Review; Seduced Into Darkness: Transcending My Psychiatrist's Sexual Abuse by Carrie T. Ishee

A little while ago, I came across a request on a book blogger group on Facebook about needing more bloggers for a blog tour. I volunteered to participate and today I'll review the memoir Seduced Into Darkness: Transcending My Psychiatrist's Sexual Abuse by Carrie Ishee.

Description from Goodreads
Seduced Into Darkness: Transcending My Psychiatrist's Sexual Abuse is a vivid and captivating story of hope for survivors of abuse as well as a case study in a skilled manipulator's tragic exploitation of his professional power. This poignant memoir chronicles the traumatic psychological abduction and sexual exploitation of depressed college student Carrie Tansey at the hands of her psychiatrist, Dr. Anthony Romano--thirty-one years her senior. For three years, their secret "affair" was carefully calculated and controlled by Romano, as Carrie's mental and emotional health continued to deteriorate, bringing her closer and closer to the edge. Their dual-relationship--clinical and clandestine--finally came to light when Carrie's suicide attempts landed her in a world-renowned psychiatric hospital. Gradually, she began to reclaim her power, reported Romano to the state licensing board, successfully sued him for malpractice, and testified before the state legislature to help pass a law aimed at curbing such abuses. As Carrie tells her tale, it is a journey paralleling that of the mythical archetype Persephone, the naive innocent who was abducted into darkness, reemerged and regenerated herself, then fearlessly returned to the prison she had fled, this time to help free others. Today, Carrie Ishee is a widely respected art therapist and life coach as well as a teacher specializing in the issues of ethics and boundaries for mental health professionals.
"In American culture, being confined to a psychiatric hospital is considered a terrible fate. Mental illness is viewed as a sign of weakness, shamefull, somethig to be hidden, locked up, controlled, and contained. The truth was that I'd discovered more inspiration, humanity, and love in the halls of this psych ward than in the top medical schools I'd worked at."
My Thoughts on the Book
Seduced Into Darkness is an eye-opening memoir about manipulation and abuse from someone who should help, not make things even worse. If one ever thinks "it would never happen to me", this story illustrate that it can indeed happen, when a therapist exploits the weaknesses of patients who already struggle.

I included the quote further up as it's not only in the US that there's some stigma towards mental illness. I have a suspicion the stigma can be found in the Western world in general, some places more than others. Even if this book mainly focuses on sexual abuse, it's after all also about mental health.

Seduced Into Darkeness is also an empowering book with lots of inspiration, as the author takes action towards her abuser and shows that it is indeed hope out there. I think this is a book that should be read, especially by therapists, but also by everyone in general.


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