Sexual Abuse by Health Professionals: A Personal Search for Meaning and Healing
Author: Susan Penfold
The author of this book is a psychiatrist, and the survivor of sexual and emotional abuse by the psychiatrist who was her therapist. She employs two voices in the writing of her book: the first part of each chapter is a narration of her own experiences as a victim of abuse; the second part, an account of her journey as a psychiatrist towards understanding the meaning of the abuse and how to heal from it. Her journey includes having a second, very different, experience of therapy; listening to the stories of other survivors of abuse by health professionals; reading published accounts of such abuses; making her story public to professional and general audiences; being a member of a group dedicated to combating sexual abuse by therapists; talking to colleagues who have treated victims of abuse by health professionals; culling ideas from the literature on trauma and abuse; and treating patients who are themselves survivors of abuse by health professionals.Her book is a powerful blend of the personal and the professional that penetrates the 'conspiracy of silence' that still holds sway and prevents victims from getting the compassion, understanding, support, and financial and legal aid that they deserve.