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Breaking the Chains of the Past Overcoming Childhood Trauma Through the Power of the Atonement *

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Author - Douglas Dobberfhul

Whether a person is born into an LDS family and experiences abuse or later converts and had an abusive past, it is critical for the adult survivor to find hope, comfort, and healing. Yet all too often, as these brave individuals reach out for help, they struggle in overcoming the gap between the doctrine of the Atonement and the practical application of it. How frustrating it is to be members of Christ’s Church and not know how to use the greatest gift He has given us — His infinite and everlasting sacrifice.

The aim of this book is to help those who are survivors of childhood abuse — emotional, physical, and sexual — in two ways. The first is to help readers understand the stumbling blocks that come from childhood abuse that keep us from embracing the power of the Atonement of Christ. The second is to explore concrete, how-to methods of applying and gaining the promised healing that Christ offers us.

This book offers many stories and case examples, showing real struggles of members as they try to find the Savior and seek for peace. Their stories will encourage and give hope to anyone who is searching for the promised blessings of healing.

Editorial Reviews: 

Doug Dobberfuhl's latest book is inspiring because every word he has written is based on his own experience of healing from profound childhood trauma using the Savior's atonement. Here is a professional counselor and writer who has held fast to that sacred power and now is a guide for others who still suffer. —Tamera Smith Allred, LMHC, MA,

This book is going to help a lot of people. Incorporating attachment and relating it to our spirituality and relationship with God is genius. —Tyler Andrus, MS

I have read and pondered this book. It was well written and thoughtful. There was a good mix of examples for all aspects of the subject of the Atonement and how to apply it. I really liked following some the stories of people who used the Atonement. Although I’ve had some therapy many years ago, this book helped me to understand my relationship with the Atonement and how it truly affects me. —Karen L.

Douglas Dobberfuhl was born and raised in northwestern Wisconsin, where the snow was deep and the summers were humid. As a child, he could be found at the local swimming pool or immersed in a book. Doug served a full-time LDS Church mission in Brussels, Belgium. When he came home, he attended Brigham Young University. During his first semester at BYU, he met his future wife, Stephanie. She got his attention during a food fight at the Deseret Towers cafeteria. They were married six months later in the Los Angeles Temple and went on to have five children.

Doug received a masters of science degree in marriage and family therapy from Nova Southeastern University. He has worked as a counselor for twenty years. He has been a clinical supervisor, offered home-based counseling, done outpatient as well as inpatient work, and is the founder of The Center for Trauma and Addiction in Vancouver, Washington.

Doug also wrote Overcoming Addiction: The Journey Begins, Overcoming Addiction: A Twelve-Step Companion Guide, andHealing the Codependent Heart. He has been a contributing editor for SheUnlimited online magazine, a woman’s health and wellness periodical, as well as for A Second Opinion, a health and holistic-healing magazine. He is the author of Using Scrapbooking to Heal from Childhood Trauma, as well as many articles for treatment centers, including “Sexually Reactive Female Adolescents: Theory and Case Study,” and “Intellectualizing: Denying Emotional States.”

Deseret Book


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  1. Unique and effective approach... 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 9th Dec 2015

    Doug's approach to the topic of addiction recovery and overcoming past trauma is unique and effective, in my experience. He does what many people struggle to do, that is, explain the HOW of the Atonement in a way that speaks to those struggling with change.

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