Breaking the silence about sexual abuse is vital—but it’s only the first step. What happens next? For most survivors, the wounds caused by such abuse are often left to fester, slowly destroying their lives.
Say It Out Loud—a unique blend of memoir and how-to—exposes the emotional scars of sexual abuse and explains the process of healing. In straightforward prose, step by step, Roberta Dolan provides readers with tangible healing strategies, including journaling, visualization, and more, that she employed during her own years in therapy for a childhood of sexual abuse. Inspiring and accessible, Say It Out Loud offers guidance and support for any kind of healing journey, equipping readers with the skills and courage to transform a life of darkness into one of joy.
An excerpt from Say It Out Loud, Chapter 12: The Ongoing Journey:
I look at life in a whole new way now. I know I survived for a reason and I thrive by sharing my story and helping others along the way. As difficult as the healing journey is, its rewards are great. Using strategies to cope, being aware of your feelings, and, most of all, learning to love yourself can transform a life of darkness into a life of joy.
Advanced Praise for Say It Out Loud
Roberta Dolan had the courage to transform and heal herself. The techniques she utilized to do so and the changes she made can benefit all those who have ever been abused, physically or psychologically. I strongly recommend reading this book…
—Bernie Siegel, MD, author of 365 Prescriptions for the Soul and 101 Exercises for the Soul
In Say It Out Loud, Roberta Dolan has unpacked the vicissitudes of her own personal healing journey in a way that informs, supports, encourages, and inspires others who have been sexually abused and those who love them. Practical in its structure, her sensitivity and compassion flow from each paragraph. Prescriptive but not preachy, there is an intelligent, uplifting, kind, and gentle quality about Say It Out Loud which is unique among books of this genre and which I believe makes it accessible to readers at any point of their own journey.
—Catherine McCall, LMFT, author of When the Piano Stops and
Never Tell: The True Story of Overcoming a Terrifying Childhood
In Say It Out Loud, Roberta Dolan courageously attacks the major obstacles to preventing sexual assault—secrecy and silence. Dolan holds nothing back as she reveals her personal experience through raw and powerful journal entries, and exposes the psychological damage caused by sexual assault. As victim, teacher, counselor, wife, and mother, Dolan presents insight to all sides of the healing journey. More than an affirmation of inspiration, Say It Out Loud serves as a practical guide of easy-to-follow strategies. Survivors will know they’re not alone, and they’ll come to realize the possibility of restoring a joyful life. For loved ones, counselors, and therapists, Say It Out Loud should be required reading.
—Kathy Marcantonio, former counselor and member of
Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. (ConnSACS) Board of Directors
“Say It Out Loud is an intimate and courageous account of the steps that must be taken to recover from predatory sexual abuse. Dolan shares her healing process by walking the reader through her agony and into her eventual experience of joy. The complexities and beauty of the human heart are exposed in a frightened child now adult, who, because of the care of a therapist and a loving husband, can finally be free.”
—Gwen Plano, author of Letting Go Into Perfect Love
Roberta Dolan has found the courage to tell the story of her horrific sexual abuse in a book with the smart title Say It Out Loud. At least as much effort is spent on guiding others through the process, step by step, for which she is eminently qualified, not only as a survivor, but as a counselor with a master’s degree. But it is her own story that is the most compelling as she mines the darkest corners of her soul with honesty and integrity. By nurturing the healing process of others along the way, she heals herself. And that is contagious. I recommend her book to survivors at all stages of healing, and to those who love and support survivors.
—Trish Kinney, author of Silver Platter Girl
Roberta Dolan has provided us with not only a moving account of her experience but a practical guide for those recovering from childhood sexual abuse. Without hesitation, I recommend this book to those dealing with the lingering effects of childhood sexual abuse, to those family members and friends who support a survivor, and to those who work with survivors and their families. Dolan has changed, and will continue to change, lives. Thank you!
—Sharon D. Chappelle, PhD