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Courtois, C.A. (2001). Healing Boyhood Wounds: A Review of Betrayed as Boys: Psychodynamic Treatment of Sexually Abused Men by Richard B. Gartner. New York: The Guilford Press, 1999. 356 pp.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 37(3):500-503.

(2001). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 37(3):500-503

Healing Boyhood Wounds: A Review of Betrayed as Boys: Psychodynamic Treatment of Sexually Abused Men by Richard B. Gartner. New York: The Guilford Press, 1999. 356 pp.

Review by:
Christine A. Courtois, Ph.D.

Richard Gartner has written an important book that provides a major resource for clinicians working with men who were sexually abused as boys. He begins the book by describing the limitations of his professional training in recognizing the reality of sexual abuse in general, of men in particular, and how he struggled, in his clinical work, against the prevailing denial of the reality of such abuse. Like many clinicians with similar gaps in their training, Dr. Gartner initially misperceived and misunderstood his abused male patients, especially those who lacked explicit memories. In the years since then, he has dramatically expanded his knowledge and awareness, developing a special interest and expertise in the treatment of sexually abused and traumatized men, and in traumatic memory issues as well. He conveys his rich expertise with compassion and sensitivity in the pages of this book.

In the introduction, Gartner expresses both his goals for the book and his beliefs regarding the treatment of sexually abused men. He first sets out to dispel prevailing myths about such sexual abuse and to explicate the profound personal and interpersonal effects that constitute, more of ten than not, the aftermath of such abuse. In addition, he aims to describe a series of major themes that face the man with such a history and to develop a therapeutic approach that is comprehensive in scope, but allows for individuation based on the needs of the particular patient and the orientation and expertise of the therapist.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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