What are people saying about this book?

Below are a selection of reviews from Amazon and the press. Please add your own comments about the book at the bottom of this page.

“I owe a debt of thanks to Dr Nina Burrowes for this book. As someone who detests self help books, I was completely unprepared for the profound positive impact this had on me immediately (especially the science bit). It is the most constructive resource I personally have had access to. If you, a friend or someone in your life is struggling with this experience, I urge you to check out Nina’s book – its honesty and simplicity challenges and supports you in taking the same approach yourself.”


“An uplifting hopeful book about the human strength to overcome” The Guardian


“This is the best book on the subject I have ever come across. I am a very visual person and so this book just made so much sense to me, books that are too wordy or clinical get into my logical brain and I try and analyze the things I feel and think, the reasons why, and I try and make sense.

This book however goes deeper than that, it gets to a part of your brain that you can not easily reach, because all the elements of you can understand, they can “see” and “hear” the words and the pictures. Many would have been much younger when they were abused and the way this book is made, it felt like it was talking directly to those younger damaged elements of myself.

When I first read Nina’s chapter 2 – I’m not mad – I was moved by how she just “got it”, right in front of me were my own feelings and fears that I dared never speak of, that I held in me because I thought it was only me who felt that way… suddenly it wasn’t just me anymore and that is why this book is so special.”


“Undeniably fresh and interesting… This is a book that leaves victims feeling less alone and more positive” Louder Than War


“Having worked with survivors for many years now, this book is just what is needed.When people are in emotional pain and feeling vulnerable they are unable to process complex text and ideas.They need simple effective and empowering help.This book shows them they are not alone and though their journey may be painful and fearful they will survive and heal.I have already given this to one of my clients and I can envisage doing this to many others in the future.”


“This book clearly outlines some of the patterns sexually abused people follow to cope with their abuse. The beauty of this book lies in enabling people to realise “I’m not alone”. The trauma of sexual abuse is profound, the effects of isolation are toxic. “I’m not alone” is lifebelt. The fact this book is in cartoon form is also enormously helpful. Instead of wading through acres of text, which is off putting especially when the subject is painful, you can scan through and get the message, and due to the format there is a sense of “permission” to put it down and come back to it – in fact this is allowed for by the cunning use of cats! Also some of the drawings are incredibly moving and capture in one black and white line drawing, what is almost impossible to put into words. Huge thumbs up for this book.”


“I’ve been following “The Cartooning Psychologist” for some time on Twitter, and found myself identifying with the example chapters with a mixture of sorrow and wry amusement. I knew this was a book I had to read as soon as it came out.

Different stories and experiences are presented in short, manageable chapters; each through the eyes of a different woman and kept personal and intimate. The introduction creates vital safe space and helped me understand how I was processing the information and where I needed to take breaks for reflection – the cats were inspired! Unusually, neither science nor emotion was dismissed, but both displayed hand in hand, giving a holistic approach that can reach more women and their needs.

Each chapter was relatable in some way and I found myself crying, smiling and even laughing at different points as I saw my own journey, hopes and fears reflected in this work. It gave me the space and a point of reference to really stop and look at my own progression and areas of need, and something that I can present to friends and colleagues to help explain the little bubble I live in!

Even if this subject matter doesn’t seem “personal” to you, this book can play a vital role in challenging stereotypes and myths, and helping society change its outlook on support and sexual abuse. A thoroughly recommended read!”


“This wonderful book is thoughtfully written and produced with sensitivity, knowledge and care. It literally is heartwarming, something much needed for those living with an abusive past and those that live with them. Thank you.”


“This book is an excellent resource for people recovering from childhood sexual abuse. As a survivor and a trained support group facilitator, I have spent nearly thirty years in support groups. I have witnessed first hand the scenarios described in this book, and I have experienced the positive impact group involvement can have. I will certainly recommend this book to survivors of rape and sexual abuse.”


“I read the first chapter of this on line, and then waited for the book so I could read it curled up on the sofa. It is a really beautiful and touching book, the illustrations are simple, but powerful, and it is filled with compassion and kindness. I identified with so much of it, and found huge relief in that. It has given me a new positivity to move forward, thank you”


“Having followed this book being written online, it is great to finally read through it as a whole. As someone who has experienced sexual abuse I found this book gave words to the things I have often felt or thought, and made me realise that I am not the only person who thinks or feels those things, I’m not a freak. It just made me feel less alone, and for that I am thankful.”


“I think this book is an excellent resource- very effective indeed at breaking down complex ideas into digestible and concise explanations. It’s incredibly refreshing to have this kind of information displayed in such a creative manner, and I think that’s what makes it so accessible/relatable.
I was fortunate enough to complete a training course to do with supporting female survivors of rape and sexual abuse, and the content of the course was very much aligned with The Courage to be Me. It really is a very useful insight into the complexities of life after rape or sexual abuse, and I’d recommend it to anyone who a) cares about this issue, b) is supporting a survivor or, crucially, c) anyone who is a survivor and perhaps has had difficulty figuring out what’s next. The world needs this book.”



  1. We love seeing the snippets of The Courage To Be Me released by Nina Burrowes – we want to read the whole book as one piece, so we’re rationing ourselves!

    The book is a wonderful idea, and we love how it’s presented.

    To the survivors gaining courage, each time a new chapter is released – we believe you. We know it wasn’t your fault.

    A huge thank you to Nina & all of those who have contributed to the funding for this project.

    We can’t wait to see it completed!

  2. The chapters I have read so far are insightful and thought provoking – I look forward to reading the completed book one day.

  3. Dear Nina,

    Thank you for sharing your progress on “Courage to be me” you capture the intricate layers, impacts/affects of trauma, emotions experienced by survivors at different peaks of their healing/journey but also highlight the “courage, resilience and strength” succinctly with integrity, empathy, care and respectfully.

    Your works is incredibly inspiring and look forward to your forthcoming chapters and work!

    All the best


  4. Have just finished reading ‘The Courage to be Me’ in one sitting and I found it to be an excellent resource and insight.

    It is excellently produced and somehow each and every illustration captures the essence of what is being said, and adds to it in many instances.

    The book is straight forward and to the point but saturated with so much understanding and empathy that it creates its own environment of warmth and safety.

    As a researcher in the field of child sexual abuse striving to represent individual voice and experience this book adds much needed humanity and reality to the academic literature in the area.

    As the book rightly begins… there are millions of stories of life after abuse but so many are not told or acknowledged. The onus is on us all to create the safe space needed and this book is a welcome addition and call to action in this respect.

    Well done to Dr. Burrowes and I sincerely hope the good, great, work continues.


  5. I am in my middle forties. I’ve found the book so true. The pictures just illustrate exactly how you feel. I am in the midst of waiting for therapy to take place again. I couldn’t cope with therapy the first time and shut down and froze. I am ready to try again. I hope to gather enough strength and win. To free the real me.
    Wish me luck, give me the inner strength and help along the way.

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