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has anyone done the courage to heal workbook?
September 4, 2006
10:21 pm
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cpt1212
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it was recommended that i try it out but i am not so sure about it. i got up the courage to look at in the bookstore today, but couldn't bring myself to buy it. can anyone tell me that has done the excercises in it tell me what their experience was.

thanks

September 4, 2006
10:37 pm
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who is the author? IF you see something that speaks to you, why not pick it up, even if there is one useful message? Well, that is what a close friend of mine who is a great therapist says...I don't know if she is correct or not, but she has led me to some good readings.

September 4, 2006
11:42 pm
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ggfred4
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Okay, I have the book and workbook. I had a hard time with the workbook even though it is excellent. The problem...me. You had to write down who you could go to for support or call when things are bad and I had no names to write down. I tried several times but put it away. Again, the problem...me. It is all intense if you were sexually abused and it felt like the book knew me and that was scarey. I keep it locked up, but do plan to go back to it one day......

September 5, 2006
12:01 am
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cpt1212
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that is exactly how i felt when i was skimming it in the bookstore today! it was reassuring that my feelings were universal but it also pissed me off that it was so predictable. and creepy, you are right. yes, i think it looks good too, but i found myself shutting down as i turned each page.

September 5, 2006
12:05 am
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okay, there is a PTSD workbook that looks very good. I have not done it, but I want to. It is by Mary Beth Williams. It has a lot of stuff on boundaries and relationships.

September 5, 2006
12:06 am
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cpt1212
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i so need boundary help i am so an all or nothing kinda girl---either huge walls or walk all over me.

September 5, 2006
12:14 am
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cpt1212, me too, huge walls or walk all over me. About the book being predictable and creepy, my feelings exactly. I kept looking around feeling someone was watching me...it was the book!!! I think it would be excellent as a resource in some sort of support group and/or you just have to be ready for the challenge. I thought I was, but I know I will go back to it when I am ready.

September 5, 2006
8:23 pm
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cpt1212
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just bumping this up would appreciate any response

September 5, 2006
9:32 pm
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Hello CPT:

I have read Courage to Heal but I have never looked at the workbook.

I do not have personal experience with childhood sexual abuse. My experience and knowledge is due to caring about a boyfriend who was sexually abused as a child. I read a lot to learn about his experience and how I could help him.

Did you not have the courage to purchase it because you were embarassed in the store? Or because the excercises were too powerful for you where you are currently in your healing?

If it is the first, you can purchase the book online. If it is the latter reason, I think that you must work with a therapist that has extensive experience working with sexual abuse issues. And work through the workbook slowly and with support.

Healing is a process and you need to explore your feelings, heal your trauma, and learn new skills--boundaries, self-love, improving self-esteem, assertive communication, etc., with a skilled and compassionate therapist.

You can feel better and you will heal. I also think a support group is a good idea, even an online one would be useful. I know that such groups exist for male survivors because I researched them.

It is important that you are seeking help and relief from your pain. That is a very good sign that you are helping yourself. You are very courageous and I know that you can feel better. Stay the course. You are so worth it!!!!

((((CPT)))

M&S

September 5, 2006
11:25 pm
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CPT-

I don't know about this book. I don't have experience with childhood sexual abuse, but others here do. I am sorry for your painful memories. I must be grateful I did not suffer that trauma.

You are doing a lot with your life despite what you endured. I am impressed by your bravery and determination...even when you feel down.

I had an abusive brother, but he just had me living and hiding in constant fear. When I realized that I was reliving the the same terror with a similar personality at work, I read research on sibling abuse. It was a very painful journey to revisit my past. My issues were not nearly as bad as they could have been, but they left their scars, and who knows, maybe I would have been just as troubled in my current sitation anyway.

I say anything we can do to help ourselves is great... yet, there comes a time when we need to recognize we can only help ourselves so much with a self help book. That is when we seek professional help, as you know.

I hope this response was helpful.

Do you want to talk about why you did not buy the book?

Hugs,
P&L

September 5, 2006
11:38 pm
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chloeysmomma
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i have done the workbook and its hard i think its hard on anyone who has been what i have been through and it is scary to remember it all the time its hard but its a one step process everyone i think handles this issue differntly personally it opened up my wounds and it still hurts

September 5, 2006
11:38 pm
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cpt1212
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p & L, moon,

thank you both for your thoughtful posts. i am seeing a counselor, i have been seeing her for almost 2yrs. I trust her and have just started talking about the sexual abuse. but i can only talk about it in abstract terms. i didn't buy the book for both of the reasons that moon listed.

September 5, 2006
11:48 pm
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CPT

Thanks for the reply. I can understand. I had a bf who was an ACOA (and had a pretty bad childhood) and he really destroyed what was a beautiful relationship. My friend who is a really outstanding therapist said it would be harder for him to revisit his past than to let go of our relationship. This was before I knew anything about ACOAs or Coda or any of this stuff, and I didn't understand his issues at all. It was very sad.

Now that I have revisted my own childhood, I have a small taste of it. It is still a bit hard for me for reasons I won't share here.

When you feel ready to buy the book, you will find a way.

Hugs, P&L

September 6, 2006
12:05 am
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cpt1212-

It is good that you are seeing a counselour that you trust. Unfortunately, although I don't remember the contents of the book specifically, I remember my experience with it. I'm aware that it is a highly recommended book, but I have a really negative association with it... due to the inapproprate use of it in my past.

When I was in school, I had a social worker who decided immediately- without being very familiar with me or my background- that I was a good candidate for "the courage to heal" and her group therapy project. I had no idea what this group was about. Many people in it were low functioning and I found going to it just made me sad because I would either worry about them, or worry that I would become like them. Really, I don't know if they were heavily medicated, or had some diagnosis I was unaware of, or just in the midst of trauma. It was very disturbing. We all barely spoke during a whole session, and just basically covered talking about things that you could talk about anywhere- school issues. I didn't get it. Some of us were working from that book, yet we didn't really get to the point where we "shared" anything in that respect. I always wanted to ask others about it... but obviously, how can you just bring that up?

I vaguely remember the social worker giving me assignments relating to that book. I started to have "flashbacks" - to this day I think are quite unsubstantiated, and basically exaggerations of more psychologically dysfunctional family roles than any physical abuse. NOt that this happened because of anything the book SAID mind you... it's just quite easy to suggest to an unstable person that many of their problems stem from "buried memories" or whatever you call them.

Let's just say, this counselor didn't know what she was doing, and just allowing me to believe that book was for me without further investigation was a big mistake.

Being very unstable at that time, had a complete breakdown that summer, left my parents home and went to a neighbor's home and cried about my fictitious childhood sexual abuse (which I was convinced occured) and believe me- this is not easy to untangle. My poor family.

I've read a lot of "self help" books, and even those books that you are supposed to use with a counselor kind of irk me. I really believe that people write them because they know they will appeal to the parts of us that need help the most desperately- and offer explainations and solutions that they have no right to give to an anonymous random reader who is in need of quality care and attention from a professional. It all makes me angry.

When there is a profit to be made off the masses, and that includes publishing books, one always has to be suspicious. It's one thing to go to a support group, an online bulliten board of your peers and share personal experiences. It's quite another for one person to put in print something that is going to carry the authority of the written word to so many trusting souls. Be careful where you get your information and your help.

Sorry about the rant... I hope your experiences with your counselor are therapuetic and help you to move towards a more peaceful existence.

hugs,
ella

September 6, 2006
12:26 am
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I agree that it is very good to be careful with these books for sure. It is a good idea to check them out thoroughly. There are a handful of good ones. I never would have read one in the past until a therapist who trains doctoral students and whom I highly respect gave me one.

Nobody studies "pop psychology" in graduate school. It is a good idea to check into the background of the writer and find out his/her reputation.

As pointed out, these books do not take the place of professional help or medications, but I think CPT knows that.

I am glad Ella reminded us that when people read these books, they may be very vulnerable and must be very careful. Thanks!

P&L

September 6, 2006
9:26 am
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Dear CPT:

It is good that you have a therapist that you can trust. And it is also positive that you are beginning to broach the subject in whatever way that you can, abstract is fine. You must proceed at your own pace.

I was the first person that my boyfriend ever told outside of his family. He just blurted it out one day and he felt an enormous sense of relief that he was not carrying the burden alone anymore.

I actually suspected he had been abused before he told me. There were signs. I purchased a number of books for him because he was not aware that such books existed about men and childhood sexual abuse. I also gave him Courage to Heal.

However horrible your experience was for you, just know that you were in NO way responsible for your abuse. And your therapist will not see you as a bad person. She will help you to see that you were a victim and she will help you heal. It will take time but you will feel better.

Perhaps you can order the book online and then slowly with the help of your therapist, when you are ready, begin to work through the excercises.

Thinking of you.

M&S

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