The Courage to Heal: A Guide For Women Survivors
of Child Sexual Abuse

Ellen Bass, Laura Davis


The classic and definitive self-help guide for women survivors of sexual abuse, The Courage To Heal is a tool for recovery that works. This is also the book often cited by those who challenge the credibility of incest survivors. Some survivors of childhood abuse recover memories of these traumatic early experiences years after the original events, and it is these recovered memories that are said to be false memories, implanted in the allegedly impressionable minds of survivors. I was curious to see how this revised and expanded third edition would differ from the much maligned first. In addition to an Afterword that carefully analyzes and refutes the false memory syndrome argument, the authors have made revisions throughout the book which offer guidelines for assessing confusing memories. The authors' commitment to survivors is clear throughout the book, beginning with the book's endorsements, which come not from therapists, but from anonymous survivors. This is a comprehensive, supportive, carefully worded and often passionate book, as helpful for those who are the partners, friends or family of survivors, as for survivors themselves.
Review by Patricia Pettijohn , February 1, 1997


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