This just in: I just opened a copy of the March issue of Play Therapy, a magazine for mental health professionals who work with children and teens.
There, on page 32, is a great review of Strong at the Heart in which a therapist describes using the book with her young teen clients.
With the author and publisher’s permission, I’m pasting the review in full below.
Jenner, Sheena, Tammy, Jonathan and all—when you read this, you’ll see the far reaching impact of telling your story!
STRONG AT THE HEART: How It Feels to Heal from Sexual Abuse
By Carolyn Lehman, MA
Reviewed by Terry Abell, MEd, LMHC
This five star book is a pleasant surprise, easily read, and displays survivor photos. Chapters are written by survivors. This book presents diverse populations, including males, females, Euro, Latino, Native, and African American cultures, and discusses variations of abuses, including rape, abduction abuse by a priest, and scenarios involving family, date rape, and males abused by females.
Narratives include initial abuse, effects on survivors, and resolution. Sometimes, help was accessible immediately, sometimes not. Sad experiences were offered regarding pre-recovery. Disclosures of substance abuse, suicidal ideation and denial are presented honestly.
When I used this book with clients, I asked to read them a story, stopping to process at intervals. I first used this book with a female ninth grader recently assaulted by an adult male. I selected appropriate stores, which helped her finally acknowledge that the assault was not her fault. I also used this with a 12 year-old with a lifelong history of on-going abuse. We read stories and talked about ways these matched her story. It provided exposure to others who survived, moved on to heal and reach out. She is now in a safe, nurturing environment, making strides and ready for group work. This book provides a stepping-stone towards group.
I intend to use this with survivor groups in the future. Many of our clients are exposed to abuse, directly or indirectly. This book is a great tool and should be added to any counselor’s arsenal.