Healing Steps Named 2018 Forward INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist
Read the Press Release
March 11, 2019 - “Today, Inner Journey Publishing is pleased to announce Healing Steps: A Gentle Path to Recovery for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse has been recognized as a finalist in the 21st annual Foreward INDIES Book of the Year Awards. As part of its mission to discover, review, and share the best books from university and independent publishers, Foreward Magazine, Inc., hosts an annual awards program each year. Finalists represent the best books published in 2018 and Healing Steps is a Finalist in not one but two categories, Psychology and Woman’s Studies. It is an honor to be recognized by the only media company completely devoted to independent publishing whose readership is comprised of librarians, booksellers, agents, foreign publishers and book lovers from around the world.”
A 2020 Kindle Book Review Award Semi-Finalist
Healing Steps Workbooks
Healing Steps

A Gentle Path to Recovery for
Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Finally, a book that provides information, step-by-step exercises, support and inspiration to heal the wounds of childhood sexual abuse written by a psychotherapist who herself is a survivor. Therapy can be expensive and support groups are practically non-existent. Now there is an opportunity for every woman who has been sexually abused as a child to have access to this healing process through the new book, Healing Steps: A Gentle Path to Recovery for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse.

Available Now at Amazon Kindle Version Available
“A well thought out and well written book addressing a difficult topic with compassion and factual information” — Benjamin Franklin Awards Judge

Who would benefit from reading

Healing Steps: A Gentle Path to Recovery for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse?


“Reading this book is like sitting down with a trusted friend who has your well-being in mind every step of the way. Healing Steps is like no other book of sexual abuse healing - I know, I’ve read them all - and this is the one I recommend!!” Kathy, a survivor in California

It is surprising that in this age of abuse-awareness, the #MeToo movement, and with movies such as The Tale receiving such critical acclaim, there is still a lack of resources for women who were sexually abused as children. Healing Steps: A Gentle Path to Recovery for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse offers tools to guide you through the pain and confusion of your own personal healing as well as some solid information to help you answer any questions you may have. There is inspiration and support from women who have struggled with their own recovery and you will be offered the same processes that helped them achieve their goals of a more balanced, less pain-filled and more fulfilling life.

Mental Health Professionals

“I have been waiting for a book to use with my clients that is professional, well-thought out, and a catalyst for healing while providing hope for recovery. This is it. Buy one for yourself and have several on hand for your clients.” Donna Smith, Psy.D., Washington

Healing Steps offers counselors, therapists, social workers, etc. a step-by-step guide to assist you in your work with sexually abused clients. Chances are you have not had training in childhood trauma and specifically in sexual abuse. Research shows that 56-70% of clinicians have not had training in working with survivors although 80% of professionals state that they would like more information and training. Healing Steps not only provides information about sexual abuse but also offers a process to use in your own practice either with individual clients or in a group setting. There are exercises, visualizations, and homework assignments that can enrich - and hopefully inspire - your work with your abused clients.

Friends and Family of Survivors

“Healing Steps offered me new hope, support (especially support), and was a well- organized path to reworking my ongoing and long journey to wellness. The logical steps and practical exercises can be accomplished at a pace that feels right. The desire to share this book with my husband has been very strong. This book should be read by family and loved ones of all abuse survivors.” Marilyn, a survivor in Colorado

Often family or friends of a survivor are at a loss of what to do or say when someone they care about reveals she was sexually abused as a child. There is no perfect response although Healing Steps does give examples of what to say and more importantly, what not to say. Talking about abuse is difficult and awkward for both the person sharing the information and the person who is listening. There is a tendency to hastily shut down the conversation and move on. Having an appropriate book on hand to give to your friend or family member is the perfect response. You might say, “I don’t know what to say other than I’m so, so sorry this happened to you, Perhaps this book would be helpful and supportive at this time.”

Support Groups

“I really like the workbook format with all the exercises. I’m thinking about using Healing Steps as a guide for me and a couple of friends who have both been sexually abused. We can help and support each other.” Deb, a survivor

There may be a support group in your area to help you as you move through your own healing steps. But if not, why not start one? Healing Steps is a perfect step-by-step process that evolved out of groups of women molested as children. It is the perfect format either to be facilitated by a mental health professional or could be used as a guide in a peer support group as Deb suggested. Just begin with Step One, read through the material at your own pace and use the exercises as homework. At the next meeting, review the homework and the experience of the participants as they did their exercises over the week. And so on through all the Steps. There is no one that understands the complexities of sexual abuse better than another survivor.

What women think about

Healing Steps: A Gentle Path to Recovery for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Healing Steps is as practical as it is powerful. Within the pages of this book/workbook you will find information, personal stories, and practical exercises to move you toward your own healing. You would not begin a journey without a map nor should you begin your personal journey without a guide. This is it – everything you need to accompany you on your way to healing and recovery.

Marilyn Van Derbur, Miss America

Healing Steps is the most important gift I have ever given myself.


Before Healing Steps, I didn't even realize I’d passed over fundamental aspects of my development that I needed to be a whole person. Now I can go back and take what is rightfully mine and not feel anything but good about it. The shame and the guilt are becoming only memories.


Healing Steps is different from any book on sexual abuse I’ve ever read!! It’s like sitting down with someone who has your back - who ‘gets it’ - who knows her stuff. Take it slow, take it easy, but do not miss this opportunity to help yourself heal and be stronger than you thought possible!


As a massage therapist who is certified in Trauma Touch Therapy, I know the effects of sexual abuse when it is ‘trapped’ in the body. The abuse certainly has an impact on the body but the emotional remnants are also stored in the body until they are healed. Over the years I have treated many of Sharyn’s clients and am so glad she has finally presented her healing tools in a book that can reach so many survivors. Healing Steps doesn’t just give you valuable information and helpful exercises but her book walks with you step-by-step through your healing process. There is helpful information and processes for anyone even if they have not been abused. That was the experience for me. After I read her initial manuscript, I did not want to return it to her – I felt I was losing a companion on my own inner journey.

Cheryl G

As a survivor, one of the best things I ever did for my healing process was to take Sharyn’s Healing Steps group workshops. When I heard that Sharyn had written a book based on her groups, I couldn’t wait to read it. As I read her book, I actually felt like I was back in her workshops. I always wished that every survivor could have benefited from her workshops like I did. Now every survivor can. By writing this book, Sharyn has made my wish come true. Thank you, Sharyn!


Healing Steps: A Gentle Path of Recovery for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse has such powerful information about the Inner Child – how to find her, connect with her, be with her. The more I learned about my Inner Child, the more I learned about me. I couldn’t know who I really was, be happy, or feel whole, without her. I also couldn’t be the good parent I am today without first learning how to be a good parent to myself.


Healing Steps saved my life.

Thank you for being a great start that has illuminated every step of the way for me. I am amazed by, and grateful for, my happiness every day.


About the Author

Sharyn Higdon Jones MA, LMFT, Retired

Sharyn worked as a licensed psychotherapist for 40 years with individuals, couples and families who have experienced the trauma of abuse. She has created and facilitated workshops and groups for survivors and their partners. She is an advisor for the Sexual Assault Advocacy Network (SAAN) in the area of childhood sexual abuse. In her words:

“The pain of being sexually abused is deep and profound. The abuse experience touches the core of a woman’s being in ways she could never have predicted. She has been violated on so many levels – physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual. Her abuse wound becomes her constant companion. If you are a survivor you have suffered a loss of innocence while living a life shadowed by unwanted memories, confusing feelings, and a distorted self-image. It’s difficult to know how and when to begin freeing yourself of the past so you can be fully present for your future.”

That is exactly what Healing Steps: A Gentle Path to Recovery for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse is about. It is about the untangling of one’s self from the web of erroneous beliefs, the unjustified feelings, the distortions and pain, that have limited the truth of who you are and what you are capable of in your lifetime. Healing Steps is written with compassion, with understanding and with purpose. You are one step away from experiencing what one survivor says is “the most important gift I have ever given myself”.


If you are in distress and need support, call 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member of RAINN. You can also visit online.rainn.org to receive support via a confidential online chat.

There is always someone you can speak with on NAASCA. Please check their website for resources, support groups via Zoom, access to their radio broadcasts, and information for your healing and recovery.

For questions about the book, email Sharyn Higdon Jones

All correspondence is 100% confidential.


Listen to Sharyn once a month on the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (NAASCA) talk radio show, “Stop Child Abuse Now”.