Review by Jennie Sattler

Dr. Cathy Kezelman’s “Innocence Revisited” is not for the faint hearted.  “Innocence Revisited” is a very personal, open and honest account of Cathy’s life.  Cathy was severely abused as a young child by the very people whose primary role was actually to protect, nurture and guide her through her childhood.  At times harrowing to the reader (who actually only ever experiences Cathy’s trauma indirectly through her writing), the impact of Cathy’s story on readers is ultimately more than offset by a very uplifting message of resilience, strength, resolution, hope and healing.

Cathy goes on to share how her early life experience affected her both as a growing child and young daughter and later as an adult, as a wife and as a mother.  “Innocence Revisited” tells how Cathy gradually faces the reality and the truth of her past and ultimately and incredibly, how she moves beyond her old blockages and pain, to reclaim herself and to attain an inner peace.

For anyone who was abused as a child (sexually, emotionally and/or physically), Cathy’s story offers insight, understanding, comfort, validation, solace, inspiration and hope.  “Innocence Revisited” offers those grappling with the impacts of childhood abuse, the opportunity to share in the intimate details of someone else’s journey, the opportunity to ‘see their own experience’ more objectively through Cathy’s eyes, to gain some context around their own experiences as well as the opportunity to share in and gain the benefit of Cathy’s insights and realisations to help them move further towards their own resolutions.

Most importantly, Cathy’s book offers those who have experienced childhood trauma, the priceless and richly reassuring knowing of: “I’m not alone with my ‘shameful’ experiences, Cathy also went through something like what I went through as a child and she has overcome it!” Cathy’s life story proves that healing from horrific childhood trauma is possible. 

For anyone who loves someone who has experienced childhood trauma, Cathy’s book offers insights into the daily challenges and the extensive, ungraspable impact of childhood trauma.  Through Cathy’s story, friends and relatives can gain an appreciation of the vital importance of unconditional love, non-judgement, listening and acceptance in supporting their loved one through their inevitable lows and in helping them to resolve their own internal struggles.  Friends and relatives can also gain reassurance and hope in knowing that recovery is possible.

For those working as therapists, Dr. Kezelman’s story is a personal, first hand account of the impact of child abuse and the long road to healing and recovery written by an intelligent, rational, educated and experienced General Practitioner.  “Innocence Revisited” offers those working with survivors of childhood abuse the opportunity to ‘step into their client’s shoes’ and to gain far greater empathy and insight into their client’s challenges and needs than any prescribed textbook could hope to offer.

Cathy’s courage, honesty and openness is extraordinary and a testament to her inner strength in overcoming all that she has endured.  “Innocence Revisited” is a tribute to Dr. Kezelman’s commitment to healing herself for her own wellbeing, enabling her to truly ‘be there’ for her beloved husband and four children.

Cathy’s book is a remarkable act of openness, courage, honesty, perseverance, a rare and precious generosity and a huge contribution towards raising awareness and healing the broad detrimental abuse of the most vulnerable, most trusting, most needy and most innocent members of our society – our beautiful babies and young children – utterly unique, pure and precious little miracles.