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Book Recommendation - June 2022

Book Recommendation: “What Happened to You?”

I recently read a book on trauma and healing called, “What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing” by Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. and Oprah Winfrey. This book points out that most times we ask, “What’s wrong with you?” when we really need to be asking, “What happened to you?”.

Dr. Perry says, “Not only is 'What happened to you?' the key question if you want to understand someone, it is the key question if you want to understand the brain.”

Even though the content was heavy at times, I found the conversation style easy to follow. The book provided diagrams of some of the science aspects Dr. Perry explains to help the reader digest the information being presented. Oprah does what she does best and interviews, and asks clarifying questions of Dr. Perry. Some of the questions she asks are from the perspective of someone who has experienced trauma. Oprah details some of her own eye-opening trauma experiences.

One of the more shocking revelations from Dr. Perry’s research came when he shared that a child who has experienced high levels of trauma during their first two months of life has worse outcomes than a child who experiences trauma after two months of life. This is just one example of why it is important that we address the trauma early and that we are more trauma-aware/informed.

I recommend reading this book in small doses. There are positives to leave with - the major takeaway being that you can heal from trauma, too.

Do you have any book recommendations on trauma? Please share in the comments.

- Nicole

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