Dr. Chris Stroble / Published on October 10, 2023

Boundaries is a great resource for abuse survivors.

Years ago in therapy, my therapist recommended the book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. It was a game-changer for me, and in recovery, I've had to do a lot of work to learn how to set healthy boundaries. It's a skill I still need to intentionally practice. I totally understand why this book has a 4.7 out of 5 rating out of 25,125 reviews on Amazon and why it has helped over 4 million people learn when to say yes and how to say no in order to take control of their lives.

Boundaries is an important book. Whether you are a survivor of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, or of neglect (physical or emotional), this book is a great resource because, as the authors note, whenever there is abuse and neglect, there are boundary problems.

With abuse, your no was not respected. You may have said "no" or "stop," but the abuser still did what he (and in some cases, she) wanted to do and continued to take advantage of you. It is likely that this put you in a position of victimization and you developed a learned helplessness in which you felt that you had no control over your life. You had to do what others wanted, even if you didn't want to, and more often than not, your only mode for survival was to put their needs first and your needs last.

In healing and trauma recovery, it's critical to learn to set healthy boundaries. The book Boundaries is a great tool to help you do just that--set healthy boundaries-- learn when to say yes, how to say no, and take back control of your life.