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What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing

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"Through this lens we can build a renewed sense of personal self-worth and ultimately recalibrate our responses to circumstances, situations, and relationships. It is, in other words, the key to reshaping our very lives.” ―Oprah Winfrey This book is going to change the way you see your life. Have you ever wondered "Why did I do that?" or "Why can't I just control my behavior? "Through this lens we can build a renewed sense of personal self-worth and ultimately recalibrate our responses to circumstances, situations, and relationships. It is, in other words, the key to reshaping our very lives.” ―Oprah Winfrey This book is going to change the way you see your life. Have you ever wondered "Why did I do that?" or "Why can't I just control my behavior?" Others may judge our reactions and think, "What's wrong with that person?" When questioning our emotions, it's easy to place the blame on ourselves; holding ourselves and those around us to an impossible standard. It's time we started asking a different question. Through deeply personal conversations, Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry offer a groundbreaking and profound shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” Our earliest experiences shape our lives far down the road, and What Happened to You? provides powerful scientific and emotional insights into the behavioral patterns so many of us struggle to understand. Here, Winfrey shares stories from her own past, understanding through experience the vulnerability that comes from facing trauma and adversity at a young age. Joining forces with Dr. Perry, one of the world’s leading experts on childhood and brain development, Winfrey and Dr. Perry marry the power of storytelling with science to better understand and overcome the effects of our pasts. In conversation throughout the book, the two focus on understanding people, behavior, and ourselves. It’s a subtle but profound shift in our approach to trauma, and it’s one that allows us to understand our pasts in order to clear a path to our future―opening the door to resilience and healing in a proven, powerful way.


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"Through this lens we can build a renewed sense of personal self-worth and ultimately recalibrate our responses to circumstances, situations, and relationships. It is, in other words, the key to reshaping our very lives.” ―Oprah Winfrey This book is going to change the way you see your life. Have you ever wondered "Why did I do that?" or "Why can't I just control my behavior? "Through this lens we can build a renewed sense of personal self-worth and ultimately recalibrate our responses to circumstances, situations, and relationships. It is, in other words, the key to reshaping our very lives.” ―Oprah Winfrey This book is going to change the way you see your life. Have you ever wondered "Why did I do that?" or "Why can't I just control my behavior?" Others may judge our reactions and think, "What's wrong with that person?" When questioning our emotions, it's easy to place the blame on ourselves; holding ourselves and those around us to an impossible standard. It's time we started asking a different question. Through deeply personal conversations, Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry offer a groundbreaking and profound shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” Our earliest experiences shape our lives far down the road, and What Happened to You? provides powerful scientific and emotional insights into the behavioral patterns so many of us struggle to understand. Here, Winfrey shares stories from her own past, understanding through experience the vulnerability that comes from facing trauma and adversity at a young age. Joining forces with Dr. Perry, one of the world’s leading experts on childhood and brain development, Winfrey and Dr. Perry marry the power of storytelling with science to better understand and overcome the effects of our pasts. In conversation throughout the book, the two focus on understanding people, behavior, and ourselves. It’s a subtle but profound shift in our approach to trauma, and it’s one that allows us to understand our pasts in order to clear a path to our future―opening the door to resilience and healing in a proven, powerful way.

30 review for What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing

  1. 5 out of 5

    Traci S

    Add this to the list of books that should be required reading. I saved all of the resources they provided and am looking forward to visiting the book's website. To be fair, however, I'm over Oprah and her "my school in South Africa" - seriously it could've been a drinking game. Add this to the list of books that should be required reading. I saved all of the resources they provided and am looking forward to visiting the book's website. To be fair, however, I'm over Oprah and her "my school in South Africa" - seriously it could've been a drinking game.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook… read by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey …..8 hours and 27 minutes “Biologically speaking…. continuous trauma can weaken remaining neutral pathways to the thinking part of the brain and strengthen neutral pathways to the survival part, thus bypassing the thinking part, which makes some children less capable of coping with adversity as they grow up”. The terrific duo conversational styling, was enhanced in the audiobook format. “What Happened To You?” rather than “what’s wrong with you?” u Audiobook… read by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey …..8 hours and 27 minutes “Biologically speaking…. continuous trauma can weaken remaining neutral pathways to the thinking part of the brain and strengthen neutral pathways to the survival part, thus bypassing the thinking part, which makes some children less capable of coping with adversity as they grow up”. The terrific duo conversational styling, was enhanced in the audiobook format. “What Happened To You?” rather than “what’s wrong with you?” uncovers interesting scientific findings that directly corresponds to emotional, psychological, or physical trauma. Genuinely eye-opening— ….new understandings about feelings, PTSD, vibration of love, etc. ….revolutionary aspects are discussed- and it makes perfect sense. ….healing possibilities are possible — no matter what the past traumatic situation was. Clearly we are not done learning about mental health. Well researched —a terrific addition to the great books that address worthiness, shame, vulnerability, early childhood trauma and the effects on the brain throughout a persons life… …on self-awareness, continued education and guidelines for living wholeheartedly from a peaceful inner world of worthiness. Interesting stories balanced with Scientific Findings. All proceeds from this book are donated to the Boys and Girls Club Mississippi.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Schizanthus Nerd

    As you move through the experiences of your past, know that no matter what happened, your being here, vibrant and alive, makes you worthy. You alone are enough. Sometimes a book will come into your life at exactly the right time. Traumas, both from childhood and more recent times, have been making themselves known to me with an urgency I haven’t experienced before, at a time that seems more inconvenient than pretty much any other time in my life. Although I’d love to push it all to the side As you move through the experiences of your past, know that no matter what happened, your being here, vibrant and alive, makes you worthy. You alone are enough. Sometimes a book will come into your life at exactly the right time. Traumas, both from childhood and more recent times, have been making themselves known to me with an urgency I haven’t experienced before, at a time that seems more inconvenient than pretty much any other time in my life. Although I’d love to push it all to the side, with a ‘Not now! Can’t you see I’m busy reading?’, there’s also a knowing that there’s never going to be a good time and that maybe, just maybe, there’s a reason it’s all coming up for me now. So, here I am, trying to figure out what healing will look like for me and having conversations with people who are seeing my resilience from the outside in vastly different ways than I’m perceiving it from the inside. Then this book, which covers the trifecta of what my brain has decided is my priority right now (trauma, resilience and healing), makes its way into my world. The shift from asking ‘what’s wrong with you?’ to ‘what happened to you?’ is something I’ve yearned to hear for most of my life. Western society is so fixed on labels, which I know have their place and can be useful, but all too often pasting a diagnosis (or multiple diagnoses) on someone marginalises them more than it helps them. If we don’t get to the core of why a person behaves the way they do then we’re really missing the point, and the opportunity to best support them. All of us want to know that what we do, what we say and who we are, matters. Dr. Perry’s work in understanding how the brain’s development is impacted by early trauma helps explain why we behave the way we do, for example, why some people lash out in anger and others withdraw into themselves. There’s science in this book but it was explained in a way that made sense to me, someone who hasn’t formally studied science since high school. Even if you don’t understand a concept the first time it’s mentioned it’s okay as it will be referred to in later conversations. If words like ‘brainstem’, ‘diencephalon’, ‘limbic’ and ‘cortex’ make you want to disengage, I’d encourage you to hold on because how the science relates to someone’s life will be explained. This, in turn, will make it easier to apply what’s being said to your own life. You’ll read about people Dr. Perry has worked with, people Oprah has interviewed and about Oprah’s own experiences. Knowledge truly is powerful and simply having an understanding of why a smell or sound (‘evocative cues’) can cause people with PTSD to have flashbacks, making them feel as though they’re right back in that moment, feels like half the battle. If you’re not caught up in judging yourself for your brain responding the way that it does, then it frees up so much energy that you can use to regulate yourself. I learned about how our view of the world becomes a “self-fulfilling prophecy”, why self harm makes so much sense to the people who do it (even though it baffles the people who don’t), the importance of rhythm in regulation, how vital connections with other people are to healing and why I need to learn more about neuroplasticity. I gained a much better understanding of flock, freeze, flight and fight. Dissociation, which I thought I knew all about from personal experience, make much more sense to me now, as does why I find reading so helpful in my everyday life. I love facts and there were some that really put what I was reading into context for me. During the first nine months, fetal brain development is explosive, at times reaching a rate of 20,000 new neurons ‘born’ per second. In comparison, an adult may, on a good day, create 700. This book isn’t about blaming anyone for your trauma and it’s not giving you an excuse for bad behaviour. It does explain why you react the way you do and can help silence the voice inside you that tells you there’s something wrong with you because of it - your reaction is reasonable given your history but there is also hope; you can heal. I would recommend this book to so many people. Before I’d even begun reading I’d recommended it to my GP and would not hesitate in recommending it to anyone who works in a profession that brings them into contact with young children and their families or trauma survivors. To this day, the role that trauma and developmental adversity play in mental and physical health remains under appreciated. I would recommend it to trauma survivors, although with a few caveats: that they stay safe while reading (some of the content is bound to be triggering), read at their own pace and make good use of their support system as needed. Loved ones of trauma survivors will find explanations for why their friend or family member behaves the way that they do and ways they can help. I’m not someone who usually listens to audiobooks but if there’s a book that would be more suited for that format than this one, a series of conversations between Dr. Perry and Oprah, I can’t think of it. Of course, having grown up with Oprah, I heard everything she said in her voice as I read anyway but I’m definitely planning to reread via audiobook. It takes courage to confront your actions, peel back the layers of trauma in our lives and expose the raw truth of what happened. But, this is where healing begins. Content warnings include mention of (view spoiler)[addiction, alcoholism, bullying, death by suicide, domestic violence, foster care, gun violence, mental health, murder, neglect, physical abuse, physical health, poverty, racism, self harm, sexual assault, slavery, suicidal ideation and traumatic loss (hide spoiler)] . Thank you so much to NetGalley and Bluebird, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, for the opportunity to read this book. Blog - https://schizanthusnerd.com

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anneke

    I wrote my review in Dutch ;-) on April 25th (can be viewed on my linkedin; this is a shortened, slightly altered English version) What happened to you? What happened to you that made you feel this way right here, right now .. What happened to you that made you react this way .. What happened to you? Perhaps the most important question you can ask as a therapist, as a person. It is the title of Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey's book. A book that I could not put down, a book that belongs (at the I wrote my review in Dutch ;-) on April 25th (can be viewed on my linkedin; this is a shortened, slightly altered English version) What happened to you? What happened to you that made you feel this way right here, right now .. What happened to you that made you react this way .. What happened to you? Perhaps the most important question you can ask as a therapist, as a person. It is the title of Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey's book. A book that I could not put down, a book that belongs (at the top) of each list of books that every psychologist and therapist should read (and re-read). The book combines the art of storytelling with solid scientific knowledge. Oprah Winfrey's personal story is alternated with client stories and stories from Oprahs interviews. Dr. Perry connects his experience to the stories from both Oprah and his practice, adding explanations based on his extensive scientific knowledge of affective neurobiology paired with personal insights from his clinical practice. Evidence Base and Practice Base thus become intertwined. The importance of relationships, of connection to group and culture, the effects of neglect and trauma, the resilience of people and the long way that often has to be taken to leave trauma behind in order to arrive at 'post traumatic wisdom' are at the heart of this important book. People are narrative beings, many forms of therapy use stories (thinking of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy or Attachment Narrative Therapy) as a tool to help patients get insights and help them integrate and tolerate what happened to them. The power of the stories in this book is that they take the reader by the hand and make it relatively easy to understand the importance of brainscience in understanding what happened to you during trauma, thus facilitating the road to recovery. For people who are familiar with Dr. Perry's work, who know his neurosequential model and / or are trained in its use, the book is just a joy to read. So much recognition and deepening of knowledge. The pictures and graphs in particular have been beautifully redesigned and are therefore even clearer than before. The choice of writing a book in the format of a conversation between Oprah and Dr. Perry makes it very enjoyable to read. For many readers, stuff will be familiar from their clinical practice, from their own lives. Trauma is often around. As was proven by the Adverse Childhood Experience studies that show us that as much as 50% of adult population have experienced early childhood adversity. But experiencing adversity is not all. The ACE score is important but, Dr. Perry explains, tells you nothing about the timing, pattern, and intensity of the stress and dysregulation that accompanied the adversity. The ACE score can not predict the impact or the outcome. Since an ACE score does not pay attention to the presence of relational and practical buffers, it is a starting point but there is much more to (early) childhood adversity than just the number of ACE's. Timing and relationships are equally essential when looking at trauma, impact and recovery. The book ends with a chapter on 'post traumatic wisdom' where Dr. Perry writes: "when you've lived through adversity, you can come to a point in your life where you can look back, reflect, learn and grow from the experience. I believe it's hard to understand humankind unless you know a little bit about adversity. Adversity, challenges, disappointment, loss, trauma - all can contribute to the capacity to be broadly empathic, to become wise." (p.285) Oprahs answer to that is "When you're able to really see another person, that's true compassion, and extending yourself in compassion to another human being changes the nature of our relationships, our communities, and our world. The acknowledgment of one human being by another is what bonds us. Asking 'What happened to you?' expands the human connection." (p.287) Looking at trauma through the neurosequential lens as Dr. Perry suggests, makes working with traumatized children, adolescents and adults different, and in my humble opinion better. It is perfectly summarized in the question that is also the title of this book: What happened to you? In paying attention to what happened, when is happenend and which relational resources were available at the time it happened, we get a better understanding of the impact and the extent of adverse experiences. Trauma work, in any setting, should always revolve around these questions. There is so much more to write about this wonderful book, but that would only give you "spoilers". Read it. Reread it. Use it. Together we can change the way we view and treat adversity and trauma, the way we help traumatized children and adults the way we combine Evidence Base and Practice Base. Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey show us the way. Let's embrace that. Let's all start with asking: what happened to you? © Anneke Vinke, PhD, psychologist, 25 april 2021

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Bruce D. Perry Published April 27, 2021 #MUSTREAD ~OUR "CAREGIVERS" CAN REALLY F.U.U. ! Our earliest experiences shape our lives far down the road, and What Happened to You? provides powerful scientific and emotional insights into the behavioral patterns so many of us struggle to understand. "Through this lens we can build a renewed sense of personal self-worth and ultimately recalibrate our responses to circumstances, situat What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Bruce D. Perry Published April 27, 2021 #MUSTREAD ~OUR "CAREGIVERS" CAN REALLY F.U.U. ! Our earliest experiences shape our lives far down the road, and What Happened to You? provides powerful scientific and emotional insights into the behavioral patterns so many of us struggle to understand. "Through this lens we can build a renewed sense of personal self-worth and ultimately recalibrate our responses to circumstances, situations, and relationships. It is, in other words, the key to reshaping our very lives."—Oprah Winfrey This audiobook is going to change the way you see your life. Have you ever wondered "Why did I do that?" or "Why can't I just control my behavior?" Others may judge our reactions and think, "What's wrong with that person?" When questioning our emotions, it's easy to place the blame on ourselves; holding ourselves and those around us to an impossible standard. It's time we started asking a different question. Through deeply personal conversations, Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry offer a groundbreaking and profound shift from asking "What's wrong with you?" to "What happened to you?" Here, Winfrey shares stories from her own past, understanding through experience the vulnerability that comes from facing trauma and adversity at a young age. In conversation throughout the audiobook, she and Dr. Perry focus on understanding people, behavior, and ourselves. It's a subtle but profound shift in our approach to trauma, and it's one that allows us to understand our pasts in order to clear a path to our future—opening the door to resilience and healing in a proven, powerful way.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anna Rosa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'm listening to this as an audio book. I think any book explaining PTSD; the causes and explaining how our brains react to our pasts are always important and relevant.. I found it so interesting in the first chapters , how when we are little we are incredibly sensitive to our caregivers emotions and behaviours; this makes sense since we are completely dependent on them for our survival so we absorb everything going on in our environment.I think anyone could read/listen to his book and have a co I'm listening to this as an audio book. I think any book explaining PTSD; the causes and explaining how our brains react to our pasts are always important and relevant.. I found it so interesting in the first chapters , how when we are little we are incredibly sensitive to our caregivers emotions and behaviours; this makes sense since we are completely dependent on them for our survival so we absorb everything going on in our environment.I think anyone could read/listen to his book and have a complete understanding of what PTSD is it's outline so clearly and with so many diverse examples "We elicit from the world what we project into the world, which is based on what happened to us." When you find an addiction, don't be ashamed. When you confront an addiction you are doing the deepest spiritual work you can do on this Earth. Explains links between addiction and trauma > unpredictability, chaos, unpredictability = caregivers = source of pain, chaos, abuse unpredictable stress and lack of control = stress response systems are sensitised, over reactive Humans are emotionally contagious -> sense distress of others "Love is the foundation of our development" Also loveddddd so much the idea that privilege is actually also simply FEELING SAFE IN YOUR ENVIRONMENT and being able to regulate yourself. Think both minorities and women can relate to that. Men don't realise the impact of their behaviour towards women. It definitely is a privilege to feel safe and heard and that you belong somewhere, that is easy to take for granted if you haven't ever experienced the opposite too.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lady

    Oprah’s book picks usually go over like a lead balloon with me. I must be a glutton for punishment because I decided to try this. I figured it would be like the others after it focuses on trauma experiences from the start, and I have none of those. I’m glad I stuck with it because I did learn a lot. I consider myself to have had a loving, idyllic and happy childhood. Even though it was trauma free, this book explains how growing up that way leads to a life of trusting people, seeing the good in Oprah’s book picks usually go over like a lead balloon with me. I must be a glutton for punishment because I decided to try this. I figured it would be like the others after it focuses on trauma experiences from the start, and I have none of those. I’m glad I stuck with it because I did learn a lot. I consider myself to have had a loving, idyllic and happy childhood. Even though it was trauma free, this book explains how growing up that way leads to a life of trusting people, seeing the good in all situations, things like that. That is how I am and it was interesting to see the correlation. On the flip side, I never thought about the question “What happened to you?” when observing “problem” people you encounter throughout your life. I feel this book opened my eyes to a simple question that completely turns around your thoughts of someone. It’s so simple and mind blowing that I’ve never turned the question from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”

  8. 4 out of 5

    April Capil

    This book was a heart-opening read, and put so many memories and relationships in perspective for me. It ties in with everything I've learned from Alfred Adler's work, from books like "The Body Keeps The Score," and it just made me want to hug every child close and tell them they are loved, and they matter, and they don't have to be defined by the shame or pain from past traumas. I hope that Bruce Perry's work and his approach to therapeutic counseling can be implemented by schools, hospitals, a This book was a heart-opening read, and put so many memories and relationships in perspective for me. It ties in with everything I've learned from Alfred Adler's work, from books like "The Body Keeps The Score," and it just made me want to hug every child close and tell them they are loved, and they matter, and they don't have to be defined by the shame or pain from past traumas. I hope that Bruce Perry's work and his approach to therapeutic counseling can be implemented by schools, hospitals, and law enforcement agencies, so we can have a better understanding of how people are hurt by trauma, and how we can help them heal and recover in healthier ways. This is such an important book, it should be required reading for teachers, police officers, and medical professionals. I'm so thankful Oprah brought Dr. Perry's work to the level of notoriety it deserves. I've already started "Born For Love," his other book about the cultivation of empathy. <3

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    Man, I really loved this book. It was an incredibly fascinating tour through the way the MIND processes trauma. There was a quote, "we prefer the certainty of misery to the misery of uncertainty", that stuck with me when he said it. He also points out that in trauma, we are not "resilient". We don't bounce back unchanged. We are forever changed. And we have to work hard to readjust and change the lens which has been altered during the traumatic event. We're malleable. Not resilient. I appreciate Man, I really loved this book. It was an incredibly fascinating tour through the way the MIND processes trauma. There was a quote, "we prefer the certainty of misery to the misery of uncertainty", that stuck with me when he said it. He also points out that in trauma, we are not "resilient". We don't bounce back unchanged. We are forever changed. And we have to work hard to readjust and change the lens which has been altered during the traumatic event. We're malleable. Not resilient. I appreciated that. Abuse of any sort changes you. Period. You NEVER see things the same way you did prior. It's learning to change that lens again afterward that is the process of healing. I loved this book a lot. It was a really great listen as I'm on my own journey and I highly recommend it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Billie Byron

    I will read more. But getting toxic and possibly gaslighting language that it’s going to be from a “privilege” bubble. Oprah was lucky to survive, privileged that she has “language intelligence”, good support from Maya and Gayle. If you work in drug rehabilitation or other abused children areas you know these things are a huge fortunate advantage for a child. Language intelligence is a huge advantage for Oprah.. I work with some disabilities today. So it’s like a transectional train wreck, enoug I will read more. But getting toxic and possibly gaslighting language that it’s going to be from a “privilege” bubble. Oprah was lucky to survive, privileged that she has “language intelligence”, good support from Maya and Gayle. If you work in drug rehabilitation or other abused children areas you know these things are a huge fortunate advantage for a child. Language intelligence is a huge advantage for Oprah.. I work with some disabilities today. So it’s like a transectional train wreck, enough intelligent kind friends. Good intelligence. Freedom from enmeshed toxic narcissistic scapegoating families... Many never experienced either.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christie

    I could not even wait for my first copy of the book to arrive after attending one of the virtual book tours with Oprah and Dr. Perry. I picked up a second copy locally and dove into the book. I adore the conversational format and the detailed examples that I am sure readers will identify with. The first particular point made in the book regarding children feeling the vibrations in the house shook me to my core. This wording will allow clients to easily understand that younger does not equal less I could not even wait for my first copy of the book to arrive after attending one of the virtual book tours with Oprah and Dr. Perry. I picked up a second copy locally and dove into the book. I adore the conversational format and the detailed examples that I am sure readers will identify with. The first particular point made in the book regarding children feeling the vibrations in the house shook me to my core. This wording will allow clients to easily understand that younger does not equal less affected. It is the opposite. 💣 Truth bomb for most of the world. Thank you, Oprah and Dr. Bruce Perry for molding this tough topic into what feels like an easy to read chat with good friends.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Desiree

    Not all that impressed with this one, Oprah. Unless you are very interested in child development/psychology, not sure this is worth the time. Additionally, I don't agree that trauma can only encompass severe situations (e.g., sexual abuse, child abuse). I personally have a broader definition, and this book didn't include relevant information from that perspective. There also wasn't much about how to heal the trauma, especially as an adult. I do, however, like the idea of reframing the question t Not all that impressed with this one, Oprah. Unless you are very interested in child development/psychology, not sure this is worth the time. Additionally, I don't agree that trauma can only encompass severe situations (e.g., sexual abuse, child abuse). I personally have a broader definition, and this book didn't include relevant information from that perspective. There also wasn't much about how to heal the trauma, especially as an adult. I do, however, like the idea of reframing the question to what happened to you, rather than what's wrong with you, and relieving some of the victim aspect while not dissolving accountability.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I wanted to like this book and I did like the theme that pulsed throughout. However, I had some issues with the mixed messages such as "if you didn't know love as a child, you can never love", then later on saying everyone can heal. Also, many times throughout the book there was some negative generalizations and pre-judging of single parents, which I found highly inappropriate. (There are some single parents who are rocking it and some two-parent homes that are not.). Finally, confirmation bias I wanted to like this book and I did like the theme that pulsed throughout. However, I had some issues with the mixed messages such as "if you didn't know love as a child, you can never love", then later on saying everyone can heal. Also, many times throughout the book there was some negative generalizations and pre-judging of single parents, which I found highly inappropriate. (There are some single parents who are rocking it and some two-parent homes that are not.). Finally, confirmation bias was prevalent throughout, as the book seemed riddled with sensational, cherry picked stories used to illustrate the point.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Megan Rose

    This book by Oprah was absolutely mesmerizing. It is a thought provoking book about how our past defines who we are and why we are the way we are. I found so many aspects of this book essential to understanding ourselves as well as others. We truly don't know anyone until we can know what happened to them. I am so happy Oprah was in conversation with Bruce Perry and I cannot recommend this book more. This book by Oprah was absolutely mesmerizing. It is a thought provoking book about how our past defines who we are and why we are the way we are. I found so many aspects of this book essential to understanding ourselves as well as others. We truly don't know anyone until we can know what happened to them. I am so happy Oprah was in conversation with Bruce Perry and I cannot recommend this book more.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Yan Cheung

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thank you Oprah and Dr. Perry. I cried when Shaka said he always wanted to be a doctor because his mom was always nice to doctors. I cried when Oprah was playing a role of a mother but couldn’t “tuck in” her “daughter” right because she was never tuck in for bedtime. Thank you Oprah and Dr. Perry. “What happened to you can be what happened for you. What happened to you can be your strength!” Thank you for that.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shweta Nigam

    A great book that might open pandora's box of past trauma for many. The amount of research that must have gone into this is commendable. A lot of aha moments of understanding ensue. The only drawback is the fact that they tie everything back to the racism & trauma faced by the people of color in the States, hence relatability could be an issue in the Indian context. Yet an important and relevant book. A great book that might open pandora's box of past trauma for many. The amount of research that must have gone into this is commendable. A lot of aha moments of understanding ensue. The only drawback is the fact that they tie everything back to the racism & trauma faced by the people of color in the States, hence relatability could be an issue in the Indian context. Yet an important and relevant book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karen Berlin

    An audiobook narrated in interview style, the back-and-forth exchange between Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey blends research, experience and personal insights to deepen readers' understanding of trauma, its long-term impact, and ways to help ourselves and others recalibrate, self-regulate and move forward. Associated resources and pdf provide a path for further learning. An audiobook narrated in interview style, the back-and-forth exchange between Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey blends research, experience and personal insights to deepen readers' understanding of trauma, its long-term impact, and ways to help ourselves and others recalibrate, self-regulate and move forward. Associated resources and pdf provide a path for further learning.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I liked the mind expanding idea that as educators (or in other roles) we sometimes ask the wrong questions related to behaviors. Although it’s daunting for us to consider how impactful the first months of life are for healthy development, ultimately we are lifted by the authors’ optimistic message that healing - both individually and collectively - is possible.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    What if we asked “what happened to you?” Instead of “what’s wrong with you?”? What if we heal the generational trauma instead of passing it on to the next generation? This book fabulous! It gave me lots to think about and reminded me to have more grace for myself and others, we are all fighting deep wounds.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Katt

    This was a difficult yet educational read. Oprah ends with one of my favorite quotes that no one seems to know who penned first. "Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a different past" I'm not there yet. This book will open your eyes and make you cry. I highly recommend listening to it as it is more like a pod cast with Oprah. This was a difficult yet educational read. Oprah ends with one of my favorite quotes that no one seems to know who penned first. "Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a different past" I'm not there yet. This book will open your eyes and make you cry. I highly recommend listening to it as it is more like a pod cast with Oprah.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sonal Apte

    This should absolutely be required reading for everyone. Why? Because it explains how we don't really know anyone until we know what happened to them. And from that perspective, it gives educators, parents, and really everybody who interacts with humans a new perspective on why we as humans act the way we do. It's easily the best non-clinical book on trauma I've ever read. Definite must read. This should absolutely be required reading for everyone. Why? Because it explains how we don't really know anyone until we know what happened to them. And from that perspective, it gives educators, parents, and really everybody who interacts with humans a new perspective on why we as humans act the way we do. It's easily the best non-clinical book on trauma I've ever read. Definite must read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    WOW. I am finishing up listening to this book with tears rolling down my face. This was incredibly interesting and deep. Simple ideas turned inward left me doing a lot of soul searching and introspection. I had to listen in chucks, because emotionally it was a lot to take in and process. It was honestly astounding. I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melinda Kline

    I am a bit of a geek/groupie about Dr. Bruce Perry! I loved this conversation between he and Oprah. Many great examples and reminders of how to treat others and how trauma can show up in someone’s behaviors! My work team is reading this one and discussing!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tory Lanman

    If you interact with people on a daily basis, you HAVE to read this book. As an educator, it opened my eyes to how to work better with students and with parents as well. It even allowed me to reflect on my own trauma and anxiety.

  25. 5 out of 5

    David Foster

    What I appreciate about Oprah is that she never engages these topics with a shallow lens. Dr. Bruce Perry does the majority of the talking. This is a good intro to anyone who wants to learn more about trauma and was helpful for me as a social work student.

  26. 4 out of 5

    TJ Rumler

    While this book doesn’t present a ton of new information for those deep in trauma work, it’s format and presentation is excellent. Dr. Perry and Oprah compliment each other so well, and I recommend getting the audio version as a companion for that reason. EXCELLENT book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shirley

    What a healing book! And yet, what else did I expect from Oprah? This book enriched my understanding of trauma, of people, of myself. This book is essential reading to help further develop empathy and self-compassion. I'll surely revisit the book again and again. What a healing book! And yet, what else did I expect from Oprah? This book enriched my understanding of trauma, of people, of myself. This book is essential reading to help further develop empathy and self-compassion. I'll surely revisit the book again and again.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Henry

    This is a must read book for clinicians and victims of vicarious trauma. I purchased this book on Tuesday and I am glued to the pages. We are absolutely not what happened to us! We have the capacity of rewiring our brains through neuroplasticity to create new neural pathways and heal!

  29. 4 out of 5

    All Things Library

    New at the library

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    This was one of the best non-clinical books about trauma that I have ever experienced. I listened to the audio and would strongly recommend this format.

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