Healing from Childhood Abuse

Understanding the Effects, Taking Control to Recover

by John J. Lemoncelli, EdD
Foreword by Robert S. Shaw, PsyD, ABPP


"I'm bad." "I'm stupid." "I deserved it." "I am damaged." For victims of childhood abuse—whether sexual, physical, or emotional—faulty self-perceptions can become entrenched and persist well into adulthood. Fortunately, victims of child abuse have incredible resilience and strength; it is possible to work through the pain, alter one’s perception, and heal and recover.

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Cover image for Healing from Childhood Abuse

April 2012


Pages 171
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Psychology/General

Written directly to individuals who have experienced childhood trauma, this book provides essential information that allows victims to begin recovering from their immense pain and suffering, and empowers them to examine their specific issues in order to become a true survivor.

The American Medical Association currently estimates at least one in every five adults suffered abuse as a child. While childhood abuse or trauma is certainly not a new issue, it has reached epidemic proportion. Yet most clinicians have not been sufficiently trained to appreciate or understand the devastating long-term impact of abuse on the total person.

John J. Lemoncelli, EdD, authored this book to enable those who suffer in silence to understand what happened, take control, and begin and maintain a program of recovery. It helps those abused in childhood to grasp how their experience impacted their development and the extent to which it negatively affects their present lives; encourages them to let go of the belief that they are damaged, dirty, or at fault; and provides an effective strategy for externalizing the source of their anguish, rather than blaming themselves. The author outlines several stages and common issues that may need to be addressed, but as no "one size fits all" treatment is possible, he provides strategies that empower victims to identify the specific sources of their pain.


  • Responds to many common questions of individuals who experienced abuse/trauma
  • Addresses subjects such as self-destructive behaviors, self-hatred, and self-blame
  • Explains the importance of altering perceptions and describes the methods to achieve this change in perspective
  • Highly beneficial to individuals who have a loved one who is coping with the effects of abuse
  • Serves as a textbook for students in graduate trauma courses or training to become therapists
Author Info

John J. Lemoncelli, EdD, is professor and assistant chair of the Psychology and Counseling Department of Marywood University, Scranton, PA. He is licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a psychologist and a professional counselor, and maintained a private practice for nearly 30 years. Lemoncelli earned his bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Scranton, Scranton, PA, and his doctorate from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. His published works include A Mind of Its Own: Healing the Mind and Heart of the Parasite of Childhood Abuse and the journal articles "The Psychospiritual Dynamics of Adult Survivors of Abuse" and "Ethical Responses When Patients' Religious Beliefs Appear To Harm Their Well-Being."



"This is a solid resource. . . . Recommended."—Choice


"Using the metaphor of a parasite to describe the internal harm caused by abuse, Dr. John Lemoncelli guides survivors to healthier, happier, and more productive lives. He provides hope, compassion and understanding, and offers concrete steps for recovery, yet sets realistic expectations (even if you win the war, you may lose some battles). He recognizes the pain of survivors, yet confronts self-defeating behaviors. Hundreds of survivors of childhood abuse have been helped by Dr. Lemoncelli as a counselor, and many more will be helped through this engaging book."—Samuel Knapp, EdD, ABPP Director of Professoinal Affairs, Pennsylvania Psychological Association and Co-author of Practical Ethics for Psychologists

"Dr. Lemoncelli offers an approach that truly considers the whole person—heart, mind, and soul, offering great hope of healing for those who have experienced the worst in life. He achieves a balance of skill, insight, and compassion, and this book validates the reality of suffering, while bringing hope and empowerment. Lemoncelli recognizes and addresses the fragmentation of self that is often overlooked or misunderstood, without which recovery would not be impossible. His unique approach can provide the traction needed to move from the bondage of pain, shame, and perfectionism, to a new love of self and others."—Joseph T. Verga, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, Health Services Provider

“This book is a brilliantly written masterpiece on childhood abuse with a stimulating, informative, and practical approach that provides a framework for recovery and hope. Dr. Lemoncelli has unlocked the complex problems associated with childhood abuse and provided a recipe for lasting change."—Carmen F. Ambrosino, CEO Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services, Inc.; Author of Saturdays, Dandelions, and Roots, Stories of Inspiration, Hope, and Recovery From Addiction, and The New Student Handbook on Drug and Alcohol Abuse

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