RECLAIMING OUR LIVES: Adult Survivors of Incest by Carol Poston

RECLAIMING OUR LIVES: Adult Survivors of Incest

Email this review


A sensitive, hopeful, and beautifully written book designed to dissect the dynamics of incest as well as to help its survivors. The coauthors (Poston's a survivor of incest; Lison's a psychotherapist) have very effectively preceded each chapter with Poston's first-person narrative and filled the pages with poignant case histories. The merit of this book lies in its healing qualities; it sees victims of incest as survivors, and shows how children are extraordinarily adept at managing tremendous trauma and turning pain into protection by escape into books, detachment, development of multiple personalities, manipulation of environment, etc. The authors also show how these adaptations, however life-saving during childhood, backfire when maintained during adulthood, often leading to social isolation, fear of repeating the cycle, sexual difficulties, eating disorders, drug addiction, etc. The core solution, they argue, is to take the already developed ability to adapt and to use it to one's benefit rather than to one's detriment--thus transcending the devastating effects of incest. The authors offer a program for recovery that involves coming to terms with emotions and seeking help from a therapist or support group, and that includes a useful guide to feeling good. A contagiously optimistic work, certain to help adult survivors of incest to understand what happened and then to use their best skills to heal themselves.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1989
ISBN: 316-71472-0
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: