As some of you may know, Jennifer Gilmour, an advocate for survivors of Domestic Abuse has visited my blog previously about her work and her book, The Isolation Junction. I am pleased to review The Recovery Toolkit by Sue Penna, a project she has been involved in.
Domestic Violence can affect anyone and in recent weeks, thanks to the Covid crisis and lockdown, the situation has worsened. During lockdown the calls to domestic abuse charities increased by 49% and deaths doubled*. Now we are easing out of lockdown, charities are seeing more referrals for refuge places.** These figures highlight the importance of the charities work and resources like these. This book provides help for those who have left the violent relationship and are making steps to start a fresh.
Book Review: The Recovery Toolkit: A 12 week plan to support your journey from domestic abuse by Sue Penna
Title: The Recovery Toolkit: A 12 week plan to support your journey from domestic abuse
Author: Sue Penna
Publisher: Penna & Passmore Ltd
Release Date: 3rd May 2020
Genre: Non-fiction, Self-help
Purchase: The Recovery Toolkit on Amazon (universal link):
Have you left an abusive relationship?
Are you still carrying guilt?
Would you like to understand, challenge and remove the voice of the perpetrator?
Do you still think what happened to you was your fault?
Do you find dealing with new people in your life something to be scared about?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to the above questions you are not alone.
Many people who leave an abusive relationship behind are affected by that former relationship in many different ways. Perhaps you feel guilty when making decisions on your own? You may worry about what motivates others to befriend you? Maybe your children are having to re-learn who it is that’s the adult in the room now that your ex-partner has gone from their lives.
If this all sounds familiar then The Recovery Toolkit is the book for you. Written in an easy and accessible style, the book will take you on a journey that is part discovery, part guide.
The book is based on the successful 12-week group programme of the same name created by author Sue Penna. It is also based on Sue’s professional and lived experience, having worked for more than 20 years for the NHS’s Mental Health Services. For the last 15 years, Sue has specialised in working with individuals who have experienced domestic abuse.
The Recovery Toolkit is crammed with superb observations and suggestions that will help you recognise that you weren’t to blame for the abuse you suffered in the first place and that the real you is still there, ready to emerge.
This book is designed for survivors who have left their abusers and are ready to reclaim their lives and not for those still living with their abuser. It does not promise to be a quick fix and requires patience and commitment to read a chapter every week and complete the exercises. It’s aim is to change the thought process from the negative to the positive, similar to CBT and step away from hearing the abusers voice to listening your own and trust it. It is easily accessible and the insights from Jennifer Gilmour in her own journey adds to the encouragement. This is important for when things become difficult to do. I have only read through a couple of exercises and it is clear it will be an emotional process to follow. For improvement to happen the reader has to open up and be honest with themselves.
Would I recommend?
Definitely. I love this book and the concept behind it. This is an in invaluable resource of surviviors and is a therapist in your pocket. The ability to download a copy to a Kindle also adds to the privacy of it. I am sure it will help many recover from their trauma in the future and give them access to guidance they need when they can not physically attend a workshop. This will help them and their loved ones have the life they deserve.
Sue has worked with individuals who have psychological trauma as a result of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) for over 30 years in her professional life as a clinician, trainer and supervisor both within the NHS and independently.
She has specialised in writing psycho-educational programmes that promote trauma informed practice and a recovery model. Sue is passionate for the need for multi-agency working and committed to supporting front line workers to have the skills to support families with a trauma informed approach.
Sue has an extensive background in the domestic abuse sector and has written trauma informed domestic abuse programmes including the Inspiring Families Programme, Adult and Children and Young People Domestic Abuse Recovery Toolkit and the Sexual Violence Recovery Toolkit. Sue has also devised the ACE Recovery Toolkit written for parents and the ACE Recovery Toolkit for children and young people.
About Rock Pool:
Our vision is a society that is trauma-informed.
We support organisations that want to improve practice, share knowledge and expertise, and enable their workforce to inspire hope, promote resilience and aid recovery for people affected by trauma. Our innovative, practical solutions and training opportunities are informed by lived experience and what is known to work.
Sue Penna on Twitter: @SuePenna
Rock Pool on Twitter: @rockpoollife
Rock Pool on Facebook:
Rock Pool website:
I am pleased to share the chance to win a signed copy of The Recovery Toolkit, to enter click here
Thank you Jennifer Gilmour and Sue Penna for inviting me to take part in this important and exciting blog tour and providing me with an advanced copy to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.
If you are affected by the issues above and still in the relationship, there is help available.
National Domestic Abuse helpline: 0808 2000 247
Take care, stay safe and happy reading!