This practical guide, part memoir and part tool kit for trauma survivors, gives readers advice on healing from setbacks like illnesses, accidents, and abuse.
Acker-Halbur (The Truth Behind Healing and Trauma, 2019), founder of the Never Give Up Institute, has experienced her share of trauma. She was abused by her father during childhood, raped in college, involved in a serious car accident as an adult, and diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at the age of 50. In this guide, she describes her experiences of healing from those events and offers advice, along with worksheets and other tools, intended to help others lead meaningful lives after trauma. Her suggestions for healing from rape, for example, include prayer, self-defense classes, life-affirming messages, music, reading, and relocation. Readers who are looking for comfort after their own traumas will find a lot of useful information in this book, including ideas for activities they can try at home that may accelerate their healing process. Changing your mindset, the author says, can help: practicing gratitude, forgiveness, and making friends with your body parts. Toward that end, throughout the book she describes potentially useful activities, some of which would benefit readers not currently healing from trauma but just wanting to do some self-reflection. Acker-Halbur also provides sound advice on issues that many people find challenging, such as talking with dying loved ones and coping with the fear of death. While the author’s personal experiences lend authenticity to the book, her writing can be verbose. For instance, to show how she’s practiced gratitude, she includes full entries she wrote for her family and friends on the CaringBridge website during her cancer treatment when briefer paraphrases might have served her purposes more efficiently. To make its points, most of the book, illustrated by Drude, uses lists that are convenient for readers who’d like to skim the contents or skip to a pertinent chapter but may be jarring to those looking for a more traditional narrative. Nevertheless, the advice is personal, practical, and actionable.
A helpful guide for readers currently healing from a traumatic event or diagnosis.