Books by Laura Davis
Laura Davis has been writing books that have changed people's lives since 1988. Her first book, The Courage to Heal, co-authored with Ellen Bass, provided a lifeline for millions who had been sexually abused. Her parenting book, Becoming the Parent You Want to Be, co-authored with Janis Keyser, gave parents of young children a vote of confidence and the skills to create the families they wanted to have. And with I Thought We'd Never Speak Again, Laura offers guidance and inspiration to those struggling with estranged relationships.
Laura's books have been published in 11 languages and sold more than 1.8 million copies.
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Laura's riveting new memoir examines the endurance of mother-daughter love, how memory protects and betrays us, and the determination it takes to fulfill a promise when ghosts from the past come knocking.
"I finished The Burning Light of Two Stars in a bed of tears. What an eloquent and compelling story."
--Abby Stamelman Hocky, Executive Director, Interfaith Philadelphia
"I read all night, and I do not give up sleep easily. The Burning Light of Two Stars fed my soul."
--Eileene Tejada, Ph.D. Professor of English and Anthropology at Napa Valley College
"From the first page, I didn't want this beautiful, compelling story to end."
--Kay Taylor, author of Soul Path Way
All of us carry the painful burden of relationships that have been sundered by betrayal, distrust, anger, and misunderstanding. In her groundbreaking new book, I Thought We'd Never Speak Again: The Road from Estrangement to Reconciliation, Laura Davis examines what tears people apart, what keeps them estranged from each other, and lays out the steps by which they can mend broken relationships and find wholeness.
Laura wrote this book as she was struggling to heal her estrangement with her own mother. Here's what her mom has to say about the book.
Praise for I Thought We'd Never Speak Again: The Road from Estrangement to Reconciliation
"As we hunger for authentic expressions of peace and reconciliation, Laura Davis has given us a true gift. She offers pathways for us to let go of pain, bitterness, fear and even hatred. She presents a continuum of reconciliation that goes far beyond simple answers and allows for the individual needs and cultural context of the involved parties. Davis eloquently presents her message that attaining peace in our lives and in the larger world must first be anchored within our own personal journey of healing. Few authors have addressed the issues of forgiveness and reconciliation with such clarity, compassion and sensitivity."
--Mark Umbreit, Ph.D,. founding director, Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking, University of Minnesota, School of Social Work
"Leave it to Laura Davis, who opened a whole generation with The Courage to Heal, to once again give us what we need-a book about how we come home to each other and ourselves. I want to buy this for everyone I know. And Davis has presented this healing with such compassion, clarity, warmth and good solid prose that this book is unbeatable. No one can turn from its truth."
--Natalie Goldberg, author of Thunder and Lightning and The Essential Writer's Notebook
"Laura Davis understands that in order to deeply touch the human heart, you must touch it with relevant story. It is a rare adult who has not come to know the bitter pain of estranged, bruised, or broken relationships. Davis provides a vehicle for giving those stories voice, never glossing over the pain or suggesting panacea, but masterfully stitching them together and offering us all a counterpane of comfort, a harbinger of hope."
--Dave Gustafson, M.A., R.C.C., Canadian pioneer in victim-offender reconciliation and restorative justice
"Anybody who has given up on the possibility of reconciliation should read this book. Davis builds a web of hope that human beings can indeed move on, even when relationships have been painful and very destructive."
--Ron Kraybill, professor, Conflict Transformation Program, Eastern Mennonite University
"With prodigious love and wisdom, Laura Davis teaches us new ways to view and resolve a wide array of ruptured relationships so that we can come out whole, perhaps for the first time. She describes excruciating struggles to find love and self after interpersonal fractures ranging from painful misunderstandings to criminal assaults to ethnic wars. Ms. Davis shows us ways to reconcile with our own fear and pain and rage, if not always with our adversaries. I Thought We'd Never Speak Again is a gift of the heart, full of wisdom, courage and hope. I highly recommend it."
--David C. Hall, M.D. family psychiatrist and author of Stop Arguing and Start Understanding: Eight Steps to Solving Family Conflicts
"With warmth, humor and sensitivity, Laura Davis teaches us personal and practical truths about healing painful, broken relationships. She does not offer simplistic answers or tell us that there is only one way to reconcile. Her book is a tremendous gift, and will change the way we think about reconciliation in our personal lives, in the criminal justice system, and in the greater world."
--Greg D. Richardson, Restorative Justice Institute
"This is a book of enormous personal and social significance for a society steeped in conflict and alienation. It is a deeply moving and spiritually uplifting work that you will want to give to family, friends, and colleagues alike."
--Donald T. Saposnek, Ph.D., family therapist and author of Mediating Child Custody Disputes
"I Thought We'd Never Speak Again will be useful to anyone who wants to use dialogue and reconciliation as a healing path. Davis's narratives reveal the complexity of personal transformation and the challenges of reconciliation with individuals who have caused great harm. Persons seeking such transformation need boundaries, time, and most of all, choices, and Davis's book shows us that there are multiple doors through which even the most damaged and estranged individuals can find a healing path toward reconciliation."
--Gordon Bazemore, Ph.D., director, Community Justice Institute, Florida Atlantic University
Informative, inspiring, and enlightening, Becoming the Parent You Want to Be provides parents with the building blocks they need to discover their own parenting philosophy and develop effective parenting strategies. Through in-depth information, practical suggestions, and many lively first-person stories, Laura Davis and Janis Keyser address the many dilemmas and joys that the parents of young children encounter and demonstrate a range of solutions to the major issues that arise in the lives of babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Full of warmth, clarity, humor and respect, Becoming the Parent You Want to Be gives parents permission to be human: to question, to learn, to make mistakes, to struggle and to grow, and most of all, to have fun with their children.
Praise for Becoming the Parent You Want to Be
"This unusually thorough book provides today's parents with rich and abundant insights for discerning and fostering wholeness in their children. This is an enormously helpful resource which sheds light on many issues that are not addressed in other books on parenting."
--Polly Berrien Berends, author of Whole Child, Whole Parent
"Loving and inspiring, Becoming the Parent You Want to Be is a very helpful and hopeful book for the first five years."
--Wayne Dyer, author of Your Sacred Self
"Through simple, direct language, touching human stories, and clear messages, the authors reveal sensitivity, understanding and in-depth knowledge of both children's and parents' development. They know what is necessary for children and parents to grow and flourish. It will become a classic among books for parents."
--Bernice Weissbourd, President, Board of Directors, Family Resource Coalition
"I am impressed by this book's thoughtful approach to the underlying issues of childbearing -the continual challenge to be and raise good people in a changing world. The diversity of families, children and cultures in contemporary society is front and center in this book."
--Elizabeth Jones, Ph.D., Faculty, Human Development, Pacific Oaks College
"This wise guide will help mothers and fathers discover and value their own unique parenting styles. I recommend it highly."
--James A. Levine, Ed.D., Director, The Fatherhood Project, Families and Work Institute, New York City
"Becoming the Parent You Want to Be is sensitive to the needs of modern parents and offers practical advice for real problems. The real world stories and examples are a treasure-trove for parents looking for help. I'm going to recommend it to my colleagues and patients."
--Kathi J. Kemper, M.D., M.P.H., author of The Holistic Pediatrician
"A masterpiece of wisdom! It's easy to give advice and to treat parents as if they were all alike, but they aren't. It's a challenge to respond to them in all their diversity. The authors have risen to the challenge admirably."
--Janet Gonzalez-Mena, author of Dragon Mom: Confessions of a Child Development Expert
Acclaim from Parents for Becoming the Parent You Want to Be
"Love drives this book."
"Your book is like a parent support group in print. One that is always available at 3:00 AM and you're tearing your hair out."
"If every parent could read this book, we'd have a much better world."
"Becoming the Parent You Want to Be is a little like being with a child-thought-provoking, challenging, and enriching; heartfelt, complex and multifaceted."
First published in 1988, this million-copy bestseller is an inspiring, comprehensive guide that offers hope and encouragement to anyone who was sexually abused as a child. The Courage to Heal takes readers step-by-step through the healing process with clarity, compassion, and a deep respect for each survivor's journey. If you are suffering from the long-term effects of child sexual abuse, you don't have to suffer in silence anymore. There is a way out and The Courage to Heal can show you what it is. This classic book will change your life and convince you that healing is possible-even for you.
Praise for The Courage to Heal
"The Courage to Heal is a wise and gentle book that should be read by all people trying to recover from having been sexually misused as a child, and by all friends, family members, and professionals with a genuine desire to understand both the experience of being a victim of sexual abuse and the arduous path to recovery. The Courage to Heal has helped countless survivors of sexual abuse in their efforts to confront the realities of their lives and to take charge of them in the present."
-Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
"This book advances the empowerment of survivors another major step-from breaking the silence to sharing recovery."
-Judith Herman, M.D., author of Trauma and Recovery
"The Courage to Heal continues to be an invaluable resource for adults sexually abused as children. Ellen Bass and Laura Davis provide survivors with concrete and practical information about the healing process and its many challenges."
-Christine Courtois, clinical director of the Post-Traumatic Disorders Program of the Psychiatric Institute of Washington, D.C. and author of Recollections of Sexual Abuse: Treatment Principles and Guidelines
"With scrupulous care, balance, and a clear political vision, Ellen Bass and Laura Davis have written a groundbreaking book that will stand as a classic for many years to come. Clearly a labor of both love and commitment to the healing of tens of thousands of women still suffering the deep wounds of their experience, The Courage to Heal will find a wide, appreciative, and altered readership."
-Sandra Butler, author of The Conspiracy of Silence
Acclaim from Survivors for The Courage to Heal
"The Courage to Heal touched the deepest part of me, the part that has been walled off and silent for twenty-five years. You have spoken the words for me that I was unable to utter."
"When your book entered my life, it gave me the reassurance that one day I would be whole."
"Dealing with feelings that have been hidden, suppressed, and unacknowledged for fifty years is an awesome task, and your book is helping to make the process bearable and possible."
"If there was any one thing that helped me to believe in myself, and helped to reconstruct my life, it has been this book. The Courage to Heal has not spent a day on the bookshelf-I utilize it so often that it is a waste to put it away."
"Thank you' hardly seems like enough to say. You have changed the direction of my life in a positive way with as much impact as the incest changed my life in a negative way so many years ago."
"Thank you for helping me save my life and my sanity."
This groundbreaking companion to The Courage to Heal is an innovative, inspiring, and in-depth workbook that speaks to anyone healing from the effects of child sexual abuse. With its combination of checklists, open-ended questions, writing exercises, art projects, and activities, The Courage to Heal Workbook takes survivors step-by-step through the key aspects of the healing process. While written specifically for survivors of sexual abuse, this wise guide can be useful to anyone suffering from the effects of other kinds of trauma.
As the problem of child sexual abuse has come out of the closet, there is one group that has been consistently overlooked: the partner of survivors-girlfriends, boyfriends, spouses, and lovers. Allies in Healing speaks directly to the confusion, bewilderment, anger, and frustration of these partners. Based on in-depth interviews, Laura Davis offers practical advice and encouragement to all partners trying to support the steps in their loved one's path to recovery, as well as tend to their own needs along the way. She shows couples how to deepen compassion, improve communication, and develop an understanding of healing as a shared activity.
This gentle introduction to the healing process was designed for people who aren't ready to tackle the 600 pages of The Courage to Heal. This small, friendly book is perfect for teenagers, people in crisis, or anyone who wants to wet their feet on the topic of healing from child sexual abuse.