Beyond Betrayal: Taking Charge of Your Life after Boyhood Sexual Abuse. Wiley, 2005.
Providing empowering action steps and written specifically for survivors of male sexual abuse as well as their spouses, partners, and loved ones, Beyond Betrayal is based on my decades of experience as a psychologist, psychoanalyst, and advocate for sexually abused men. Covering both male and female abuse of boys and young men, I explore the different types of abuse and explain how as a child one trusts out of necessity—and how the betrayal of that trust ravages one’s self-concept as a man while also wreaking havoc on one’s relationships. In reading this book, you’ll discover how to safely experience emotions again and relate to others with confidence and security. The book will also help you shed the long-held conviction that you can either be a man or a victim but not both, and will teach you how to determine who you really are and develop new, more flexible concepts of masculinity. Beyond Betrayal shows you that you can take charge of your recovery while living your life to its fullest potential.
This book is a departure from my first two books. It is written for the lay public, and is specifically directed to sexually abused men and their loved ones. In this book, I take many of the themes in Betrayed as Boys and talk to men about them so they can use the concepts to help themselves heal.
How should you go about finding a therapist? Dr. Gartner explores this and other questions in Helping Yourself Heal
(A portion of all book sales from this web site will go to MaleSurvivor).
Betrayed as Boys: Psychodynamic Treatment of Sexually Abused Men. Guilford Press, 1999, 2001.
Betrayed as Boys is about what happens to boys who grow up in dreadful circumstances, often in a family where incestuous boundary violations repeatedly recur. It is also about the psychotherapeutic treatment of these boys when they become men who at last must face their abusive histories. Finally, it is about the inner experience of therapists who try to draw on their skill and inner resources as they evolve in very complex treatment situations.
Betrayed as Boys was runner-up for the 2001 Gradiva Award for Best Book on a Clinical Subject, given by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP).
When I first began considering my work with men having sexual abuse histories, there was very little in the professional literature to guide me. Some books and articles about sexually abused girls and women had been published, and most of these acknowledged that boys and men were also sexually abused. However, they said little about how to understand men’s sexual abuse. The reader was often left either with the impression that boys and girls react very similarly to sexual betrayal, or that boys are very rarely sexually abused. Neither of these impressions was accurate.
Because of dearth of literature about therapeutic work with sexually abused men, I was encouraged to write professional papers about these men. In 1992, I gave my first paper on the subject at the Spring meeting of Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of the American Psychological Association. I gave papers at these annual conferences for the next five years. These five papers reflected my earliest thinking about work with sexually abused men. As I wrote Betrayed as Boys, I revised these papers considerably and (hopefully) improved on them.
“Encoding Sexual Abuse as Sexual Initiation”
From the introduction to the book
Read Goals, Process, Themes and Treatment
What can we hope will happen by the end of psychotherapy for an adult who was sexually abused in childhood? A number of writers have addressed the steps and/or the process of therapy with sexually abused adults. Here is a general description of the recovery process.
(A portion of all book sales from this web site will go to MaleSurvivor.)
Memories of Sexual Betrayal: Truth, Fantasy, Repression, and Dissociation (Editor). Jason Aronson, 1997.
My first book, Memories of Sexual Betrayal: Truth, Fantasy, Repression, and Dissociation, is a compendium of papers by psychoanalysts. These papers respond to the charges that previously-forgotten memories of sexual abuse remembered during therapy are “implanted” there by the therapist, either through outright suggestion or in subtler ways.
This discourse is about how to understand those who as adults seem to recall hitherto “forgotten” memories of sexual betrayal, especially those who “recover” these memories while in a therapeutic setting.
Trauma and Countertrauma, Resilience and Counterresilience: Insights from Psychoanalysts and Trauma Experts
Now available on Amazon
Trauma and Countertrauma, Resilience and Counterresilience will appeal to psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic psychotherapists, and trauma experts. It is a valuable resource to those beginning their careers in mental health work, to teachers and supervisors of trauma therapists, to experienced clinicians struggling with burnout, and to anyone who wants to understand the psychotherapeutic process or indeed the human condition.
Treating traumatized patients takes its toll on the treating clinician, giving rise over time to what I call countertrauma in the psychoanalyst or therapist. Paradoxically, a clinician may also be imbued with a sense of optimism, or counterresilience, after learning how often the human spirit can triumph over heartbreakingly tragic experiences.
Trauma and Countertrauma, Resilience and Counterresilience brings together a distinguished group of seasoned clinicians, both trauma specialists and psychoanalysts. Their personal reflections show what clinicians all too rarely dare to reveal: their personal traumatic material. They then discuss how they develop models for acknowledging, articulating, and synthesizing the countertrauma that arises from long-term exposure to patients’ often-harrowing trauma. Writing openly, using viscerally affecting language, the contributors to this exceptional collection of essays share subjective and sometimes intimate material, shedding light on the inner lives of people who work to heal the wounds of psychic trauma.
By the same token, many of these clinicians describe how working intimately with traumatized individuals can affect the listener positively, recounting how patients’ resilience evokes counterresilience in the therapist, allowing the clinician to benefit from ongoing contact with patients who deal bravely with horrific adversity. Paradoxically, a clinician may be imbued with a sense of optimism after learning how often the human spirit can triumph over heartbreakingly tragic experiences.
Books in process of publication (Publisher: Routledge):
Boys and Men Betrayed: Understanding the Trauma of Sexual Abuse and Assault
Healing Sexually Betrayed Men and Boys: Treatment for Sexual Abuse, Assault, and Trauma