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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. 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.

  2. 4 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

  3. 4 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.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This was a very meaningful and thought-provoking book. I listened to this on audio, which was an enjoyable conversation between the great Oprah Winfrey and her longtime collaborator Dr. Perry, a neuroscientist and child psychologist who specializes in trauma and how it affects the brain. The discussions of the brain were well-done and made it easier for a layperson like me to understand. And I appreciated the wide variety of stories Oprah and Perry shared that illustrated the impact trauma can h This was a very meaningful and thought-provoking book. I listened to this on audio, which was an enjoyable conversation between the great Oprah Winfrey and her longtime collaborator Dr. Perry, a neuroscientist and child psychologist who specializes in trauma and how it affects the brain. The discussions of the brain were well-done and made it easier for a layperson like me to understand. And I appreciated the wide variety of stories Oprah and Perry shared that illustrated the impact trauma can have on a person. I liked this book so much I already bought multiple copies to share. Highly recommended for those interested in psychology.

  5. 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.

  6. 4 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.

  7. 4 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.

  8. 4 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.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I wanted to like this book a lot, but it just didn’t hit for me. The idea is important - ask about what happened to you rather than what is “wrong” with you. However, the vast majority of the book focuses on infant and early childhood experiences and barely touches on trauma that happens in young adult or adulthood. I came away feeling like this book was more about parenting than about healing from trauma. The best parts were about Oprah’s own life and childhood; those sections were emotionally I wanted to like this book a lot, but it just didn’t hit for me. The idea is important - ask about what happened to you rather than what is “wrong” with you. However, the vast majority of the book focuses on infant and early childhood experiences and barely touches on trauma that happens in young adult or adulthood. I came away feeling like this book was more about parenting than about healing from trauma. The best parts were about Oprah’s own life and childhood; those sections were emotionally impactful.

  10. 5 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.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alex Anderson

    This should be a required book for everyone.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Campbell

    This is the kind of stuff I read on my day off from doing trauma work. I thought this was an excellent book on trauma and trauma informed care that is accessible to anyone wanting to learn more about trauma work. This was also great to read as someone feeling some intense compassion fatigue these days. It is always a great to have a refresher to help me reframe and refocus my work so that compassion fatigue doesn’t just completely wipe me out. I would recommend this to lay people and even other This is the kind of stuff I read on my day off from doing trauma work. I thought this was an excellent book on trauma and trauma informed care that is accessible to anyone wanting to learn more about trauma work. This was also great to read as someone feeling some intense compassion fatigue these days. It is always a great to have a refresher to help me reframe and refocus my work so that compassion fatigue doesn’t just completely wipe me out. I would recommend this to lay people and even other therapists that need to shift focus work.

  13. 5 out of 5

    silindile zibane

    A healing journey like no other... For some strange reason I felt peace while going through the pages of this book. As though I was revisiting past traumatic experiences not as a victim but as a student. I felt like I was standing outside myself and studying how past traumas have shaped my thinking and behavior. Understanding that the brain makes memories and associations based on past experiences is so enlightening and liberating at the same time. Even more liberating is the understanding that w A healing journey like no other... For some strange reason I felt peace while going through the pages of this book. As though I was revisiting past traumatic experiences not as a victim but as a student. I felt like I was standing outside myself and studying how past traumas have shaped my thinking and behavior. Understanding that the brain makes memories and associations based on past experiences is so enlightening and liberating at the same time. Even more liberating is the understanding that with intentionality we can retrain the brain and build new associations. Reading this book felt like being given a gift of wisdom. There were a lot of aha moments for me... I expected to be sad while reading it. But on the contrary I received the power to live from a place of enlightenment. The whole reading session felt like a spiritual encounter. #Itstimetoheal

  14. 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.

  15. 5 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

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Jarc

    One of the best books I have read about trauma. Just exceptional. I replayed so many parts of this audiobook to listen to again, to reflect, and to take notes. I ordered the book so that I can have my own copy. Teachers, parents, anyone who works with children - this is a must read. Here are just a few quotes that made the most impact on me.... 1) "The past is not an excuse but an explanation.....this is where healing begins". 2) "It takes a long time to change people and an even longer time to c One of the best books I have read about trauma. Just exceptional. I replayed so many parts of this audiobook to listen to again, to reflect, and to take notes. I ordered the book so that I can have my own copy. Teachers, parents, anyone who works with children - this is a must read. Here are just a few quotes that made the most impact on me.... 1) "The past is not an excuse but an explanation.....this is where healing begins". 2) "It takes a long time to change people and an even longer time to change systems". 3)"There is a toxic mismatch between a child's capabilities and the unrealistic expectations of an educational system that is under resourced, developmentally uniformed, and trauma ignorant". 4) "Disconnection is disease....we are raising youth in a society where there is loss of community, social isolation, relationship impoverished, and sensory overloaded.....there is constant bombardment of social novelty and lack of reciprocal relationships. "

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alexa Fortuna

    I think everyone who works in a setting with children needs to read this. It really paints the picture of how trauma shapes our actions. It was a little dry in some parts but the message was powerful.

  18. 4 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.

  19. 5 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

  20. 4 out of 5

    Erik Rocha

    I'd like to start by saying that my introduction to Oprah was from Josh's obsession in Drake and Josh. I knew that everyone loved her but never really knew much about her. Over the summer, I listened to her Master Class podcast episodes about herself from 2019. The trauma she experienced in her childhood shook me and immediately made me see her as an inspiration -- pretty much how everyone else already saw her. When I saw she had a book about trauma coming out, I new I had to read it. I kind of r I'd like to start by saying that my introduction to Oprah was from Josh's obsession in Drake and Josh. I knew that everyone loved her but never really knew much about her. Over the summer, I listened to her Master Class podcast episodes about herself from 2019. The trauma she experienced in her childhood shook me and immediately made me see her as an inspiration -- pretty much how everyone else already saw her. When I saw she had a book about trauma coming out, I new I had to read it. I kind of read this book like a podcast conversation because of the back-and-forth between Dr. Perry and Oprah. I was nervous that Dr. Perry's sections were going to feel too much like a textbook, but for the most part, they weren't (maybe 2-3 times where I was feeling "uhhh...this a lot for me"). He is also a pretty great story teller too, so it was fairly easy to read. There are plenty of emotional stories and I loved them all. I did feel that there were some psychology concepts which were a bit repetitive sometimes because they were mentioned multiple times, but maybe it's because they really wanted to hammer home the explanation of the particular concept. The epilogue brought me to tears outside of an acai bowl shop. Highly recommend to anyone who feels like they are holding on to some trauma or pain.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Required reading, required reading, required reading! WOW. I listened to this (Oprah and Dr. Perry narrate it) and I learned so much. I could read/listen to again and again and pick up new things each time. This will likely become a yearly read for me. A few take aways: community is so important, the first few years of life are critical, everyone is carrying around trauma but it doesn’t have to be crippling, different coping mechanisms are fascinating and they are manifested uniquely in each per Required reading, required reading, required reading! WOW. I listened to this (Oprah and Dr. Perry narrate it) and I learned so much. I could read/listen to again and again and pick up new things each time. This will likely become a yearly read for me. A few take aways: community is so important, the first few years of life are critical, everyone is carrying around trauma but it doesn’t have to be crippling, different coping mechanisms are fascinating and they are manifested uniquely in each person, changing the narrative from “what’s wrong with you” to “what happened to you” can open up so many healing doors, it is never too late to get help and learn from the trauma you’ve experienced. Dr. Perry has an amazing way of breaking medical things down so you can comprehend them. Also, Oprah has never been to therapy but has found healing other ways. That surprised me! I think she is remarkable (always have). I am pretty sure this is the longest review I’ve ever written on Goodreads. Bottom line - READ THIS!!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ophelia

    A must read for anyone interested in psychology and trauma. Would particularly recommend for anyone who works or interacts with children in any capacity. Loved how the authors advocate to reframe the question “what’s wrong with you?” to “what happened to you?” — making the case that you can’t truly know or help someone without understanding what has happened to them, and the impact of those events on their development and ability to self regulate. The book is written in conversation format which A must read for anyone interested in psychology and trauma. Would particularly recommend for anyone who works or interacts with children in any capacity. Loved how the authors advocate to reframe the question “what’s wrong with you?” to “what happened to you?” — making the case that you can’t truly know or help someone without understanding what has happened to them, and the impact of those events on their development and ability to self regulate. The book is written in conversation format which makes it easier to digest than Dr. Perry’s The Boy who was Raised as a Dog (though it is still one of my favorite books and many of the same themes are discussed). And shoutout to Brené Brown for having Oprah & Dr. Perry on her podcast — their convo inspired me to buy this book!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alivia Norwood

    This should be required reading for all, but especially parents to be.

  24. 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.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mary Sullivan

    We all need to have more empathy for each other. That was my biggest takeaway from this book. The book explains that by asking the question, “what happened to you?”, we can be kinder and more understanding of each other. Wish I could give everyone a copy to read. Be warned - this is not a light read (the authors say that too at the beginning). I worked my way through this by listening to a chapter every day or so. Btw - Oprah reads the audio book along with Dr. Perry. If you love Oprah (as I do) We all need to have more empathy for each other. That was my biggest takeaway from this book. The book explains that by asking the question, “what happened to you?”, we can be kinder and more understanding of each other. Wish I could give everyone a copy to read. Be warned - this is not a light read (the authors say that too at the beginning). I worked my way through this by listening to a chapter every day or so. Btw - Oprah reads the audio book along with Dr. Perry. If you love Oprah (as I do), 100% recommend listening.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Kelleher

    I was familiar with Dr. Perry through his work with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). For me, the book was like an extended, more detailed version of his webinar "Return to School During COVID 19: Helping Children and Families Manage Stress and Build Resilience" on the CASEL website. In the book, Dr. Perry shares stories of his patients: the trauma they experienced and how his methods helped them. This book would be helpful for adults working with children (a I was familiar with Dr. Perry through his work with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). For me, the book was like an extended, more detailed version of his webinar "Return to School During COVID 19: Helping Children and Families Manage Stress and Build Resilience" on the CASEL website. In the book, Dr. Perry shares stories of his patients: the trauma they experienced and how his methods helped them. This book would be helpful for adults working with children (as would the webinar). What Happened To You? delivers on its subtitle; Dr. Perry and Oprah engage in conversations about the different types of trauma and how experiencing trauma at an early age can have lasting maladaptive effects. Oprah shares many heart-breaking stories of the trauma she suffered in her childhood, and she acknowledges that those experiences made her the person she is today. The book ends with Oprah saying, "What happened TO you can be your power." It is a message of hope.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Wicia

    INCREDIBLE. PLEASE READ THIS BOOK. I’m obsessed. The stories, message, and science are clear and powerful. It’s important to learn about how we became who we are in order to become the best versions of ourselves. This book shares wisdom into why and how, in a grounded, well-informed manner. Another reason I love this book: the overlap between personal narratives and clinical psychology is beautifully done. Its message is crucial for both individuals and institutions.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Nixon

    Yowza. This was just too boring and scattered I’ve read several books on trauma, PTSD, how the body keeps score, and so very little was new to me and how it was presented was inferior to previous explanations. I also found it lacking in enough varied examples or actionable suggestions. Switching between the doctor “explaining” and Oprah coming in (it came across as interruptive) with her experience made me think it would have been better to turn this into a memoir with professional analysis ... Yowza. This was just too boring and scattered I’ve read several books on trauma, PTSD, how the body keeps score, and so very little was new to me and how it was presented was inferior to previous explanations. I also found it lacking in enough varied examples or actionable suggestions. Switching between the doctor “explaining” and Oprah coming in (it came across as interruptive) with her experience made me think it would have been better to turn this into a memoir with professional analysis ... maybe. It isn’t a helpful manual in my experience. Summary: this book didn’t work for me but I appreciate any books written in the mental health space especially by beloved celebs. DNF

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

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