Healing the Incest Wound: Adult Survivors in Therapy

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W. W. Norton & Company, 1988 - Family & Relationships - 396 pages
Occasionally a book for psychotherapists instantly becomes a classic. Not only do clinicians recognize the excellence and importance of the book, but their clients respond enthusiastically to the accurate portrayal of their experiences and the model for healing. With the publication of Healing the Incest Wound, such a classic was born.

Incest is not a rare aberrant happening, but a common childhood experience for a substantial minority of children. Since incest is generally hidden and denied, the victims are left to cope with their reactions in an atmosphere that contradicts their reality. Yet all incest is not the same; for instance, one-time fondling by an uncle has different effects from rapes repeated over many years by a stepfather. The book describes these variations and the symptoms, short-term aftereffects, and long-term secondary elaborations of incest from four theoretical perspectives: traumatic stress, developmental, feminist, and loss. The author not only comprehensively discusses the salient issues of incest therapy but also illustrates these with numerous case studies, showing how incest survivors can heal and build a core of self-respect and dignity.
 

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Contents

If You Think the Word Is Ugly
9
Incest Characteristics and Categories
11
The Dynamics of Child Sexual Abuse and the Incestuous Family
28
ParentChild Incest
47
Incest Between Other Relatives
73
Symptoms Aftereffects and Diagnosis
87
Incest Symptoms Aftereffects and Secondary Elaborations
89
Theories Pertaining to Aftereffects and Treatment
118
General Treatment Strategies and Techniques
183
The Effects of Abuse Dynamics on the Therapy Process
214
Group Treatment
244
Special Populations
275
Special Problems and Issues in Treatment
295
Special Family Issues
325
Incest History Questionnaire
359
Books and Audiovisual Materials for Incest Survivors
370

Presenting Concerns and Diagnosis
129
Incest Therapy
163
Philosophy Process and Goals of Incest Therapy
165

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About the author (1988)

Christine A. Courtois, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice in Washington, DC. She is President-elect of APA Division 56, Trauma Psychology, and Associate Editor of Psychological Trauma: Research, Theory, Practice & Policy. Dr. Courtois conducts workshops nationally and internationally on the treatment of incest and other forms of sexual assault, and is the recipient of numerous awards for her work.

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