“Pain and Pretending” should be in the library of anyone in Christian service who plans on doing any counseling–which would include almost everybody in Christian service. Rich Buhler’s insights have opened my eyes to the mentality of those who have experienced abuse–and I am sure they will be beneficial to you as well.
After two introductory chapters in which Buhler explains the effects of the past, he divides the bulk of the book into two sections; one describing the stages an abused person goes through (which Buhler calls “the season of destruction”), and the other prescribing the solutions (called “the season of recovery).
What stood out to me in Buhler’s treatment of the “season of destruction” was how heavily he relied on cases that he himself has personally been involved with. He is quite obviously coming at this with a wealth of experience in dealing with hurting, abused people.
In the second half of the book–where he deals with recovery–I admired Buhler’s dedication to biblical solutions, and his insitance that true healing is only to be found in Jesus Christ. In fact, he breaks healing down into two main parts: knowing “the truth about me” and “the truth about God”.
While the subject matter of this book can make it depressing at times, Rich Buhler offers hope that aboused people can break their cycle of defeat and–with God’s help–become survivors.
If you are a victim of abuse, or know one, you should read “Pain and Pretending”.