Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tolson 4 TEARS Reviews "The Wounded Heart"

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Dan Allender, Ph.D, attempts to answer the question of what we should do about our inevitable pain. The forward (by Dr. Larry Crabb) states that the book’s message is “to think biblically about topics not directly addressed in Scripture.” Throughout the book, there is the presumption of the readers’ belief in God.
Dan Allender wants to help those who have been abused to make sense of their indescribable pain. A victim cannot make sense out of the crimes of abuse, or why the perpetrator chose to be abusive. But Dr. Allender, a minister, professor, and therapist, can guide a victim toward an understanding that makes healing a valuable achievement. This is encouraged via personal and spiritual growth. Dr. Allender urges the reader to explore a higher purpose, a higher power, and a bigger vision for life.
The Wounded Heart is written in three parts: The Dynamics of Abuse, The Damage of Abuse, and the Prerequisites for Growth. In parts one and two, the concepts cover the intense feelings of victims, including shame and ambivalence. In part three, Dr. Allender explains complex beliefs, such as repentance. Although the writing style is careful and thorough, there is a burden on the victim to understand betrayal, contempt, and powerlessness and their consequences. This is the case in our culture: the responsibility for understanding is on the survivors, while the perpetrators make no apologies.
Dr. Allender does not sugar-coat the actual abuse, the resulting trauma, or the difficulty in healing. He does, however, make it clear that his Christian position and opinion is one of deep faith and hope. He tries to convey this to the reader without being dogmatic. Not every victim will be able to absorb the Bible verses he uses to explain both the suffering and the growth. 

Also see The Wounded Heart Workbook

Review completed by Lynn C. Tolson, author of Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story
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