“Kay Douglas has created a best friend in a book. If you are a survivor of childhood abuse who is on a healing journey, please take this wise, loving, compassionate book along as a companion. Written from the heart, Challenged by Childhood is full of the voices of survivors courageously telling the truth about trauma, healing and survival. Douglas acknowledges the pain of living with childhood wounds while simultaneously giving people hope and a way out. I especially loved the chapter on dealing with families in the present. Bravo!”
- Laura Davis, author of The Courage to Heal and I Thought We'd Never Speak Again
“In her lovingly written and well organised volume, Challenged by Childhood, Kay Douglas offers new hope for those haunted by their early years. Her common sense approach is a breath of fresh air in the self-help trauma literature. Wisely, Douglas puts her emphasis on moving forward rather than holding on to blame. She encourages readers to build resources, connect with others, and slow the pace of self-exploration to maintain functioning well day-to-day. Readers hoping to free themselves of their traumatic pasts will find sound advice and helpful guidance among these pages.”
- Babette Rothschild, MSW, author of The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment (WW Norton 2000) and Help for the Helper: The Psychophysiology of Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma (WW Norton 2006)
“In this beautifully written addition to the literature on childhood trauma, Kay Douglas offers wisdom and insight to those that are challenged daily by the legacies of painful childhoods. Challenged by Childhood reminds us of the resiliency of the human spirit and the hope, enlightenment, and freedom that comes after the tears.”
- Jane Middelton-Moz, author of Children of Trauma, Shame and Guilt; Masters of Disguise and Boiling Point
“For those who have encountered adversity in childhood – and really, who hasn't? - this book offers wise counsel. Striking a balance between expert advice and warm support, Kay Douglas leads us on a step-by-step path from a realistic encounter with the longlasting effects of childhood wounds to the creative transformation of that suffering. Hers is a fresh and useful approach for anyone, no matter your background.”
- Polly Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D., author of The Resilient Spirit and Women & Desire
“Ms. Douglas’s exceptionally well-organised and clearly written book provides guidance and encouragement to persons who were wounded as children. She addresses a wide variety of childhood hurts, from traumas such as being physically or sexually assaulted, to agonies such as having embattled, controlling or mentally ill parents.
In a highly personal and concrete manner, she helps readers do more than identify their childhood wounds: she helps them gain a clearer understanding of the positive and negative ways these wounds impact their lives today. Then - without minimising or oversimplifying her readers’ scars and losses - she takes them yet another step further - towards gleaning meaning, usefulness, strengths and other forms of empowerment from the pain of the past.”
- Aphrodite Matsakis, Ph.D., author of I Can’t Get Over It, Trust After Trauma and When the Bough Breaks.
“Moving beyond childhood adversity is not just a matter of ‘moving on’ or ‘getting over it’. Kay Douglas has written an eloquent, supportive, thorough and wise guide to healing from childhood adversity. She shows her readers how to let go of the layers of false beliefs, conditioning and defences that stand in the way of healing and focuses on helping them develop a sense of pride in themselves for their bravery, determination, resourcefulness and resilience. Most important, she conveys the message that while healing from childhood adversity is certainly a challenge, it is not an impossible one.”
- Beverly Engel, author of Breaking the Cycle of Abuse: How to Move Beyond Your Past to Create an Abuse-Free Future, The Emotionally Abusive Relationship, Healing Your Emotional Self and Loving Him Without Losing You.
“Challenged By Childhood is an important book, an inspiring guide for readers who are recovering from any kind of childhood difficulties. It shines a light on the overt and subtle ways that parents can undermine a child’s sense of self. Writing from personal experience, Kay Douglas has sensitively captured the challenges that come from childhood adversity, while offering practical strategies and hope for healing.”
- Margaret Paul, Ph.D., author/co-author of Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?, Healing Your Aloneness, Inner Bonding, and Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God?
“Challenged by Childhood is compassionate and brilliantly insightful guide for recovering from challenges of a painful past. Complete with touching case studies as well as dozens of healing exercises, this book is a must-read for anyone recovering from a painful childhood.”
- Mitch Meyerson, author of When Parents Love Too Much and Six Keys To Creating The Life You Desire.
“Many of us as children faced challenges that would flaw the most capable adult: abuse, accusations, conflict, coldness, neglect ... and yet we survived.
This book is a strength-based approach that allows us to uncover the ways we coped, build on those that enhance our life, and discard ones that hinder. It shows us we were not alone in our hurt and fear. It allows us to make the link between childhood trauma and adult troubles. It points out that this legacy is not just emotional but behavioural: the chains of childhood remain, not just in the way we feel about ourselves and our lives but in the things we do and the choices we make, both in our own lives and in our children's.
But understanding alone is not enough Challenged by Childhood provides checklists; questions, options and practical strategies for managing out of control emotions and developing stable behaviour.
The sections on self-soothing techniques, self-care and dealing with hurtful behaviour are particularly helpful.”
- Dr Gail Ratcliffe - author of Take Control of Your Life
“In my experience, it is in the telling of their stories that people find ways to heal and move on in a positive way from significant trauma in their lives. In this book Kay combines her clear and articulate voice with the voices of others who have been willing to tell their stories in a public way. She does so with compassion and empathy and with an emphasis on identifying the pathways what might help the reader to move forward.”
- Celia Lashlie - author of The Journey to Prison and He’ll Be OK
“Our childhood experiences set the template for much of the way we live our lives as adults. At times it is a wonder any of us survive, let alone thrive. But there is hope, as Kay Douglas so eloquently articulates in this important book. The narratives of the sixty people interviewed speak to us about strength, courage and determination to overcome adversity. This is a must-read for anyone working in the human services.”
- Ken McMaster, author of Feeling Angry, Playing Fair
“Challenged by Childhood is a book that makes a difference. If you feel challenged by a difficult childhood, this book is for you. You’ll find sound, workable advice on how to change your life and your relationships. With healing doses of wisdom and compassion, Kay Douglas puts you firmly on the path of overcoming the hidden hurts.”
- Gayle Rosellini, author of Of Course You’re Angry and Taming Your Turbulent Past
“Like a gentle yet firm hand in the centre of your back, Douglas leads the reader on an often dark yet epiphanic journey through time. The book includes heartbreaking stories from real people interspersed with practical suggestions taken from the author's successful self-management techniques. Challenged by Childhood seeks to pinpoint benchmarks in one's personal history, from where healing can begin. Using self-reflective journaling techniques and proven methods of recovery from childhood neglect and/or abuse, this book becomes a powerful tool for those seeking guidance and instruction, couched in the compassionate voice of experience.”
- Eldonna Edwards Bouton, author of Journaling from the Heart: A Writing Workshop in Three Parts