Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is not only an assault on the body—it is also an assault on the mind and spirit. In addition to imposing a significantly higher rate of conditions like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence, suicidality, and substance abuse, the most devastating consequences of childhood sexual abuse is shame. Freedom at Last will help former victims recover from all aspects of this extreme shame and its damaging after-effects.
In this groundbreaking book, leading psychotherapist Beverly Engel reveals the truth about how shame affects victims, 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.
Not only does shame from CSA cause a multitude of problems, this very same shame stands in the way of a victim’s ability to recover and heal..Freedom at Last offers effective strategies for not only healing the negative effects of abuse-related shame, but also the emotional barriers to disclosing abuse and seeking help due to difficulties trusting others and self-blame.
Using cutting-edge research along with her thirty-five years of experience working with victims of child sexual abuse, Engel provides a blueprint for readers to overcome the debilitating effects of shame, including strategies for emotional release, disclosing the abuse, practicing self-forgiveness, eliminating shame-causing behaviors, including sexual compulsions and addictions.
Beverly Engel, LMFT, is an internationally recognized psychotherapist and an acclaimed advocate for victims of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. She is the author of numerous self-help books, many of which have been bestsellers and has appeared as a guest on Oprah and CNN, among others. Her writing has been featured by Cosmopolitan, Redbook, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times and many more. She has been practicing psychotherapy for 35 years.
"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