Childhood sexual abuse (or child sexual abuse/CSA) is not only an assault on the body—it is an assault on the mind and on the spirit. It is an insult to the victim’s integrity, her self-esteem, his very being. Besides imposing a significantly higher risk of conditions like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence, suicidality, substance abuse, and learning & educational difficulties, the most devastating consequence of childhood sexual abuse is shame. Freedom at Last will help victims of this form of abuse recover from all aspects of this extreme shame and its damaging after-effects.
Not only does shame from CSA cause a multitude of problems, but this very same shame stands in the way of a victim’s ability to recover and heal. Victims often struggle with shame’s correlation with dissociation, difficulty forming relationships, emotional barriers to disclosing abuse and seeking help, and a lasting negative effect on victim’s sense of self.
In this groundbreaking book, leading psychologist Dr. Beverly Engel reveals the truth about how CSA affects victims, dispels common myths surrounding this type of abuse, explains the nuances behind the emotion of shame, and teaches readers how to develop more self-awareness about how shame has manifested in their lives along with powerful and effective shame-reduction strategies.
Freedom at Last offers effective strategies for not only healing the negative effects of abuse-related shame, but also to help overcome the shame that keeps survivors from seeking help. Using the most recent research along with her 35-year career working with victims of child sexual abuse, Dr. Engel provides a blueprint for readers and their loved ones to overcome the debilitating effects of shame, including strategies for emotional release, encouragement to free themselves from their secrets, teaching self-forgiveness, eliminating shame-causing behaviors, and removing shame from unhealthy behaviors and attitudes.
"Beverly Engel’s Freedom at Last nails it! Like no other book on sexual trauma, she focuses on the core issue—shame. Compassionate, thorough, and personal, her book takes former victims gently by the hand and guides them through a step-by-step healing process. Therapy for sexual abuse is incomplete. This workbook can lead you home." — Darlene Lancer, LMFT, author of Conquering Shame and Codependency
"Shame is pervasive among survivors of sexual trauma, and especially profound for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Beverly Engel has written a comprehensive and accessible book filled with journal prompts and engaging exercises that skillfully guide and support the reader in freeing themselves from the shame brought on by childhood sexual abuse. A transformative read for survivors as they navigate the healing journey."— Erika Shershun, LMFT, author of The Healing Sexual Trauma Workbook: Somatic Skills to Help You Feel Safe in Your Body, Create Boundaries & Live With Resilience
“Beverly Engel provides a healing and transformational book for sexual abuse survivors. From a deep understanding of the pain, she illuminates the different stages of recovery and offers a clear path for survivors to regain their life after trauma. Freedom at Last gives voice to sexual assault survivors and shows how they can heal through validation. This is the one, indispensable book that survivors need most.” —Matthew McKay, PhD, coauthor of Healing Emotional Pain Workbook
"Beverly Engel's newest book, Freedom At Last, turns the spotlight directly onto shame, that most elusive and disturbing of all emotions. Shame is like a wound made on the inside by an unseen hand. Engel pulls back the curtain surrounding sexual abuse, revealing an ever-growing cancer of shame within the self. This book is not only a journey into shame, but equally important, a journey out of shame through learning self-compassion and self-forgiveness." —Gershen Kaufman, Ph.D., author of Shame: The Power of Caring
About the Author:
Beverly Engel is an internationally recognized psychotherapist and an acclaimed advocate for victims of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. She is the author of 23 self-help books, including 4 best selling books on emotional abuse: The Emotionally Abusive Relationship, The Emotionally Abused Woman, and Encouragements for the Emotionally Abused Woman, and Healing Your Emotional Self. Engel is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and has been practicing psychotherapy for 35 years. Beverly's books have often been honored for various awards, including being a finalist in the Books for a Better Life award. Many of her books have been chosen for various book clubs, including One Spirit Book Club, Psychology Today Book Club and Behavioral Sciences Book Club. Her books have been translated into many languages, including Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Greek, Turkish and Lithuanian. In addition to her professional work, Beverly frequently lends her expertise to national television talk shows. She has appeared on Oprah, CNN, and Starting Over, and many other TV programs. She has a blog on the Psychology Today website as well as regularly contributing to the Psychology Today magazine, and has been featured in a number of newspapers and magazines, including: Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, Marie Claire, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and The Denver Post. She regularly conducts training workshops throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, for both professional and lay audiences. Recently she has been conducting trainings on emotional abuse for the United States Army, in both Texas and Georgia as part of their domestic violence training for staff.