body rites


a holistic healing and embodiment workbook for Black survivors of sexual trauma

by shena j young
illustrated by Shyma El Sayed
foreword by Aishah Shahidah Simmons

A written companion and workbook for readers seeking to reclaim their bodies as home in healing from sexual trauma.

Body rites as a holistic healing journey, anchored in the practice of decolonizing healing and reclaiming body sovereignty, reaches back into indigenous roots and land-based healing. It centers remembering as a means of survival.

This workbook is the first of its kind: a resource of rituals divided into four healing journeys for Black women, femmes, and nonbinary survivors of sexual assault. The experiential workbook moves beyond prescriptive self-help models by providing a gentle guide and liaison to explore the impact of sexual trauma on the mind, body, heart, and spirit. It is an invitation to heal holistically, drawing upon psychophysiology, lived body wisdom, trauma-informed embodiment practices, kinship and ancestral connections, and African spiritual practices. Most urgently, this book is a series of intimate conversations with your “self”; and remembrance that healing lives at the core of your intuition.

40 figures, 17 full-color icon illustrations

Paperback | 224 pages | W. W. Norton & Company | 2023

dr shena j young (she/her) is a licensed body centered psychologist-healer, artist, and Iyawo of Osun and Obatala in the Isese tradition of Ifa. affectionately known as dr shena, she intimately works with folks of the global majority, anchored in the pillars of remembrance, sovereignty, authenticity, intuition, and self-determination. she holds space internationally for individuals, couples, groups, and organizations committed to the ritual of calling themselves back into their bodies as a freedom practice. she owns a private practice, embodied truth healing & psychological services, rooted in Los Angeles, CA where she offers mind-body-heart-spirit care in healing from sexual, racial, intergenerational, and ancestral traumas. in community, she intuitively designs holistic moments of healing that embrace the whole person and beloved communities as they are.

Only 2 left in stock (can be backordered)

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