Book Review: “The Healing Spirit” by Dr. Leo Stossich

The Healing Spirit –A Study of Seven Journeys to Recovery from Childhood Sexual Abuse.  Leo Stossich 2019 Wipf & Stock

If you are in Christian ministry as a pastor, pastoral carer, home group leader, you need to read this book. Every Christian Minister should have this book on their book shelf and in their hearts. Dr Stossich has captured the heart of healing, especially as it pertains to healing for the wounded spirits of those who have been victims of sexual abuse, particularly childhood sexual abuse in the context of Christian Ministry. The stories of real people, as told by themselves, are revealed and studied to bring revelation of how healing can (and does not) occur.

The latest statistics show that in almost every congregation there are people who have been affected by the scourge of sexual predation. They live in every community. They look just like every one else but deep inside there are hurts. Memories rush to the surface in quiet moments, fears that bubble up, overwhelming them. These are triggered by things which could be as innocent as a style of clothing worn by someone, or a word, sound, smell or place. They are ordinary, every-day occurrences which are beyond their control.

These people need healing. The love of God demands they have it. Yet many ministers go about their daily business oblivious to the need for healing in these dear ones who are sometimes their most avid supporters. Leo’s book will give every minister more clarity, compassion and direction around these serious issues. If you are a minister who loves people, you need to read this book.

Leo also addresses the issues surrounding spiritual ministry. The second chapter of this book is one of the best explorations of spiritual ministry, especially dealing with healing, written in recent years. Leo delves into what spiritual ministry is all about, bringing revelation in an easy to read fashion. His section on spiritual healing is enormously helpful in understanding this ministry.

The testimonies of seven people who have been abused as children will affect you. In my reading of this book, I had to put it down time after time so that I could process what I had just read. The deep understanding these imparted to me is invaluable. The fact that their recoveries were facilitated through their local churches is a wonderful testimony to the efficacy of spiritual healing of the deepest hurts, brought about through the ministry of ordinary people. God is eager to heal the brokenness of humanity.

Leo Stossich is an ordained minister with The Full Gospel Churches of Australia, leads a vibrant church in Hobart, Tasmania and is a well respected academic in his field.

You can purchase this book via Amazon, on or direct from the author: Dr. Leo Stossich <>  for $35 including postage.