10 Recommended Books for Adult Survivors

Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 in adult survivor of child abuse, empowerment, healing, Resources, self-care, self-healing | 0 comments



In my own healing journey, I have read many books. There are some gems that I have found to be very powerful in their message and wisdom, while others seem to fall flat or miss the mark completely.

I think my biggest personal pet peeve are the books that rely heavily on using client or patient stories to support the concept being presented, rather than providing strong insight on the topic itself.  Yes, it can be extremely validating to see that there are others out there who have experienced what we have, however too much of this begins to overwhelm and take away from the wisdom or lesson that’s being shared in the book. In my search for books that are worthwhile reads, I’ve been able to sort through the gems that sit on my bookshelf today and the ones that do not really have any value and I could have probably skipped.

As I’m always striving to provide you with resources, I have cultivated a list of the top 10 books that I highly recommend for my fellow survivors, and I’m sharing them here so you can decide if they need to be on your own bookshelf. For all of my fellow GoodRead folks, I’ve made the titles clickable for you so you can easily add them to your “To Read” section.

Top 10 Recommended Book for Adult Survivors


    1. “Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy & Reclaiming Your Life” by Susan Forward
      ~ This book helps survivors define the type of abuse that they experienced as a child and may still be as an adult.  I find that when we can give the abuse that we suffered a name, it is a powerful step in getting our personal power back.

    2. “Breaking the Cycle of Abuse: How to Move Beyond Your Past to Create an Abuse-free Future” by Beverly Engel
      ~ The author gives clear-cut insight on how we can step out of the cycles that plague us today, such as self-sabotage and self-worth issues.

    3. “Beginning to Heal” by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis
      ~ This is a fairly quick read and an excellent starting point for when you are first beginning to work on healing as an Adult Survivor. It discusses the reality of what you may experience and helps to cement in the fact that it’s all completely normal on this journey.

    4. “Letting Go: The Pathway To Surrender” by David R. Hawkins
      ~ The Letting Go technique that Hawkins introduces and teaches in this book can be a powerful tool to add to your toolbox when dealing with the strong emotions and feelings that can come up while working on healing from your past and/or current abuse.

    5. “Emotional Blackmail” by Susan Forward
      ~ Emotional abuse and manipulation are more difficult aspects of abuse to tackle as a survivor. The author gives excellent insight and wisdom on the different tactics that these type of people will use, as well as how you can recognize it for what it is and learn how to disengage from it.

    6. “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero
      ~ This is one of my favorite books to read when I need a healthy dose of empowerment and “kickass” mentality. The author breaks it down in an honest and real way on the different perspectives and actions that we can take to see that we really are
      a badass and how we can move forward in our lives knowing it.

    7. “Poisonous Parenting: Toxic Relationships Between Parents and Their Adult Children” by Shea M. Dunham, Shannon B. Dermer, Jon Carlson
      ~ This is an excellent read for adult survivors who currently have to continue having a relationship with their abusive parents. It helps to bring enlightenment to the different types of toxic relationships that exist and gives the reader steps on how to determine if the relationship is indeed salvageable, when we need to be cautious, and when it’s best to completely disconnect for their own mental and emotional health.

    8. ‘The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown
      ~ I honestly love anything and everything by this author and speaker. She has a way of bringing wisdom gems to light with an honesty and down-to-Earth sense of humor that I truly appreciate. In Goodreads, this book is described best as, “In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough, and to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.”

    9. “Healing Your Emotional Self” by Beverly Engel
      ~ I highly recommend this book for Emotional and Mental abuse survivors. Breaking through and working on the poisonous and toxic beliefs and negative programming that was instilled into our unconscious minds growing up can be extremely tricky.  This book helps adults to recognize the heavy hitters that plague us as adults and how to break free and move forward from them.

    10. “May Cause Miracles” by Gabrielle Bernstein
      ~ I just read this book for a book club and I absolutely loved it. Bernstein introduces small bite-sized pieces of how to change our views and thoughts in life in small easy-to-understand steps. The book is a 40-day plan with daily short meditations, affirmations, and journal writing and it’s a real game changer if you are ready to release and move forward in thriving in your life.


If you have any books that you’ve read that gave you powerful enlightenment, knowledge or helped you find your own inner badass warrior, please share them in the comments!  We are all in this together!

Keep Rising Up Warriors.

~ Heather Durling, The Phoenix Gathering
“One Starfish At a Time.”
Proud Member of www.TheWellnessUniverse.com ‪#‎WUVIP‬

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