexual abuse. Becoming the Parent You Want to Be a rich resource guide, co-authored with parenting expert Janis Keyser, helps parents develop a vision for the families they want to create. And I Thought We'd Never Speak Again teaches the skills of reconciliation and peace building to the world, one relationship at a time.

Her forthcoming October 2021 memoir, The Burning Light of Two Stars: A Mother-Daughter Story, tells the story of Laura’s dramatic and tumultuous relationship with her mother, Temme, from the time of Laura’s birth until her mother’s death. This story about “two souls who just wouldn’t quit each other” provides a no-holds-barred peek at the real Laura—the woman behind the teacher, the facilitator, and author.

If you pre-order The Burning Light of Two Stars today, you can claim a variety of great thank you gifts (like immediate access to the first five chapters of the book), as well as other bonuses—just hop over to Laura’s website and let her know you’ve bought the book: https://lauradavis.net/the-burning-li... and you can download your bonuses right away.

Laura’s love of words extends into her teaching life. She loves building communities of writers and teaches weekly writing workshops online and in Santa Cruz California. and leads transformative writing retreats in northern California, Bali, Peru, Italy, Spain, Vietnam and other international destinations. As the founder and moderator of a free online writing community, The Writer’s Journey Roadmap, Laura sends out evocative writing prompts by email every Tuesday.

To learn about Laura’s classes and retreats, subscribe to her weekly prompts, or receive a free e-book, free e-book, “Writing Towards Courage: A Thirty Day Practice,”

You can find Laura at: www.lauradavis.net.
Facebook: LauraDavis&TheWritersJourney
Instagram: laurasaridavis

Laura lives in Santa Cruz, California with her spouse Karyn and their new yellow lab puppy, Luna. She enjoys swimming, hiking, mahjong, making kombucha, motion theater, her grandchildren, and of course, writing.

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5 stars
1,154 (52%)
4 stars
634 (28%)
3 stars
308 (13%)
2 stars
60 (2%)
1 star
45 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews
Profile Image for Nina.
267 reviews97 followers
June 11, 2022
This incredible workbook is a companion book to The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis. Concepts and ideas from that book can also be found in this workbook, and the workbook can be used independently.

I have already reviewed two other workbooks about healing for survivors, and loved both of them (Deeply Rooted by Peggy Oliveira, and My Silence is broken by Gary Sellors).

… And then there is this jewel, The Courage to Heal Workbook. Seriously, this one is its very own league due to the sheer number of excellent and thoughtful exercises in it. …

There are three major chapters in the book with several sub categories that are filled with exercises.
Part one: Survival Skills For Healing has exercises about creating safety, building your support system, dealing with crisis, nurturing yourself and marking the way.
Part two: Taking Stock has exercises in sub categories called Where did I come from?, The Effects: How did it change my life?, and Coping: How did I survive?
Part three: Aspects of Healing has exercises in sub categories called The Decision To Heal, Remembering, Believing It Happened, Breaking Silence, Understanding That It Wasn’t Your Fault, Learning To Trust Yourself, Grieving And Morning, Anger, Confrontations, Dealing With Your Family Now, Resolution And Moving On, Appendix: Guidelines For Healing Sexually.
You’ll also find a resource guide with additional information on hotlines, organizations, newsletters, web sites, and books.

Davis writes in a very empathetic and thoughtful way, but remains honest about the personal and horrific nature of what survivors are forced to deal with, and why they use this book in the first place.
The author explicitly mentions that you can use the book in any way you want to. If you want to skip sections, do so. If you only want to do writing or other creative exercises, that’s just as fine. This book is meant to help healing according to your own speed and needs, nothing more and nothing less. I cannot really express how well I think the book does exactly that. Davis makes clear that this is not meant to replace therapy at all, but it is something that can be done in addition, or even as part of therapy.

Although this workbook is primarily meant for survivors of child sexual abuse, I can definitely confirm that this is absolutely helpful for other survivors too. Maybe there are sections you do not find interesting for your own situation, but there will be so many other sections that you will open and they’ll be helpful.

Since I have never seen a better workbook of this kind, I whole-heartedly recommend this to any survivor who maybe would like an additional way of working on personal healing.
6 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Clare.
Author 2 books2 followers
March 7, 2015
Tremendously useful in my practice as a psychotherapist, recommend this classic book to my colleagues for their survivors.
Profile Image for Susan.
69 reviews3 followers
September 4, 2014
This workbook with exercises of writing, creating art, checklists and open ended questions assists survivors in the healing process. This complimentary book to The Courage to Heal helps the survivor acknowledge that it happened through simplistic way of expressing anger, loss, grief and pain of the traumatic experience they endured as a child. Not only is this book for women it could apply to men as well. It is great to have both books to refer to assist you in the healing process. Highly recommend this book for a courageous healing process of a traumatic event.
Profile Image for Fallon.
178 reviews14 followers
October 7, 2014
This was suggested to me by a friend. I survived severe physical emotional and verbal abuse as a kid. This book is a great resource for anyone who's survived any kind of childhood trauma. The questions are hard, but healing too. It's set up so that you can work on it however you are comfortable. I prefer using it alone with my journsl and God. But I will talk about it with my therapist if needed. To each their own when it comes to these things.
Profile Image for Madeleine Black.
Author 4 books73 followers
March 12, 2023
I read this book years ago and it changed my life!! Helped me put into words what I was feeling and struggling to vocalise. Made me realise my responses were 100% normal after having been raped.

I was fortunate to interview Laura Davis for my podcast show "Unbroken: Healing Through Storytelling" and I loved our interview about her memoir she has recently written about her relationship with her mother (The burning light of two stars)
Profile Image for Namid.
Author 6 books5 followers
October 28, 2008
Phenomenal workbook! I HIGHLY recommend this workbook to any & all survivors of sexual abuse/sexual assault!
1 review
August 30, 2010
It's like having a councilor asking all the right questions to get your mind on it's way to recovery.
Profile Image for Eli .
78 reviews2 followers
April 30, 2022
At this point I probably won't finish working through this book completely but I wanted to post some small thoughts. This book was an accessible way for me to start working through some of my childhood experiences before I was able to find a therapist I felt safe with. It's definitely not the best tool in the world for processing trauma and if you can get therapy please do it's so much better. But if you're on your own with nothing this is not a bad place to start.
October 26, 2018
Every round of flashbacks and memories sends me back to the gentle cloak of this reassuring workbook. It assures me I can get through whatever I'm going through, and being a workbook, I specify HOW I'm personally doing so. Hard to believe one has no resources when they've been written down in the past!
Profile Image for Kevin Rose.
11 reviews3 followers
January 8, 2021
what i love about this is that how in depth it is is up to you. it tells you some truths, gives you prompts, asks questions and you fill in as much as you can or want to. you can skip whole sections and do it in whatever order you need to, it also mentions other books sometimes for more specific subjects which is helpful. it's like having a therapist in your hands. i'd recommend this to anyone that suffered any kind of child abuse. i've been listening to the audiobook version of the courage to heal not-workbook for when i feel like taking in other people's writing instead of my own, it's been comforting having both. i think it'll be a long while before i 'finish' this book, as it says it's a workbook - long term learning and growing and noting and keeping track but i'll review it now because i want to say i've got it and i want others to know this book is there for them. this was the first book on abuse i was brave enough to buy in physical form (you kind of have to with this one) and i'm so glad i did.
Profile Image for Shira.
Author 3 books170 followers
October 31, 2015
When I worked through this book in 1997 or 1998 it was difficult going, but I thought that my ability to manage the PTSD symptoms was evidence that my work was done.

Not so.

Now that we have documentation of the various stages of survivor work (thanks to Herman's Trauma and Recovery which I only just found recently), I must admit the correctness of the one or two therapists who argued that working until you drop is effectively avoiding the work of recovery. So I cannot say whether I actually worked through this book correctly, only that I gave it a half-hearted try, and found it useful to some extent.
31.10.12015 HE today, read back in 1997, 11997 HE
Profile Image for Tammy.
266 reviews
July 31, 2011
I was not as impressed by the workbook. It was suggested that the workbook is supposed to work like a companion guide to the book but I could never get them to fit together. I recommend just getting the book and leave the workbook on the shelf.
Profile Image for Mary.
3 reviews
April 21, 2012
Lots of hard work. Kicks my ass every time I return to work on an issue. Has helped keep me present on here and now focused. Frighting endeavor the first time but well worth summoning the courage to open the cover.
Profile Image for Poet Truth.
Author 2 books9 followers
Want to read
March 20, 2011
I had to stop reading this book, at this point in my life I am not ready to open this door.
I will read again in the future.
Profile Image for Susan.
2,322 reviews64 followers
July 23, 2015
This book is not so much 'read' as 'worked through'. I have been working through it and find the exercises very useful.
Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews

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