Surviving traumatic events | University of Oxford

Surviving traumatic events

The following resources may be helpful when thinking about any challenges that you may be facing and what you can do to address these.

The resources listed within this section are not intended to be used as a reading list and are by no means definitive. Some resources may be more helpful than others as different resources suit different individuals. The University is not responsible for the content displayed on external links. 

Rape and sexual violence

Useful links 

Phone Apps

Useful books

The Survivor's guide to Recovery from Rape or Sexual Abuse
Robert Kelly and Fay Maxted: Rugby RoSA (2005)
A rich self-help resource now out of print, but generally available second-hand.

8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery
Babette Rothschild: W. W. Norton & Company (2010)
A short, gentle book helping those who have experienced rape or other serious trauma to recognise their own individual needs.

Healing Trauma
Peter Levine: Sounds True Inc.; Pap/Com edition (2008)
Includes exercises to rebuild the relationship with your body after trauma, with special attention to sexual trauma.

Surviving childhood abuse and childhood trauma

Useful links

Useful books

Overcoming Childhood Trauma
Helen Kennerley: Robinson Publishing (2000)
Practical suggestions to managing problems that often follow an abusive childhood, such as flashbacks, “spacing out” too easily in times of stress, urges to self-harm, anger and excessive anxiety. Poor self-image and other problems such as all-or-nothing thinking are covered.

Breaking Free: Help for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse 
Carolyn Ainscough and Kay Toon: Sheldon Press (2000)
Examines the lasting effects of abuse, which may include guilt and shame, depression and anxiety, eating disorders, relationship difficulties and sexual problems. Offers a positive and optimistic approach and provides survivors with strategies for coping with the potentially upsetting and painful process of breaking free from their past.

The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse 
Ellen Bass and Laura Davis: Vermillion (2002)
Male survivors may also find this helpful. Offers advice on coming to terms with the past while moving positively into the future, and provides an explanation of the healing process, first-person accounts of recovery, and practical suggestions derived from the authors’ work. Helps recognise and understand ways in which readers have already coped with the abuse and suggests a range of additional strategies. The reader is shown how to redirect energy that might previously have been spent on self-blame and feelings of worthlessness into movement towards a healthy recovery. 

Getting Through the Day: Strategies for Adults Hurt as Children 
Nancy Napier: W. Norton (1993)
Especially helpful for those who have learned to respond to stressful situations by dissociating. Offers many useful techniques to help people to stay in the present, experience emotions, and respond to the practical demands of their lives. 

Understanding Your Reaction to Trauma: A guide for survivors of trauma and their families 
Claudia Herbert: Blue Stallion Publications (2002)
A guide to help heal from the disturbing and overwhelming reactions to trauma so that you can reclaim yourself and your life. Also helpful for partners, family members and health care professionals. 

Recovering from PTSD 
Martina Mueller: OCTC (Booklet available from OCTC)
A cognitive-behavioural approach to making sense of, and recovering from, PTSD, including ways to manage symptoms and come to terms with trauma memories. 

Toxic Parents; Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life Susan Forward & Craig Buck: Bantam (2002) Part 1 of the book gives a description of different types of parents and parenting styles. Part 2 gives information and advice on how to build on relationships, assert yourself and move things forward.

Domestic violence

Useful links

Surviving trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Useful links

Useful books

8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery
Babette Rothschild: W. W. Norton & Company (2010)
A short, gentle book helping those who have experienced rape or other serious trauma to recognise their own individual needs.

Healing Trauma
Peter Levine: Sounds True Inc.; Pap/Com edition (2008)
Includes exercises to rebuild the relationship with your body after trauma, with special attention to sexual trauma.

Understanding Your Reaction to Trauma: A guide for survivors of trauma and their families 
Claudia Herbert: Blue Stallion Publications (2002)
A guide to help heal from the disturbing and overwhelming reactions to trauma so that you can reclaim yourself and your life. Also helpful for partners, family members and health care professionals. 

Recovering from PTSD 
Martina Mueller: OCTC (Booklet available from OCTC)
A cognitive-behavioural approach to making sense of, and recovering from, PTSD, including ways to manage symptoms and come to terms with trauma memories. 

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
Bessel van der Kolk: Penguin (2014)
A comprehensive account of (1) the effects of trauma on brain and body, and (2) emerging treatments for trauma, by one of the world's foremost experts on traumatic stress. 

The Trauma Therapies
John Marzillier: Oxford University Press (2014)
This is a comprehensive account of contemporary treatment approaches to trauma. Although written primarily for therapists, it is a valuable resource to those seeking therapy and wishing to understand the range of available treatments.  

Healing Without Freud or Prozac
David Servan-Schreiber: Rodale (2012)
Servan-Schreiber provides an engaging and readable account of treatment using EMDR in chapters 5 and 6.