During this book, Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey try to reframe the concept of trauma. In What happened to you? you’ll read the tons of conversations Perry had with Oprah where they get to speak about it and because of his background in the field of trauma related to children he explains the concept in a simple but interesting way.  Questions that need to be asked and that we all want to know. Throughout the book it becomes clear that human beings are the product of their personal history. The collections of things that happened to us influences the person that we become. Perry suggests a shift in our thinking from what’s wrong with that person to what happened to him or her? The book completely changed my perspective on what trauma is, how it functions and how it shows up in our lives. In the book review I will share more of my thoughts. However trauma can be a sensitive, heavy topic to read and speak about, I believe everyone should read this one.

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In 2021, Lisanne recommended “What Happened to You” by Oprah and Dr. Perry and said…

“I’ll admit that I didn’t know a lot about trauma and how it shows up in our lives. Until very recently I had the idea that trauma had to be a big, gigantic thing experienced. I considered it as a heavy topic related to experiences like rape, racism, or abuse. After reading the book I realized I missed out on a lot.”

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A powerful reminder to step back and resist the temptation to pass quick, hasty judgments

I must admit, I was a bit skeptical at first. I normally don’t gravitate towards books in the self-help genre, but this piece is one of a kind. I liked their approach to promoting empathy. They insightfully highlighted the existence of emotional wounds in people, no matter who we are. It’s a powerful reminder to step back and resist the temptation to pass quick, hasty judgments based on mere fragments of behavior alone. Instead, they encourage a holistic view, urging readers to look beyond the surface. There is also a profound message of hope that resonates, at least with me, to foster and nurture our relationships. The book serves as a exquisite blend of scientific research and practical wisdom, offered in a conversational and accessible manner. The easily understandable insights make it a valuable guide for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of human nature. Highly recommended!


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