Reddit Reddit reviews The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse, 3rd Edition

We found 26 Reddit comments about The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse, 3rd Edition. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse, 3rd Edition
The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
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26 Reddit comments about The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse, 3rd Edition:

u/Mrselfdestruct15 · 39 pointsr/confession

I am speaking from experience here. This is not healthy given your abuse from the past. This will not give you fulfilling sex that you want. You're reliving your abuse. I highly suggest reading this book.
I only wish the best for you. I hope this helps.

u/aradthrowawayacct · 32 pointsr/DeadBedrooms

> but after an "incident" where one of her close (male friends), made unwanted sexual advances at her, she's completely shut down sexually.

She should be seeing a therapist who specializes in helping people recover from sexual trauma.

Healing from trauma like she experienced is possible, but she needs help.

Is this person still part of her/your social circle?

I often recommend these resources here, because they are so good:

The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Wendy Maltz

Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma by Staci Haines

u/Lucy-Aslan5 · 29 pointsr/sex

This book might help you. It’s often recommended by counselors who work with sexual assault and abuse survivors. Maybe it would help you to read it as well, but remember, although you are wonderful to be so supportive you can’t fix her. Be easy on yourself. Take care.

u/JustGonnaDoIt · 22 pointsr/TwoXChromosomes

So many people have already given solid advice. I don't have much to add, except to respond to the idea that just holding her and talking to her is not that much. That can be everything. During the early days after my rape experience that was all I could handle, and it meant the world to me if someone was just there with me.

These things don't resolve quickly, but with work it will eventually get better.

Book recommendations: These books were particularly helpful for me:

Hurting and Healing by Gloria Wade was nice in the beginning.

Also, it's NOT time for this yet, but when you two/she are eventually ready to explore sex again, The Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz is AMAZING. Again, this is clearly for a ways down the line, but when you are there it is THE BOOK.

u/[deleted] · 11 pointsr/TwoXChromosomes

Hi! I experienced rape years ago and have told my current boyfriend. At first I didn't tell him all the details, just that it had happened and that I sometimes would get triggered. Eventually I told him most all the details.

One thing that has really helped me, and helped my boyfriend to understand, is this book: The Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz

It is an amazing book for survivors and great for partners. Its focus is on the sexual and relationship damage that can occur as a result of assault and abuse, and how to recognize and work through it. It also has a chapter especially for partners. I have found it to be a perfect book to hand to my partner in the early stage of a relationship to open the subject and educate. I asked my bf to read it and he did (I did the same with my ex-girlfriend). It helped him understand things I might have had a hard time talking about myself and helped him understand how to approach me and not be afraid of making me afraid when making sexual advances.

I really believe it is good for your partner to know and that it was right for you to tell him. This can be tricky, so I wish you the best.

u/LiquorLaCroix · 8 pointsr/TrollXChromosomes

OP, I had to do a sex break with both of the serious partners I've had. Both times, it was the right choice absolutely.

Here's how to do it in the relationship:

  • Get this book:

  • You and your partner BOTH read it. Maybe get two copies.

  • Discuss what you have read and do the exercises.

  • End result: Happy, healthy sex and a partner who was with you, supporting you through the transformation (and transforming with you!)

    Good luck. I cannot recommend this book enough. I have bought many copies to give away. This is the absolute best book I know of for helping to deal with the long-term sexual effects of sexual assault/ abuse.
u/LurkingRaeven · 6 pointsr/mentalhealth

> I have a hard time calling it rape...I have reduced what happened to me as an unfortunate experience and I've tried to gloss over it.

That's absolutely what it was. If you start by calling it what it is you can start to actually heal from the experience. Have you considered a therapist, particularly one that specializes in trauma/sexual abuse?

ETA: I picked up this book quite some time ago. I think it's a great book and might be something you could consider finding someone to help you work through.

u/ohgeeztt · 5 pointsr/CPTSD

a lot of incestuous families/systems are like that. You might find this book helpful.

u/maryjanesandbobbysox · 5 pointsr/DeadBedrooms


I recommend it pretty frequently here, but The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Wendy Maltz is a fantastic book for people dealing with childhood sexual abuse.

u/mossycoat · 5 pointsr/CPTSD

i second the comment about finding a trauma-focused couples therapist, if you are able to do that.

do you feel safe with your husband in non-sexual contexts? like, no feelings of shame, humiliation, fear, etc.? if not, ignore the rest of what i've typed; but if you do, a handful of things come to mind for me here:

  • do you think it might be beneficial if you both had a conversation about your responsibilities/his responsibilities during sex as far as "whose job it is" to make sure he/you have an orgasm? (so, what i'm sort of tiptoeing around saying is: does he understand that your orgasm = your responsibility & his orgasm = his responsibility, & that if he's working so hard that he's getting frustrated & channeling that at you, it's probably time to stop/take a break? when my partner & i first started seeing one another, he was like this as well, & one thing that helped us is that i explicitly stated, my orgasm is my responsibility. it is not your job. you can help me, but it's my body. we also talked about how me feeling like i was "taking too long" would make it really, really hard for me to orgasm because i would start to focus on his needs--is he uncomfortable? getting impatient? wishing i'd just hurry up already?--or what i felt his needs were & feel guilty/burdensome/etc. that opened up further communication about our wants/expectations/etc., & we were able to problem-solve: if you get tired & want to stop but i haven't had an orgasm, i/you/we can do XYZ; if you have an orgasm but i don't, i/you/we can do XYZ; etc.)
  • (tw: the link is explicit, NSFW, & includes "kinky" stuff) the second thing that helped is: we each completed this "yes, no, maybe" sexual inventory & then shared our answers with one another. if you think he might get upset by some of the answers, then i would recommend not including him in this at all & doing it alone. at the very least, it might help you gauge what you're OK & not OK with right now as you work to rebuild trust/intimacy.
  • you mentioned that you have no problems having an orgasm when you're alone, so i just wanted to mention this: in the beginning, when we were first building intimacy & sex didn't feel safe to me, i would ask my partner if we could fool around & then, without intercourse but in the same room/bed/next to each other, be responsible for our own orgasms.
  • wendy maltz's the sexual healing journey might be worth taking a look at? the third section was especially helpful to me; it gives a lot of suggestions/exercises/things to think about in working to establish sex as an activity that is safe/pleasurable/etc. (vs. scary/painful/awful/etc.).
u/NeurotiKat · 4 pointsr/relationship_advice

Sexual abuse is the proverbial gift that keeps on giving. Once you think you have a handle on things, issues pop up.

One book that I found helpful was called The Sexual Healing Journey:

It was very helpful and offered some useful tangible things. Move at the speed you are at, and maybe focus a tiny bit less on sex for a bit and more on general physical intimacy. Above all, hang in there.

u/craniumrats · 4 pointsr/ptsd

Depends on what kind of recovery you're talking but I've also read:

u/41mHL · 4 pointsr/secondary_survivors

Hi. I'm in a relationship with a woman who was repeatedly raped as a child as well.

She currently identifies as asexual, but also expresses a lot of curiosity about sex, so I am not certain that is going to be her lasting sexuality.

I strongly recommend that you do a lot of reading and learning about the effects of childhood trauma, especially on human sexuality.

Amazon: The Courage to Heal by Bass and Davis is a good place to start.

Amazon: The Sexual Healing Journey by Maltz is the best reference directly, and includes some beginning non-sexual steps to enable the survivor to begin reconnecting physically.

Amazon: Sensate Focus in Sex Therapy is a step-by-step guide to taking a survivor from severely uncomfortable all the way to intercourse. It is aimed at the therapist, but valuable reading for the partner as well.

Amazon: Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving by Walker is another excellent reference, as it addresses specifically the type of PTSD brought on by repeat, inescapable trauma, especially during childhood.

I think your library should include each of these.

Also, as a veteran of a sexless marriage, currently in the divorce process, I strongly advise that you wait to marry this woman until after you and she are successfully having sex -- this is an important component of a marriage, and one that you and she need to know is going to be successful, healthy, and not re-traumatizing for her.

u/B0083DHILK · 4 pointsr/DeadBedrooms

First: you're almost certainly not an asshole! But I want to explore another possibility that has gone unmentioned in this thread: maybe your boyfriend at 14 shaped your sexuality in a way that is having lasting negative effects on you today.

I'm (32M) married to a partner (30F) who I thought had lower libido than me. She also has some the problems you describe that are unrelated to "mismatched libidos". This caused some problems for our relationship, so we talked about it and started seeing a therapist. The more I learn, the more it seems like my partner's difficulties are connected to sexual abuse she experienced as a young teenager, and it's not just "low libido".

We just started reading a book called "The Sexual Healing Journey" by Wendy Maltz. It's about the effects of sexual abuse, and how to overcome those effects by building healthy beliefs, associations, and habits around sex. In chapter 3 the author outlines a "sexual effects inventory" allowing the reader to identify facets of their sexuality that may have been influenced by abuse. Many of the things you wrote appear in the author's "inventory", almost word for word:

  • "if I gave them sex they’d stay"
    • "I believe sex is a condition for receiving love."
    • "I can be loved only to the extent I can give sexually."
  • "Am I actually gay? Bi? Asexual?"
    • "I'm confused whether I'm gay or straight." (The author notes: sexual orientation is not necessarily influenced by abuse, but confusion about the sexual orientation is common.)
  • "an extremely hard time orgasming"
    • "I have difficulty having an orgasm with a partner."
  • "make me feel more insecure and shameful"
    • "Sex is humiliating to me."
    • "Sex feels dirty to me."
    • "I experience negative feelings such as fear, anger, shame, guilt, or nausea with sexual touch."
  • "there was something wrong with me"
    • "There is something wrong with me sexually."
  • "I started to dread having sex" / "thought of having sex made me anxious"
    • "I am afraid of sex."
    • "I feel very nervous during sex."

      I made screenshots of this chapter 3 for you in case you want to see these quotes in context.

      For me, realizing that my partner's experience of sex matches exactly with the descriptions in "The Sexual Healing Journey" has been illuminating, because it puts a name and an origin to the problems we're having. If any of this rings true, I encourage you to talk with your partner about it, and speak with a therapist who specializes in sexual abuse.
u/talkinginbed · 3 pointsr/Endo

First of all, I'm so sorry you've had to go through that. <3

Before I was ever diagnosed with endo, I was diagnosed with vaginismus as a result of sexual assault. I passed out the first time a doctor ever gave me an exam - and that was just with his hand. I used to literally no exaggeration SCREAM getting examined. The first time I had sex I bled so much he thought I had my period.

It took me a lot of hard work - both emotionally and physically to deal with this. I read a lot of books about healing from sexual abuse, I did a lot of writing and talking about it, and for the past two years or so I've been seeing a physiotherapist for my vagina (sounds so ridiculous haha) and I am finally having the best sex with no pain. I can finally use tampons. I can have my boyfriend finger me without screaming in pain. I can have sex in tons of different positions, not just the usual safe ones that people with endo usually stick with. I can have a vaginal exam. It sounds so overdramatic but I'm legit tearing up writing this because I never thought I'd be able to say any of this! To this day, I still don't know if my pain/inability to be penetrated was from the assault or endo or probably a mixture of both.

Waking up from anesthesia hopefully your first thought won't be of your assault because you'll just be doped up and trying to figure things out, remembering you just had surgery... and unfortunately you'll probably be in pain lol. So that stuff will probably be more prevalent in your mind than painful memories (hopefully at least). I'm assuming you'll have family/friends with you to be there when you wake up as well, so that will be a big comfort.

This book was a huge, huge help for me. It's a thing you can write in, there are speeches to say in the mirror, stuff like that. But I think what helped the most was physio... even though her job originally was just to help with vaginal pain she really turned into a kind of therapist as well. You have to be able to trust someone who is helping you with something that physically intimate lol.

Good luck <3

u/Reluctant_Achiever · 3 pointsr/loveafterporn

I can relate to the feelings of being "ruined", especially after what you have been through. My PA's active addiction led to a situation that I was sexually assaulted (not by him, but someone he was close to), and I had similar feelings for a long time. I can promise you though, you are not ruined. What happened may have changed you, but it didn't break you-- you're still here and working through it in the best way you know how. The work you are doing now will help you establish the boundaries and the "rules" for yourself in a new relationship, when it's time and you feel ready to be in one. I found a lot of help inthis book-- it has some background and some specific things to work through (with yourself or with a partner, whenever the time is right) to help with that feeling of being "ruined.

u/throwawaySHJ · 3 pointsr/TwoXChromosomes

Hey dude, I'm really sorry to hear about what happened to your wife. I am in a similar situation--I'm a guy, my girlfriend was raped almost six years ago and we started dating about 2 years ago. She's come a long way, but I think we really started making even more progress when I read this book by Wendy Maltz called The Sexual Healing Journey:

I hadn't seen it mentioned in the comments yet. The book has a ton of testimonials about people who have gone through different kinds of sexual abuse. Your wife might want to eventually read it and go through the exercises herself, but my understanding is that it takes a fair amount of time (a year or more since the abuse) to be strong enough to go through it.

Reading through this book really helped me to see what it's like to go through something like that and empathize with what she might be feeling. You get to understand different ways that you as a partner might be able to assist her. It should be required reading for anyone with a partner who has gone through any sort of sexual abuse.

u/Drabbeynormalblues · 2 pointsr/secondary_survivors

I'm so sorry you both are going through this. I agree with the other poster about therapy because you both have some issues to work through. What your boyfriend is experiencing is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation but it can be fixed. The Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz is a book designed to assist people dealing with a history of rape or sexual abuse deal with common problems that may arise because of being sexually abused. It would be good for you both to read that as well as work out these issues with the help of a therapist. Here is the link.

u/Queen_E · 2 pointsr/AskWomen

I don't know that I'm navigating life all that well, but some little things have helped and why not share with the class? I think I have underlying mental health issues (depression, anxiety) worsened by trauma (rape, attempted rape which morphed into PTSD, I think) and a narcissistic dad.

  • Books! I read so much about this stuff. I actually find therapists really terrible, because I can tell I'm more well-versed than them. Which sounds snotty, but I think I've had bad luck and, like, what am I paying you for if I can tell you're
    Here are a few helpful ones:
    Sexual healing, literally
    PTSD and trauma:
    Shitty men:
    Shitty parents:
    A Buddhist reminder that to live is to suffer:
    Brene Brown, duh:
    (All the eating disorder books I read have been useless, and I am probably depressed and I'm certainly anxious but the literature on that never quite fits.)

  • Learning to stand up for myself has been huge, but lately it has really kicked into high gear and it has involved lots of screaming. I'm really nice and polite and if I get ignored too much when I need to not be ignored, I melt down and scream. Usually the object of my screaming deserves it 100%, but I'm hoping this is just a phase because it wears me out and I feel like I'll get put in an institution one day, even though the episode never lasts more than a couple hours. I got stalked and cornered in a parking lot once, and men who come too close and don't listen to my polite, repeated requests to back off, well, they get an earful. I've had a lifetime of feeling unheard and abused, so I don't feel a ton of shame about it. I'm trying to find other productive ways, but, man, this world sucks and sometimes screaming feels like the most rational thing. (To be clear, I do this, like, once every three months max!)

  • I wrote a letter to my dad once, telling him I hated all the shitty things he did to me and I cut him out of my life. Probably the best decision of my life. I did it thinking I just needed a little break, but almost eight years later, it feels pretty permanent and like it's given me the space I need to truly heal. Cut off your toxic relationships if you can!

  • Venting helps immensely, whether with my friends, my mom, my journal or a therapist. I told a therapist that the main reason I found her helpful was because she was a neutral third party who had to listen to me and she got really offended. But it's true! Most of my therapists have not been able to be much more than a sounding board. I am open-minded, but their ideas were either useless or offensive. The ideas I found in books were so much more helpful (like the writing my dad a letter thing was right out of the Toxic Parents playbook! No therapist ever suggested any of that!)

  • Weed is the only thing that truly helps me come down when I'm majorly triggered or anxious (ie when I have a screamy day), but Ativan isn't bad either.

  • For anxiety, I do better if I've had 7 hours of sleep, no caffeine and as little sugar as possible. I always feel best if I hike, bike, run, elliptical, lift weights and swim. Being worn out keeps the anxiety at bay and I sleep better.

  • I watch a lot of TV and spend a lot of time on the internet. It's a distraction and I don't find it terribly healthy or productive, and I'd usually rather be doing something else. But I get really anxious if I'm alone with my thoughts and it helps.

  • I still haven't figured out if I'm an introvert or extravert and maybe it's dumb to care about, but if I'm around chill people, I tend to do much better. I read and write a lot and am shy and introspective, and I used to prefer being alone, which I guess would make me an introvert. But I've been very PTSDy lately, and having friends and family around me is a good distraction, I feel much safer and I seem fine enough that no one ever seems to comprehend how I could end up in a psych ward out of the blue one day. The thing is hanging out with friends requires money and I don't have a job because of my PTSD, so I feel myself sliding downhill. I wish I had money just so I could cook for my friends all the time or go out to dinner and drinks regularly. I get anxious about being a fucking mooch all the time :/

    Okay, that's prob good, right?
u/FreeOppression · 2 pointsr/adultsurvivors

There's a book that may be helpful for you. It's written by Wendy Maltz, titled "The Sexual Healing Journey"

You might also try telling your partner when something feels good to you during sex. That may start by merely saying "oh" or something simple like that which you can build on.

Be gentle with yourself! Changing old patterns is not easy.

Take care!

u/psychswot · 1 pointr/AMA

On that note there's an amazing book called Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz. The language was a bit cringe-y for me, but it does a very good job of taking you and your partner gradually through step-by-step to rebuilding positive sexual intimacy after abuse.

Link :

u/blueriverss · 1 pointr/secondary_survivors

Have you considered getting into therapy yourself to help you navigate the situation?

A few books that might be helpful for her are The Courage To Heal, The Sexual Healing Journey and The Body Keeps The Score. I wonder if reading them yourself might give you some helpful insight as well...

Also, obviously you know your wife/the situation and I don't, but it seems a bit defeatist when you say "but I know that it would take years for her to get to the point of being comfortable opening up about this".

It will surely take time to establish trust/rapport, but it might happen sooner than either of you expect. In any case, as that saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second-best time is now.

Take care.

u/slucious · 1 pointr/TwoXSex

Take a gander at The Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz. It's worth it to read it through if you've been abused, I found it was great for getting me to think about sex in a more positive way, which in turn lead to more sex :) There are, maybe more importantly, partner exercises close to the end of the book that are erotic without the actual PIV sex which could boost your sex drive.

u/DarkRapunzel_North · 1 pointr/TwoXChromosomes

I suggest this book: on mobile do not sure if the link will go through right.

Title is The Sexual Healing Journey, by Wendy Maltz.

A quick and dirty suggestion I have based on reading that book is to try different positions fully clothed, with no expectations and the ability to stop any time. Then build up to fewer and fewer pieces of clothing, eventually trying sex.

u/HadleyHart · 1 pointr/relationship_advice

I don't think so, but I wouldn't know 100% as I'm not her. She was abused by men, so she says she hates them. I understand some psychology behind that though, & sometimes it can come back around as a weird fantasy. I don't have the sources on that but I do think Wendy Maltz mentions it in her book.

Anyway, I have addressed it with her. She was very dodgy. She did send me a picture of her email inbox. I suggested it might have been spam. She is saying all the right things. I asked her directly if she's on Craigslist to get something else (or other sites) & she's firm in saying no.

edit: fixed the link