From Surviving to Thriving

Incest, Feminism, and Recovery

By Christine Dinsmore

Subjects: Psychology Of Women
Series: SUNY series, The Psychology of Women
Paperback : 9780791406298, 190 pages, July 1991
Hardcover : 9780791406281, 190 pages, July 1991

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Table of contents

Foreword by Jane R. Hirschmann



1. Introduction

2. Feminist Therapy

3. Historical Perspective

4. The Incest Trauma

5. Healing

6. Collective Denial

7. Ending the Burden of Secrecy

8. Recovering Memories

9. Feelings

10. Sex and Intimacy

11. Special Lesbian Issues

12. Therapists: Working with the Survivor

13. Partners and Family of Creation

14. Mothers

15. Others

16. Conclusion


Selected Annotated Bibliography



"This book will be of great value to any survivor of incest. Equally important, Christine Dinsmore teaches the rest of us—therapists, family members, and friends—how to be helpful to the survivor who takes on the task of ending the secrecy, recovering memories, and experiencing feelings. Dinsmore points out that the recovery process is unique for each survivor. You won't find any pat formulas here. Instead, the reader is left with a sensitivity and an awareness of the role one might play in the survivor's journey." — from the Foreword, Jane R. Hirschmann

From Surviving to Thriving: Incest, Feminism, and Recovery analyzes incest recovery from a feminist perspective. It is based on research with incest survivors and years of therapy with survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Unlike other writings on incest recovery, this book links the incest with patriarchy and its belief in male sexual entitlement. The discussions of incest and its traumatic effects, society's response to the sexual abuse of children, the recovery process, and the role of the supporting cast are reinforced by the words of incest survivors themselves. A detailed account of the incest healing treatment is also provided with specific treatments suggested for therapists working with incest survivors.

Christine Dinsmore, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Woodstock and New Paltz, New York. She is also currently an adjunct faculty member at the State University of New York, College at New Paltz, and at Marist College.


"I like the emphasis on the strengths of the survivor, on the feminist principle that she is in charge of her own recovery, and the insistence that she is NOT damaged for life. I also like the way that the power issues surrounding incest are linked to wider power issues." — Hilary Lips, Center for Gender Studies, Radford University