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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on July 6, 2001
As a survivor of child sexual abuse, I am grateful that Laura Davis complied all the information from her workshops for partners into this book. It should be required reading for anyone in a relationship with a survivor. There are so few resources for partners and the survivor can't explain it all. Healing is a two person job when you're in a relationship.
The question and answer format makes it very user friendly. Read it cover to cover, or just pick it up when you feel puzzled.
As the author suggests, I read it first and found that it gave me words to explain some topics that I thought I'd never be able to express. Sharing this book with my fiance was not easy. But it drew us closer together and opened the door for wonderfully insightful discussion. It also gave me insight into what it is like for someone in a relationship with me. I learned to be more patient and compassionate. Understanding the after effects of childhood molestation are not simple or easy, not just for me, but also for my partner.
I love that Davis very forthrightly says that while not every relationship will thrive, there are wonderful benefits to being with a survivor. The partner is encouraged NOT to rescue or "fix" but rather to respect and grow with the survivor, perhaps even getting more in touch with their own wounded inner child and most importantly to get support for themselves.
For anyone who is an ally of a survivor, this should be in your collection for sure! I turn to it again and again just as I do my now ragged copy of The Courage to Heal. It is not for the timid however. One should be serious about their relationship before sharing this book.
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on June 24, 1997
If The Courage To Heal is the sine qua non for survivors of child sexual abuse, Allies in Healing is required reading for partners and loved ones of survivors and victims.

Written in straightforward question and answer format by one of the authors of the best-selling Courage To Heal, Allies in Healing covers topics ranging from dealing with emotions (your own included) to confronting the perpetrator to sexuality.

Allies In Healing also includes the personal stories of a few partners of survivors. Written frankly, the book admits that not all relationships with survivors are destined for success, but also speaks of the incredible benefits of such a relationship.

For anyone who is a loved one or partner of a survivor should turn to this book first- it is the companion to Courage To Heal and will provide many answers to some of the most pressing questions.
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on June 9, 2000
Allies in Healing is an excellent resouce for information. It filled a void when desparately needed. However in the book, I also found the role of "partner" was idealized and that the reality of dealing with a survivor in a relationship was much worse than anticipated. Trust, the essential ingredient for a loving-giving relationship, is continually questioned, continually under attack. Because it is "safe", anger, rage, even vengeful acts, triggered by earlier abuse, are vented on the partner. Unless great care is taken, a slippery slope of acceptance of the intolerable is initiated by the partner which will eventually doom the relationship. Laura Davis, in a future edition, could be more explicit as to how the "partner" can better protect themselves and thus give the relationship a better chance of surviving. There are hard to find groups for "partner's" which I found invaluable.
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on December 1, 1999
The chapter on sexual relations says in so many words,"you'll learn to live without". It advocates giving the survior a "healing vacation from sex", but never says that things get better. All the "case historys" are of people still celibate. Thanks but no thanks, in my time of darkest despair, could they hold out just a little ray of hope? If surviors can never have a sex life, tell me now.
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on June 29, 1999
A very useful book, but it also emphasizes/idealizes the fact that these are one sided relationships, and that you are involved with a person who has an enormous difficulty becoming close with or identifying with others. It provided me with the clarity to see that at least the relationship I was in was not working, and that my partner would never realize my sacrifices in the name of "our" life, nor be in a position to reciprocate until she could trust me. The diservice this book does to the partner is it seems to downplay the frustration and rage that partners clearly expressed. This is an *extremely* difficult relationship to both be in and walk away from, and the author does not seem to address the anguish of the partner, only how the partner can stuff his/her feelings in the interest of helping the recovering partner get along. One fulfilled partner does not a relationship make, and a 5 year payoff is not guaranteed.
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on November 17, 2000
This book was recommended by our marriage counselor, along with Courage to Heal. While it contains lots of useful information, it is basically a rehash of Courage, and there's little point in a partner reading both books. The author is a survivor, and the tone of this book reflects it. For example, in writing of her partner's departure, she alludes to her growth, sense of loss, etc. following the separation, but says little of her partner's thinking, feelings or experience. She also fails to properly prepare partners for the misdirected anger and other hurtful behavior.
A partner would be much better served by Ken Graber's Ghosts in the Bedroom, followed by a reading of Courage to Heal (if only to learn what the survivor is probably being told). Incidentally, Graber's book is listed in the back of Allies in Healing, but the description hardly does the book justice.
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on December 12, 2000
This book was suggested to me by my husband's counselor. The format is easy to read, no plowing through chapter by chapter. Remember though, this was written by a survivor. There is some very good advice for partners but it seems geared towards accomodating the survivor and not addressing the needs of the partner.
It is a good book, if your partner is well into the healing process. I don't recommend this book if your partner has just begun healing. If they've just started healing, read this as a companion book to Ken Graber's _Ghosts in the Bedroom_. I found some of the sections in _Allies in Healing_ helpful and enlightening. But when I got to the sections dealing with sex my heart sank. To be told to get used to being a nun/monk is more than a little disheartening.
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on December 9, 1998
Though I loved my partner very much, I was often confused and hurt in our relationship. Not sure why the distance and odd behaviors happened, and lacking the knowledge or words to discuss it, the roller coaster ride was often more than I could handle. This book was a god send. It explained what was happening and why. It gave me the skills I needed to communicate openly & honestly about the effects of the abuse. It helped me stay healthy so I could be there for the one I loved. It gave us tools that helped us move forward while staying connected and close. Most importantly, it gave us hope. If you and your partner are willing to try, this book can help.
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on February 29, 2000
I've only had the book a few days and already it's answered soooo many questions for me. I'm a partner of an abuse survivor, it came as quite a shock to me. I had no where to turn, or so I thought. After 10 years of marriage,,,things just began to fall apart. But after finding a wonderful Forum the book was recommended to me (us) and I immediately ordered it. It has answered so many questions for both myself and my husband. We read portions of it each day and are openly talking about all that's going on. Thank you so much for such a wonderful guide for those of us who felt at first that we were alone in this battle.
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on July 19, 1999
As others have observed, there are precious few resources for partners of incest survivors. This book helped me see that I was not alone, and that what I was feeling is "normal." It also helped me understand my partner's behavior, and to be empathetic. Sometimes the answers to tough questions aren't what you want to hear. But they are realistic, such as saying in some cases you are better off leaving the relationship. Ms. Davis' book has helped me to hang on and feel optimistic. Yes, I still feel like banging my head against the wall at times- but not as often.
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