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We link to Abbie’s books as well as other Christian and secular books.

Books by Abbie Robson

Abbie’s autobiographical account of her journey through self-harm to freedom. See local page Secret Scars.

Also available directly from CWR.

A factual book, full of information about self-harm, hope for those suffering, guidance for those helping, and steps toward spiritual healing. See local page Insight Into Self-Harm.

Other Christian Literature

This is a comprehensive consideration of self-harming from a Christian perspective. Looking at causes from both the spiritual-emotional aspect and a medical-neurological viewpoint. Although at times the level of depth into the issue can be hard to read through for self-harmers, this book is a fabulous resource, whatever your level of expertise.

An autobiography by a young Christian woman detailing her journey, interspersed with tips on understanding the issue and how to help sufferers from a sufferer’s point of view. An easy to read, approachable introduction to the issue, and a great story of God’s redeeming and healing power.

A biography of an American woman who survived self-harm, eating disorders and drug addiction. We wouldn’t recommend it, mainly because she talks about the healing power of God with no real reference to salvation. She also seems to say a lot about her self-harming days but very little about her recovery, which we would consider the most important part of the story.

Other Non-Christian Literature

Based on an intensive treatment programme run at a clinic in the US this is a great book for both therapists and self-harmers. It comes from a very basic angle that is approachable for sufferers and carers, but also includes many of the implements used during treatment. Some of the stories may contain triggering thoughts for self-harmers, but the book encourages readers to stay safe. As the first and most successful treatment programme in the States, this offers loads of useful information, advice and therapeutic tools.

This is a journalistic investigation of self-injury, mingling research and information with many people’s stories. Various facets of self-injury are explored before looking into means of recovery. Whilst very interesting for someone wanting to build their knowledge of self-harm and why people engage in it, it has the potential to be very triggering for self-injurers, and doesn’t give much practical advice on how to help someone.

Levenkron is a psychodynamic therapist, which means he focuses on quality of relationships as the primary factor in self-harm. He uses case studies illustrate this, but these stories seem to dominate the book. He also only works with children and adolescents, which means that his book doesn’t recognise a huge proportion of self-harmers. It does contain some thought provoking ideas and therapeutic tools, but lacks empirical evidence and doesn’t allow for variety in therapeutic styles.

This is an academic book, and was groundbreaking when first published in 1987. Favazza is a cultural psychiatrist, so he examines how self-injurious acts are viewed in different cultures and religions before examining self-harm as a pathology. While this book is rather technical in certain places, it is a wonderful source for statistics on self-injury. Due to the many descriptions of self-injurious acts, however, it may prove highly triggering for self-injurers. Those for whom this is the case may want to skip chapters 5-8 entirely.

This is a beautifully written autobiography, but not everyone’s cup of tea. Written in a slightly slow paced way, Kettlewell’s emphasis seems to be on writing a piece of literature rather than a useful book for other sufferers which some might find too wordy. It does contain some profound insights, including some thoughts on the spiritual nature of self-injury. Be aware that there are a few swear words, but there aren’t many, and they are well placed in reference to what she is trying to put across.