Books for Healing: The Star-Seer’s Prophecy as
“I have used Dark Innocence with clients who have found themselves stuck in their therapeutic progression with great success.” –Molly Doll, MS, LPC, NCC
Sometimes in working with clients with a history of trauma and abuse, reading a certain kind of book together can open a door for the client to address their pain fruitfully in therapy, in a way that more direct inquiry cannot do as quickly or as well. Using the three volumes of The Star-Seer’s Prophecy (Dark Innocence, Fierce Blessings, and Perilous Bliss) as bibliotherapy gives your clients a benign way to recognize and come through their histories of abuse, within the context of therapy, by providing them with a safe distance and an engaging imaginative context for addressing their own traumas.
Reading a book can be a safer, more accessible way for someone who has experienced psychologically scarring abuse to enter into a different version of their own experience and come out the other side. Literature is particularly powerful when it takes universal themes and particularizes them into a specific, detailed world that on the surface is altogether different from the reader’s world, but on a deeper level speaks to the universality of human experience that the reader can relate to without defensiveness.
Healing for her readers was certainly a prime motivation of retired psychotherapist Rahima Warren when she wrote the story of Kyr—a “dark innocent” raised to know only abuse, cruelty, and depravity—who unwittingly embarks on a healing journey to find out who he really is, learn to love and trust for the first time, forgive his tormentors as well as himself, and emerge cleansed, empowered, and whole.
Readers find healing and inspiration from The Star-Seer’s Prophecy
As Tetja Ann Barbee said in interview with Rahima:
“By living vicariously through the characters in a safe, fun, and captivating manner, I began to relate to my own dark and deep feelings. I found I could safely start to heal old wounds, and question things about my own beliefs. And it all happened through the story’s presentation of terrible suffering, acceptance, and growth, as opposed to having to analyze myself. I cried and laughed a lot, and consciously decided that if these characters can face such horrendous pain and evil, and come out to a place of lightness and beauty and love, so can I.” (See full interview.)
And as reader Virginia Burrell put it:
“I can certainly identify with so much of Kyr’s life and thoughts. As Kyr frequently reminded himself, ‘to forgive is the hard path.’ I frequently remind myself that recovery is not ‘the easy path.’”
Discussing the trilogy with your clients can offer them profound support:
- A common ground with the hero of this book, who undergoes unendurable suffering but takes the “hard path” of forgiveness that frees him.
- A tangible roadmap of the healing journey and its internal, often recursive stages.
- The opportunity for transformative openings in the client. You might ask—in a moment when your client is fighting off kindness, support, or love—“Remember when Kyr couldn’t believe anyone really wanted to help him?” Your clients’ identification with Kyr and his journey can bring them to believe that even people who were subjected to the more horrendous experiences can find their way to a good life on the other side.
One therapist who has used Dark Innocence in her therapeutic practice is Molly Doll: MS, LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Oregon), NCC (Nationally Certified Counselor), with 18 years’ experience. One of her specialties is trauma recovery. She shares her experience here:
“As a mental health therapist, I have dedicated the last 15 years to helping others process many different kinds of trauma. I have come to understand that a special kind of progress can be made from bibliotherapy selections when working with certain clients, at the same time that it is important to remain current in terms of skills, interventions, and resources. The book Dark Innocence, by retired psychotherapist Rahima Warren, is an example of one man’s courageous journey from the depths of hell towards enlightenment and restoration. As with actual survivors of abuse, Kyr did not ask to be the hero of this tale; yet the story masterfully leads us on an amazing adventure through the stages of healing. We are reminded that trauma work often is not an easy road, but it is an important and often life-saving effort. Themes of safety, attributions of responsibility, and positive-future templates are artfully woven into a tapestry of emotional peaks and valleys as well as an undercurrent of unconditional positive regard. I have used Dark Innocence with clients who have found themselves stuck in their therapeutic progression with great success, in terms of unlocking parts of themselves and their experiences that—up until this point—have been inaccessible.”
A child and family therapist with many years’ experience, Sarah Weinberg, MS, LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) writes:
[Dark Innocence is] “An excellent book outlining how healing can happen for those who have experienced severe abuse and trauma and who also abused others. The book eloquently describes what happens when one has relapsed and is flooded by their traumatic past. But the focus here is on how one can still heal and emerge from past traumas as a survivor who can live life more fully.
“I love that the book reads like a novel! What a relief that it is not written as yet another textbook or a self-help book. [It’s] great that the main character is a man who not only suffers from but also heals from his abuse, as there are so few books out there that address this issue for men. I used to work with…male teenagers who were offenders but they didn’t have a lot of books to choose from with the healing of male characters. A book like this with the abuse and in-depth healing of a male character who experiences but then heals from multiple traumas should have been written long ago. And it applies to healing for women also for many reasons…. What a gift for me personally to read such a well thought out story.”
Hannah Kusterer, a retired psychotherapist (MFT), worked for 40 years in multi-cultural settings with individuals healing from substance abuse and trauma. She writes:
“For therapists working with healing trauma, The Star-Seers Prophecy trilogy could be an excellent tool. The path of redemption, forgiveness and healing that the main character, Kyr, follows in his journey offers an accurate and complete account of how that transformation occurs. The story is told as an exciting fantasy tale peopled with believable characters of emotional depth, yet Rahima Warren is unflinching in exposing the inner and outer struggle with loss and suffering, and the need to recommit again and again to the “hard path” of healing. For both Kyr and the reader, the outcome is worth the effort, and could be inspiring to anyone dealing with emotional healing.”
Imagine the openings that could be possible for your clients if they read this trilogy as part of their therapy. Buy the series now, and let the possibilities for bibliotherapeutic healing unfold.
For bulk orders at a special price, contact the publisher, Rose Press: firstname.lastname@example.org
(1) “The use of reading materials for help in solving personal problems or for psychiatric therapy; also : the reading materials so used.”—Merriam Webster dictionary
(2) “Bibliotherapy is a very broad term for the ancient practice of encouraging reading for therapeutic effect…. The method of bibliotherapy [can be traced] all the way back to the Ancient Greeks, ‘who inscribed above the entrance to a library in Thebes that this was a “healing place for the soul.” The practice came into its own at the end of the nineteenth century, when Sigmund Freud began using literature during psychoanalysis sessions. After the First World War, traumatized soldiers returning home from the front were often prescribed a course of reading…. Later in the century, bibliotherapy was used in varying ways in hospitals and libraries, and has more recently been taken up by psychologists, social and aged-care workers, and doctors as a viable mode of therapy….
“For all avid readers who have been self-medicating with great books their entire lives, it comes as no surprise that reading books can be good for your mental health and your relationships with others, but exactly why and how is now becoming clearer, thanks to new research on reading’s effects on the brain. Since the discovery, in the mid-nineties, of ‘mirror neurons’—neurons that fire in our brains both when we perform an action ourselves and when we see an action performed by someone else—the neuroscience of empathy has become clearer. A 2011 study published in the Annual Review of Psychology, based on analysis of fMRI brain scans of participants, showed that, when people read about an experience, they display stimulation within the same neurological regions as when they go through that experience themselves. We draw on the same brain networks when we’re reading stories and when we’re trying to guess at another person’s feelings….
“Reading has been shown to put our brains into a pleasurable trance-like state, similar to meditation, and it brings the same health benefits of deep relaxation and inner calm. Regular readers sleep better, have lower stress levels, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of depression than non-readers. ‘Fiction and poetry are doses, medicines,’ the author Jeanette Winterson has written. ‘What they heal is the rupture reality makes on the imagination.’
“See a bibliotherapist, as soon as you can, and take them up on their invitation, to borrow some lines from Shakespeare’s ‘Titus Andronicus’: ‘Come, and take choice of all my library/And so beguile thy sorrow.”’”
—Ceridwen Dovey, “Can Reading Make You Happier?” The New Yorker, June 9, 2015