Marjorie McKinnon’s book Repair for Kids: A Children’s Program for Recovery from Incest and Childhood Sexual Abuse (Loving Healing Press, 2008) will now be used in a therapy group for children in Atlanta, GA. The therapy group is supervised by Joyce Carroll, an experienced, certified health counselor and recovery trainer. Recovering the Self had the pleasure of talking to both McKinnon and Carroll about the book’s healing potential and its use in Carroll’s therapy group. Hope their answers will inspire readers to learn more about this important topic.
RTS: Joyce, how did you get interested in this work?
Joyce Carroll: I got interested in this work because of the incest and molestation that runs in my family. I wanted to help children to let them know that there are people out there that care about them, not only to help them to cope with being sexually abused but also to heal them mentally and to break the cycle of abuse from starting in another generation and to make the world a better place to live in.
RTS: How do you mean to use the book in group therapy?
Joyce Carroll: I plan to provide an 8-week support group for children ages 6–12 years old using the REPAIR for Kids workbook. Each child will be given a REPAIR For Kids workbook. I currently have 8 children in the group. I have set up meetings at a local library in which we meet every other week. The group provides a place for children to be with other children with similar issues and provide opportunities for the children see that they are not the only ones with sexual issues. The REPAIR workbook allows me to introduce to these children valuable information that will help decrease shame, denial, depression, and acting out which is associated with being sexually abused. I hope to eventually heal them from the pain and agony of incest and sexual abuse. “Return them to the natural rhythm and flow of life.”
RTS: What are a couple of the most helpful parts of the books that will particularly be of use for therapy?
Joyce Carroll: The most helpful part of the book that can be used for therapy is the “P” for Progress: In order for children to deal with overcoming being sexually abused, they need a road map of the healing process. The REPAIR book teaches them this by having them go through a “process”, a journey that will give them a road map to get across the bridge of recovery. The book explains the process on a child’s level, making it exciting with fun exercises. “This is the key to healing.”
Another part of the book that would be used for therapy is the Inner Child. I find this as a way for these children to understand their hurt and to help them express emotions about being sexually abused, to understand the trauma, and to set themselves free from the pain they have endured. The REPAIR book explains on a child’s level how the child can find clarity on the source of unhealthy patterns in a playful and loving way.
RTS: Marjorie, what inspired you to write the book REPAIR For Kids?
Marjorie McKinnon: During my years of recovery my daughters confided that they had been sexually abused by my second husband. My youngest daughter had been raped at gunpoint at the age of seventeen by a masked bandit while she worked at a fast food franchise. That meant four out of four women in my family had been sexually abused under the age of eighteen. I did a lot of thinking about how much good the original REPAIR program had done for me and thought about all of the children. Children of an untreated sexual abuse survivor stood a five times greater chance of being sexually abused themselves. With my publisher, Victor Volkman’s encouragement, I decided to do a children’s version. Having a husband who liked to do illustrations, especially the kind seen in children’s books, gave me the idea that it was meant to be.
RTS: Has the book been used in some other therapy group or by any therapist, including myself?
Marjorie McKinnon: I know that some of my facilitators have used it for their children; one in particular asked me if I could write a REPAIR For Toddlers, which I did. It has only a few differences from the one for kids but so far I think mostly teens and adults have been working the program.
RTS: What are some other books in this series that you have written so far?
Marjorie McKinnon: The REPAIR series includes: REPAIR Your Life, REPAIR For Teens, REPAIR For Kids, REPAIR For Toddlers, and the REPAIR Your life Workbook.
RTS: Has any of them been used in any therapy by any professional therapist?
Marjorie McKinnon: My books have been adopted by several professional abuse recovery agencies around the USA, such as the Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center as well as advocacy non-profit groups such as “Friends Against Abuse”. Therapist Jill Osborne, EDS, LPC (Covington, Georgia) wrote me that “REPAIR for Kids provides a comprehensive, honest and passionate approach for children recovering from sexual abuse.”
Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1932690573
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