Foreword Reviews

Meet Carey Jones

Healing and Support for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Practical Help for Parents and Educators

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

With advice for the parents and teachers of young assault survivors, Meet Carey Jones reveals the deep impacts of childhood sexual abuse.

Drawing on personal experiences, Christie Somes’s self-help book Meet Carey Jones imparts advice for healing from sexual abuse and protecting others from it.

After she was sexually assaulted by a boy in her neighborhood, Somes developed an imaginary friend, Carey, with whom she could share her pain. Growing up, she always felt she could rely on Carey; she helped Somes deal with her pain until she developed healthier ways of coping.

Somes uses the story of Carey as an insightful example of the methods that survivors of assault choose to dampen their pain; her personal story leads into advice for parents and teachers, as well as information about sexually inappropriate behavior and tips for talking to children about sex. An overview about how support for survivors has evolved, from society not believing survivors and minimizing assault toward today’s #MeToo movement, is also included. With a sense of urgency, it shows that childhood sexual abuse is too common, but also argues that it can be treated.

With clear, consistent suggestions that are grounded in research, the book’s four sections focus on aspects of sexual abuse and survival, including healing from it and abuse prevention. The book includes a list of common misconceptions about childhood sexual abuse, including the notion that perpetrators are often strangers. It incorporates statistics to show that young children are more likely to be abused by family members.

Somes covers survivor complications, too, including the fact that it is difficult to be open about one’s assault even during therapy; her work exemplifies belief that it takes courage to heal. Here again, Somes’s own story is made relevant: she charts her healing process, from first seeking help to learning to comfort her inner child. Somes’s experiences are considered in broad context, with internal references to survivor support groups and other relevant sources, as well as with a later consideration of how trauma changes the brain, resulting in a “fundamental reorganization of the way mind and brain manage perceptions.”

Practical suggestions for parents and caregivers round out the text, with advice for protecting children from sexual abuse and on becoming a mandatory reporter. The result is a concise framework for addressing assault, with advice tailored to address survival in different age groups, too. The book’s preface illuminates the work further with its clinical perspective.

With advice for the parents and teachers of young assault survivors, Meet Carey Jones reveals the deep impacts of childhood sexual abuse.

Reviewed by Jeremiah Rood

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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