In Meet Carey Jones, author Christie Somes draws on her own experience to provide information for survivors, parents and educators about childhood sexual abuse.
While Somes begins with a brief personal account of abuse she suffered and weaves details of her subsequent healing process throughout, this is not a memoir. Designed as a roadmap for abuse survivors and those in a position to support them, Somes’ narrative offers a well-researched overview of how abuse occurs, its common effects and how to get help for yourself or a child in your care.
Somes’s book includes contributions from clinical and developmental psychologist Gerald D. Alpern, two social workers specializing in human sexuality and child abuse, as well as clearly cited written sources about trauma and healing. Alpern, her therapist and mentor, writes an informative foreword to the book summarizing how the presentation and healing of childhood sexual abuse has been conceptualized and re-conceptualized over the past hundred years.
Although this is a slim volume that only touches on the surface of a broad subject, Somes offers practical and relevant advice in a relatable style. Her suggestions for survivors, such as physical exercise to repair the nervous system and making sure not to isolate, are backed by science and easy to apply. Her guidance on how to prevent abuse in children and identify it when abuse has occurred is concise and clear. Somes offers both written and organizational resources for age-appropriate sex education and abuse prevention, highlighting a need to circumvent the shame and silence that frequently accompany abuse.
Named for the author’s imaginary friend Carey Jones, who “represents everything good” and “is a combination of all the meaningful people in my life,” this heartfelt yet practical guide to navigating childhood sexual abuse is a useful, up-to-date contribution to the current literature on abuse. Somes’s offering will be of most interest to those seeking an introduction to trauma, the effects of abuse and how to seek help.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.