Steven Wineman has decades of experience in community mental health, and a gift for sensitive, compassionate portrayals of difficult people. He’s an excellent writer, one with a truly canny ear for the rhythms of human voices. In The Therapy Journal, he has created exquisite characters capable of showing his readers how humans do respond to, survive, or are destroyed by abuse, whether physical or emotional.  


His protagonist, Becky Hoffman, therapist, has more or less successfully blocked her memories of sibling sexual abuse. However, the memories, personified as Child Becky, surface as she works with Lathsamy--a trafficked and now bi-polar patient--and as she confronts her own unplanned pregnancy and dysfunctional parents. As 38-year-old Becky learns and grows, so do readers learn--about why and how parents mishandle sibling abusers, for instance.  Though Steven Wineman depicts Child Becky as a separate person locked inside the adult therapist, the PTSD behaviors he describes, both for Becky and for her client Lathsamy, ring true.


You can find other samples of Wineman’s work on the internet: “Erving and Alice and Sky and Elisabeth” is beautifully done and especially relevant to Therapy Journal. It was the Cincinnati Review’s 2016 nominee for the Pushcart Prize for Nonfiction. Check out more of his essays online at Boston’s NPR station: All royalties from Therapy Journal will go directly to three non-profits which work with victims of sexual abuse.



This book was a heart-opener for me. Wineman’s engaging characters and suspenseful weaving of stories moved me deeper and deeper into an area of suffering I had known only at a safe distance. Now I feel the power and unpredictability of trauma and marvel at the resilient human drive to healing.

Louise Dunlap, author of Undoing the Silence: Six Tools for Social Change Writing.


This is empathic writing in its full expression, knowing the most intricate nuances of experience as if from within, accompanying people in their journey of life with utmost care for the unadorned truth of their lives. The stories are, mostly, tragic. The ending, hopeful and tentative, as life is, so often. And yet the beauty of the human spirit hovers over the entire . . . novel.
–Miki Kashtan, author of Spinning Threads of Radical Aliveness: Transcending the Legacy of Separation in Our Individual Lives


This is a powerful, moving novel, rich in humanity and uncompromising in its honesty. It is a painful testament to suffering and survival, as well as to the experience of trauma, recovery, and loss. The characters weave together in a haunting, delicate dance, leaving the reader unable to hide from the raw violence of life, but with hope too that it doesn’t always have to be this way. . . . Steve Wineman has given us a rare gift.

Neil Howard, Research Fellow, University of Antwerp, Author, Child Trafficking, Youth Labour Mobility and the Politics of Protection