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Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  1,002 ratings  ·  223 reviews
Within every community, toxic people can be found hiding in families, couples, companies, and places of worship. The cryptic nature of psychological abuse involves repetitious mind games played by one individual or a group of people.

Psychological abuse leaves no bruises. There are no broken bones. There are no holes in the walls. The bruises, brokenness, and holes are hel
Paperback, 286 pages
Published August 30th 2016 by MAST Publishing House (first published 2016)
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Suzanne It is available for Kindle right now, but you can pre-order on Amazon, a the paperback copy that will be released on August 30th.

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Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For anyone who has been tainted, sullied, or devastated by one or more false relationships. The discussion is for the recipients of subtle abuses, the people who have been intentionally hurt, damaged, or mentally molested by a noxious force, without any traces of visible harm. It is a conversation that you have wanted to express to someone, anyone, but were stifled by inaccurate descriptors and a lack of infrequently used words to convey your melancholy. Additionally, this abuse is difficult to ...more
Joy Wilson
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a retired therapist for people in or getting out of abusive relationships, I have nothing but praise for this book. Shannon is tremendously insightful, and her compassion for those recovering from abuse shines through. Having years of education in this field, and personal experience with narcissistic and sociopathic people, I can say with confidence that readers will find healing in this book. Shannon is helping set captives free, one page at a time!
Bob Hamp
Jul 25, 2016 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This is a rare book for several reasons.
First, and oh so important, is that the subject matter is so seldom recognized, much less, laid out with such clarity and compassion. It is called "Hidden Abuse" for a reason. The collective cry of the reviewers on the launch team tells the story of what it feels like when hidden abuse comes to the light. When you suffer this kind of abuse, nothing heals more than validation.
Second, the clarity and directness of Shannon's writing is crucial in the healin
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abuse
Psychological abuse is much more prevelant than people realize. Finally a book that uses layman terms to describe what it is, the methods abusers use, and how to recognize it. I can't really say enough good about this book. It is easy to read, but packed full of information. I appreciate that Shannon didn't use a lot of clinical examples, but leaves it to the reader to journal out how it has played out in an individual life. Mine was highlighted with notes everywhere. She points out how this kin ...more
May 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-filfearie
There are some extremely broad and ubsubstantiated claims about personality disorders in this book. I fundamentally disagree that every abuser has a personality disorder and I think there isn't sufficient research to say that personality disorders are caused by environmental influences alone, ignoring genetic and other biological contributions.

There is one bizarre section that I had to re-read several times, where she states that sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissists are people who experienced
Karen Hamp
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a powerful reference book for all professional counselors/therapists, consultants and others who help people with their lives and relationships. This information explores the subtle dynamics of relationships where the victim may look like the "bad guy"(or gal), and the perpetrator may pose as the victim. It is pertinent to work, church, family and romantic settings. The information is often unrecognized by even professionals.

It is equally pertinent to any person who is or has been in a
Anna LeBaron
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone that suspects "hidden abuse", Pastors, Clergy, Counselors, People in the Helping Professions
Recommended to Anna by: Bob Hamp
I will tell you from the outset that "Healing From Hidden Abuse" is a much-needed book.

Shannon Thomas speaks from her professional experience as a counselor about the effects of what she calls "hidden abuse," meaning abuse that does not leave markings or scars on the body of the victims (those she refers to as survivors) but on the soul.

Thomas refers to the abusers as "toxic" people because they are poisonous. She uses common language to carefully explain the types of abuse that many people en
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Healing from Hidden Abuse A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse by Shannon Thomas

"Psychological Abuse doesn't leave bruises. There are no broken bones. There are no holes in the wall. The bruises, brokenness, and holes are held tightly within the survivor." ~Shannon Thomas

This book does an excellent job of walking a survivor through the stages of recovery and healing after such a relationship. Shannon's conversational tone creates a place of quiet understanding and validation that what you experienced is very real and her steady reassurance that you can heal. Her experi
Amy Hannaford
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a survivor of a 20 year psychologically abusive marriage I would highly recommend Healing from Hidden Abuse. After years of reading books on mental and emotional abuse, or what Shannon calls psychological abuse, this is the first book to not only break down the what, who, and why of this type of abuse, but give clear direction on how to work through the healing process. Once you have an understanding of what constitutes psychological abuse, who this type of abuser is, and why it happens, Shan ...more
Catherine Watson
Healing from Hidden Abuse is a must have in every psychological abuse survivor’s tool box. Shannon Thomas gets to the heart of the matter and provides a logical, understandable, and effective blueprint for healing from a most insidious form of abuse. As you journey through the pages you will find truth, wisdom, validation, and a trusted friend. Shannon is genuine. Her heart’s passion to lead others to freedom from abusive relationships is captured in print. Reading this book is a life changing e ...more
Tammi Mossman
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh My Word. I've followed Shannon Thomas on Facebook for some time and her regular posts are very helpful in my life. So I expected this book to be helpful -- but it is can't-put-down good. Now I have to read it a second time to take notes.

Shannon's style and explanations feel to me like she's sitting in the same room. She seems like a real person with genuine concern and a passion for sharing her years of experience helping victims of psychological abuse.

Shannon, thank you so much for writing t
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the last three years since I learned about narcissism, I’ve read at least a dozen books about abuse and I can tell you this is one of the best. Healing from Hidden Abuse especially hits the mark for ACoNs and those who have dealt with the hidden abuse of narcissism. Just to be clear I received an advance reader copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

The first part of the book is very validating. For many people who grew up with abuse, it was hard to recognize and name the abuse bec
Luiz Fabricio Calland Cerqueira
I really wanted to like this book but I was abused by its lack of science. I do want some literature and powerful arguments to improve my patients lives, but when they lack facts and data to support them, they crumble like card castles.

It's interesting because in the introductory chapters, she presents her study in the abused psychology and I was very excited. I felt it would add much information to my clinical practice.

However, in the following chapters, the author barely mentions this study
Connie Hellmuth
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was interested in this book because the subject of hidden emotional abuse is sometimes difficult to pinpoint and see. This book was very clear and helpful about what a toxic person looks like, and how to recover from the abuse these people inflict. This book is an important resource for anyone who has even been in a relationship with a toxic person, or for someone who wants to avoid such people! Survivors will find a guide to healing and recovery. I received an advance reader's copy in exchang ...more
Nicole Smith
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This book is life-changing! Grateful for Shannon's courage in sharing her own healing and bringing this book forth. Its clarity and concise presentation of the information (and humor!) makes it readable and, therefore, so valuable for so many. Can't wait to buy multiple copies and share with those in my life who were abused by the same abuser!
SidandCheryl Stevens
This book is FULL of helpful insight and wisdom about a type of abuse that not many people talk about or understand. Thank you Shannon, for putting into words what so many of us have endured! I cannot wait to give this book to other people I know who have walked this road.
Coming from an abusive family this was a tough read for me. Don't get me wrong, Shannon is very nice and supportive in her writing. But digging up all the shit that happened to me as a kid brought a lot of despair. And it's a tough situation to move forward. When I started this book, it also coincided with the final stretch of my relationship with a toxic ex (or at least, it seemed that way to me then) which made the things even harder. I'm still not sure if I was fair to my gf at the time or ju ...more
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recognizing that someone who has played a big role is your life is toxic is a painful process. This book helps you to understand what happened and teaches you how to begin to move forward. It maintains a great balance of professionalism and relatability. It is very well written, very well organized, and both broad enough to cover many people's situations and specific enough with examples to provide clear insight. Highly recommend.
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have followed Shannon Thomas' Facebook page, Southlake Christian Counseling, for quite some time. I felt peace reading her posts knowing that she is a God fearing and loving person while also nailing to the wall the behaviors of toxic people that are otherwise brushed aside. When the book launch was announced I jumped at the chance to read it. The vindication and education that this book provides is a blessing to an aching soul. If you know you are a victim, if you are unsure if you are a vict ...more
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: must-reads
I received an advance reader copy of the book in exchange for my honest here we go! As I read, I found myself shaking my head in agreement. It broke down the abuse in such straight forward terms. This kind of abuse is seldom talked about and greatly misunderstood. Reading this book, I felt like someone had personally seen what I had experienced, and then took the time to explained to me what had happened. The best part is that they laid out the tools to help me heal! Each step of t ...more
I have read quite a few books on psychological abuse. This one is one of the best I have read. Shannon Thomas speaks from the heart and shows compassion and caring to those who are in abusive relationships. She also shows why abusers do what they do. I am thankful to her for stating the truth over and over again that abusers know exactly what they are doing. They don't care if they harm you, in fact that is their intent. I am thankful to be a survivor and to know that the abuse wasn't my fault. ...more
Michelle Sandley
This book is a must read for counselors, pastors, and anyone who thinks they have someone who is verbally abusive in their life. Shannon writes in an easy to read and understand style. Her writing is not intimidating to a reader outside of the counseling profession. She writes with compassion and understanding.

The book can be used in a group study format and has questions at the end to help the reader think about and look deeper at themselves and what they have been through.

There are so many w
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Praise for shedding light on this insidious, complicated form of abuse! This book offers an abundance of information, education, and hope to those who are in such situations, feeling like they're the only one, or thinking they are 'crazy' for feeling the way they do. The text is rich, deep, yet easy to read and understand. A must for survivors, counselors, therapists, doctors, religious leadership and anyone else in a position of power or leadership. The personal journal at the back of the book ...more
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an occupational therapist, a mom, a wife and a friend I found this book to be very enlightening to the way an abusive relationship transpires. The book is well written and easy to follow. A page turner one that gives a lot of insight to the abuser and the survivor. This book is great for therapists and the general population to bring awareness to the hidden side of abuse verbal and/or physical. NO ONE should feel alone or trapped.
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an electronic copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

If you're even a little unsure of what constitutes psychological abuse, as I was, read this book. Written primarily to help survivors work through their abuse, with a helpful resource section. Thomas clearly outlines what psychological abuse is, how and why it occurs, and offers hope as she walks the reader through six stages of healing.
Jennifer Southern
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book was like sitting down in a counselors office and having your doubts and worries explained to you in a way that is understandable. She makes you feel like you are not alone in your thoughts and that there is hope for the future. I would recommend this book for anyone who is healing from abuse or if you are a friend walking through the recovery with your friend. Definitely a book that needs to be on peoples bookshelves especially if you are a counselor.
Cheri Coyner
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a light in the darkness for those who live in the confusing, unsettling and recurring pain of toxic relationships. Shannon explains common behavior patterns that those experiencing this type of abuse will recognize immediately. She offers hope and a way out. This book is a must read. I was given an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
My father was never the easiest person to live with. Objectively, there were good times and he could be helpful and kind. But, those times were not the norm. Still, it was not until the events that led to my mother filing for divorce last year that we recognized his behavior over the years was narcissistic and abusive. This book had a lot of good information and there are many passages I highlighted that I will need to write down as reminders (I'll probably update this review with them eventuall ...more
Penelope Daniels
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has some excellent insight. I found so much of it really helpful. As a survivor, it is easy to feel like everything is out of your control, but I really appreciated the how this book broke everything down into categories, like a map to help you get to the other side of everything. I absolutely recommend this to survivors of mental and even physical and abuse.
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-books
One of the best books I've ever read. Very healing.
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“By the time survivors are compelled to leave their psychologically abusive relationships, they do not see any other viable option but to leave. They have tried anything and everything to keep their relationship going. No matter how hard they tried to fit the mold the abuser wanted, it was never enough.” 11 likes
“Becoming fully aware of the dynamics of psychological abuse is not an easy truth to absorb.” 10 likes
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