Act It Out, a New Book from Praeclarus Press, Helps Adults Heal from the Trauma of Childhood Abuse; April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

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Author Stefanie Stolinsky, a psychotherapist and former actress, found that the exercises she used as an actress helped her psychotherapy clients recover from the trauma of abuse. Act It Out is her new self-help book, where she describes these techniques, with links to videos demonstrating each exercise.

Childhood physical, sexual or emotional abuse can cause long-term harm, often lasting well into adulthood. The negative effects of childhood abuse include depression, post traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and anxiety. Abuse survivors are also at higher risk for physical health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. These effects do no simply “go away” as children mature.

The good news is that adults can heal from trauma and abuse they experienced in childhood.

In recognition of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, Praeclarus Press introduces its newest book: Act It Out: 25 Acting Exercises to Heal from Childhood Abuse by Dr. Stefanie Stolinsky. Act It Out is a self-help book that guides readers through a series of exercises that actors use. Each exercise is linked to short video with actors demonstrating it.

Dr. Stolinsky began incorporating acting exercises into her psychotherapy sessions when she noticed that many of her clients presented the same kinds of complaints actors did in drama classes, such as difficulty feeling and releasing emotions such as sadness, weakness, or tears; relying on alcohol or drugs to help them cry in a scene or “feel”; playing “at it” or faking it rather than really feeling it; being afraid that releasing true emotions would be dangerous holding back; or stage fright: feeling embarrassed, fearful of revealing themselves, and shame.

Because of these striking similarities, she began incorporating acting exercises into her therapy sessions. If acting exercises can help actors get unblocked, perhaps they could also help her clients get “unblocked” and start healing.

Acting exercises in therapy allow clients to have total control over what they are experiencing. Dr. Stolinsky counsels clients to always use their “third eye,” so they always know where they are. If things are too painful, they have permission to pull themselves out of the exercise. The acting exercises are also fun. They give clients a chance to “play” while also addressing some of the serious issues in their lives. Acting exercises are a natural adjunct to traditional therapy that also works well as a self-help technique. Dr. Stolinsky guides readers through the exercises and provides examples of how clients benefited from each one.

In her Foreword, Dr. Trudy Moss states:
Act It Out offers the reader an opportunity to travel beyond an intellectual understanding of his or her struggle to become a more integrated, self-loving person. Written with compassion and respect, Act It Out invites the reader to privately begin to release old sensations of shame and self-doubt… Act It Out leads its readers safely into that place of self-healing where the light of emotional release forever illumines the dark corners of the cave. Unconscious fears that have imprisoned victims’ capacity for fully realizing their own potential will be scattered, and readers will reap the benefits of their inspiring acts of courage.

Act It Out is available through Amazon and at Praeclarus Press is a small press specializing in women’s health.

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Scott Sherwood
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