“Childhood Disrupted” by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Subtitle: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal

Recommended to me by: a friend

Science journalist Donna Jackson Nakazawa carefully researches and clearly describes how Chronic Unpredictable Toxic Stress changes the growing brain of a child, pruning neurons and stunting growth in some areas. Because the toxic stress is unpredictable, […]

“The Emotionally Absent Mother” by Jasmin Lee Cori, MS, LPC

Subtitle: a guide to self-healing and getting the love you missed

Recommended to me by: a client

This is a gently enlightening book. It talks about all the different roles a Good Mother plays (“yeah, yeah, I know”) and all the holes that result when those roles are missing (“yeah, yeah, I know”) … […]

“Healing Developmental Trauma” by Laurence Heller, PhD and Aline LaPierre, PsyD

Subtitle: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship

The first section of this book is focused on analysis and categorization. It describes five adaptive survival styles in response to developmental ruptures in connection, attunement, trust, autonomy, and love and sexuality. I found this part dry and off-putting, and skimmed through […]

“Flying in Place” by Susan Palwick

A twelve-year-old girl is being abused by her father, and is ultimately rescued by their next door neighbors. Her older sister had died, and at the end of the book, the neighbor says, “No one can help her. That’s what being dead means.”

Susan Palwick’s blog title is Rickety Contrivances of Doing Good. That […]

“Disarming the Narcissist” by Wendy T. Behary, LCSW

Subtitle: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed

Recommended to me by: Focusing-discussion list

The person recommending this book spoke of narcissistic wounds rather than narcissistic people. I think it’s useful to have compassion, and at the same time it is easy to lose sight of the people hurt by narcissistic behavior.

The author is […]

“The Language of Emotions” by Karla McLaren

Subtitle: What Your Feelings are Trying to Tell You.

Recommended to me by: a client

I read a couple of books lately that had their good points, but I only got half way through them, and when I started to post about them I had more negative thoughts than positive ones, so I deleted […]

“The Trauma Spectrum” by Robert Scaer

Subtitle: Hidden Wounds and Human Resiliency

This book is a frustrating mix of interesting theories, solid information, and bigoted rants.

The author leads with some encouraging words about intersectionality and noticing how society’s defaults harm some people, but then devolves into “women returning to work after childbirth causes harm because babies need maternal care” […]

“Poppies on the Rubbish Heap” by Madge Bray

Subtitle: Sexual Abuse, The Child’s Voice

Madge Bray shares her journey as a child advocate social worker, along with several abused children’s case histories. Woven through the book is the history of recognition and backlash around the sexual abuse of children. Madge Bray pioneered the use of toys and play therapy to elicit children’s […]

“Unlimited…” by Ani Rose Whaleswan

This is a book of 18 poems and 13 paintings about Ani Rose Whaleswan’s healing from extreme abuse. From the back cover: “She believes too that art is healing, and healing is an art.”

The paintings are colorful, vivid, powerful. Each one is accompanied by a paragraph of background or interpretation.

The poems are […]

“Tender Morsels” by Margo Lanagan

Recommended to me by: Meloukhia

This is a fairy tale, but no child’s story. It starts with incest and pregnancy and abortion, and continues with gang rape. Then Liga is magically placed in a world that matches her heart’s desire, peaceful and safe.

While examining the consequences of assault and the consequences of avoiding […]