Book Reviews -- Treating Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse by William C. Nichols

Article excerpt

Nichols, William C. (1992). Treating Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Press. 52 pp. Paper ISBN 0-943158-68-0, price $11.70.

The editor's preface to this book states that all of the books in the Practitioner's Resource Series are designed "to enhance clinical skills and expand practical knowledge" concerning "a timely topic of critical clinical importance" (p. v). Nichols has used these guidelines to present a very informative and useful monograph.

The introduction establishes the clinical relevance of childhood sexual abuse for adult survivors and clinicians. The book then gives a working definition of incest, summarizes the empirical literature regarding incest, and reviews the major theories of incest causality.

The rest of the book discusses clinical issues of adult survivors of incest. Nichols first gives the reader an overview of the ways in which survivors present the issue of incest to clinicians. He identifies common symptoms that might indicate a history of sexual abuse and also delineates the range of their severity.

Guidelines are then offered for working with the adult incest survivor. Nichols recommends that clinicians be very supportive of their clients who have been victimized and normalize their experience as much as possible. Other important therapeutic strategies include exploring how the survivor has tried to deal with the issue before, building an effective support network, and getting rid of old feelings that are no longer productive. …