Healing the Wounded Heart

The Heartache of Sexual Abuse and the Hope of Transformation

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Find hope and healing in the wake of sexual abuse

If you are one of the millions of people who have suffered abuse in the form of rape, incest, molestation, sexting, sexual bullying, unwanted advances, pornography, and more, you know that hope doesn't come easy and healing can seem impossible. Dan Allender has been there--and he's spent twenty-five years helping other victims of sexual abuse walk the path toward wholeness.

Never minimizing the pain or offering pat spiritual answers that don't truly address the problem, Allender calls evil evil and lights the way to renewed joy, one step at a time.


"For all those seeking healing, and those who bring healing to others, this is an immensely powerful book filled with wisdom, understanding, and experience--and above all filled with hope. I highly recommend it!"--John Eldredge, author of Wild at Heart and Beautiful Outlaw

"Through Dan's skillful and tender writing, I've been given a vision for how to love and walk well with the members of my community whose stories have been marked by sexual abuse. I'm so very thankful for his gentle, prophetic voice, and for the many ways his words have been healing and life-giving for generations."--Shauna Niequist, author of Savor and Bread & Wine

"Brilliant and accessible, Allender has given us this incredible gift: a book that not only helps us understand the potent impacts and effects of sexual abuse but offers hope and a roadmap to healing. Thank you! I am thrilled this book exists."--Wm. Paul Young, author of The Shack, Cross Roads, and EVE

"This book is like Dan--compelling, liberating, and a gentle salve that will transform wounds into holy scars. This book will become a classic for generations."--Dr. Dennis Rainey, president of FamilyLife


Dan B. Allender is professor of counseling psychology and former president of The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology in Seattle, Washington. He travels and speaks extensively on sexual abuse recovery, love and forgiveness, worship, and other related topics. Allender is the author of fifteen books, including The Wounded Heart, and coauthor of God Loves Sex.


Endorsements

"For all those seeking healing, and those who bring healing to others, this is an immensely powerful book filled with wisdom, understanding, and experience--and above all filled with hope. I highly recommend it!"

John Eldredge, author of Wild at Heart and Beautiful Outlaw

"Through Dan's skillful and tender writing, I've been given a vision for how to love and walk well with the members of my community whose stories have been marked by sexual abuse. I'm so very thankful for his gentle, prophetic voice, and for the many ways his words have been healing and life-giving for generations."

Shauna Niequist, author of Savor and Bread & Wine

"Brilliant and accessible, Allender has given us this incredible gift: a book that not only helps us understand the potent impacts and effects of sexual abuse but offers hope and a roadmap to healing. Thank you! I am thrilled this book exists."

Wm. Paul Young, author of The Shack, Cross Roads, and EVE

"This book is like Dan--compelling, liberating, and a gentle salve that will transform wounds into holy scars. Healing the Wounded Heart will dust your mind and soul with itching powder, and even better, it will provide help, hope, and healing at the most intimate levels of your life. This book will become a classic for generations."

Dr. Dennis Rainey, president of FamilyLife

"The Wounded Heart was a revolutionary book; over the past twenty-five years untold numbers of lives have been transformed through its reading. People who previously had no words for the unspeakable terror of sexual abuse finally had a language--and permission--to express their suffering and move toward integration and wholeness. God was at work through this book, redeeming--saving--lives. Now, through thousands of stories in dozens of different cultural contexts and undergirded by recent, revealing research on the brain and the body, Healing the Wounded Heart travels more deeply into the dark caverns of sexual abuse. Knowledge, infused with the power of the gospel, illumines our precarious path, and we are able to psychologically and theologically understand our sexual brokenness and harm as never before. Thank you, Dan, for courageously and vulnerably leading us into this dangerous territory so that we can breech the walls of our shame and deception and clearly hear God's voice calling us into the glorious light of truth as 'beloved daughters and sons'."

Rev. Lauran Bethell, global consultant for ministries with victims of human trafficking/prostitution, international ministries, and American Baptist Churches/USA; coordinator/founder of International Christian Alliance on Prostitution (ICAP)

"Healing the Wounded Heart is informed by Dan Allender's own story and his life on the frontlines with survivors of relational, sexual, and spiritual trauma. The stories are real and therefore the help is real. We benefit greatly from his lifelong investment in people and his humble, fierce honesty about the battle for our freedom and against the systems that harm us. Dan's holistic emphasis on the mind/body/neurological interplay in response to the trauma of abuse and his clarification of the role of evil (the dark intentionality behind all perpetration) is especially helpful and grounding. Likewise, the profound chapter on male victims is long overdue and welcome as is the chapter on caring for another's story. Many of us who counsel know that the sexual arena is one where the fighting is brutal, the casualties legion, and the cover-ups shocking, so it is relieving to hear Dan's familiar voice offering direction, seasoned insight, and renewed vigor. The call is not only to 'know or do the right things' with people but to engage relationally with wisdom and kindness. Thank you, Dan, for taking us to new depths that honor God and survivors alike."

William W. Clark, PhD, clinical psychologist; co-founder and president of the Lay Counselor Institute; adjunct professor, Cairn University; visiting professor, Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, DC

"With all of the information and wisdom we believe we have gleaned in the past twenty-five years about the topic of sexual abuse, one would think the world would be different than it is. But the ruthless danger of abuse is no less present. In Healing the Wounded Heart, Dan Allender does not settle for offering us a reprise of his earlier landmark work. Rather, our guide unflinchingly walks us through the necessary passages of the disintegrating nature of abuse to bring us to the light and the healing--with no apology for the rigorous work required--of redemption. This book is a triumph not only for the author but also for all of us who have been the grateful recipients of his lifetime of work--and who need it now more than ever."

Curt Thompson, MD, author of Anatomy of the Soul and The Soul of Shame

"Dan Allender has, for decades, stood as a bright light shining into the dark and hidden world of sexual abuse. His work is the best guide I know toward a healing path for any victim of sexual harm. Beyond that, Allender's approach encourages readers toward a deeper theological understanding of God and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ amid experiences of trauma and evil. Anyone who has been sexually abused--or knows someone who has--should read this book."

Andrew M. McCoy, assistant professor of ministry studies, Hope College

"Healing the Wounded Heart is classic Allender! In this long-awaited sequel to his earlier book on sexual abuse, Dan Allender skillfully unpacks the neurobiology of abuse, the role of spiritual warfare, and the profound impact of living in a sex-saturated culture. In my work as both a professional counselor and a counselor educator, I need this book. My clients need this book. My graduate students training to be counselors need this book. Therapists and pastors and family members need this book. Artfully weaving a theology of healing and recovery throughout the text, Allender offers hope and redemption to those who have been harmed."

Pamela S. Davis, PhD, assistant professor of counseling, Wheaton College Graduate School

"This is a fiercely compassionate and hopeful book that is deeply rooted in real life experience. There is an earned and practical wisdom resonating throughout that can only come from a practitioner who has worked faithfully with those harmed and affected by childhood sexual abuse. If you have ever questioned or wondered whether God's love can remain even in the darkest and most dank places of human experience and suffering, you need to read this book."

Chelle Stearns, author of Handling Dissonance


The Author

  1. Dan B. Allender

    Dan B. Allender

    Dan B. Allender (MS, Barry College; MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary; PhD, Michigan State University) is professor of counseling psychology and former president of The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology in Seattle, Washington. He travels and...

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