Women Who Hurt Themselves: A Book of Hope and Understandingby Published 06 Jul 2005
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Many books have described victims of rape and battering, but scant attention has been paid to another form of harm increasingly common among women. Here at last is a book that provides help for the thousands of women who secretly inflict violence on themselves. Filled with moving stories, this powerful and compassionate book is the first to focus on women who harm themselves through self-mutilation, compulsive cosmetic surgeries, eating disorders, and other forms of chronic injury to the body.
Women Who Hurt Themselves: A Book of Hope and Understanding Reviews
While parts of this book were informative and interesting, I think the name of the book was misleading. This was not a book about women who hurt themselves in general, but specifically a book about women who hurt themselves due to what the author calls "Trauma Reenactment Syndrome" (TRS). While this may certainly be a real phenomenon -- that some adult women hurt themselves after being abused or neglected in childhood -- it by no means can account for all women who hurt themselves. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that the book is somewhat outdated (first written in 1994, with an updated version written in 2005), but the author blatantly states near the beginning of the book: "In my own work, I find that women who have developed entrenched patterns of seriously self-harmful behavior are unlikely to do such things to themselves without an underlying history of abuse or neglect. I have yet to encounter a woman with a severe eating disorder, unremitting substance-abuse problems, or a history of self-mutilation who did not experience some childhood trauma, whether it was sexual abuse, physical abuse, severe neglect, or, in a few cases, chronic and incapacitating childhood illness." This I know to be absolutely untrue. Again, while this may be the case for SOME women who hurt themselves, it is by no means the case for all of them. This book was exclusively about how women who hurt themselves did so because of the trauma they experienced in childhood, and to say this is the case for all women who hurt themselves is false and misleading.
The other problem I had with the book was how the author seemed to refer to homosexuality as a choice. "The choice to be in lesbian relationships is sometimes related to the wish to avoid replication of a childhood abuse experience." Being a lesbian is not a choice. Period. To suggest that it is a choice is offensive and untrue.
I took a look at this book when browsing through the psychology section at Barnes and Noble. It looks very good!
This book is very informative about a new diagnosis for women who have suffered childhood abuse and/or trauma that changed who they are today. With a proper diagnosis, these women may be able to heal themselves. Very interesting.
Very dense book with a lot of information some repetitive. But an incredible book for those who want to work with trauma victims (physical, neglect, sexual, etc..) who engage in self-injurious behaviors.
I learned an invaluable amount that I will be able to use in practice. It took me a while to read it because I was learning so much.
Basically, this book is in two halves. The first half is incredible, easily worthy of 5 stars. The author approaches the topic of women who self-injure in a non-judgmental way--something that is rarely seen. She goes on to demonstrate an actual understanding of how a self-injurer's internal process works, putting into words something which we often cannot. However, the second half of the book talks about the therapy process she uses, and not only is it obvious to me that this process wouldn't work, but also it is badly written. A very disappointing ending to a promising beginning.