#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
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 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?”
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 book, 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.
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About the Author
Over the course of her esteemed career, Oprah Winfrey has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world. As host and supervising producer of the top-rated, award-winning The Oprah Winfrey Show, she entertained, enlightened, and uplifted millions of viewers for twenty-five years. Her continued accomplishments as a global media leader and philanthropist have established her as one of the most influential and admired public figures in the world today.
Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D., a child psychiatrist and neuroscientist, is the principal of the Neurosequential Network, senior fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy and an adjunct professor of psychiatry at the Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago. He is the author, with Maia Szalavitz, of The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, a bestselling book based on his work with maltreated children, and Born for Love, about the essential nature of empathy.
Through the power of media, Oprah Winfrey has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world. As host and supervising producer of the top-rated, award-winning The Oprah Winfrey Show, she entertained, enlightened, and uplifted millions of viewers for twenty-five years. Her accomplishments as a global media leader and philanthropist have established her as one of the most respected and admired public figures today.
Table of Contents
A Note from the Authors 9
Chapter 1 Making Sense of the World 18
Chapter 2 Seeking Balance 42
Chapter 3 How We Were Loved 68
Chapter 4 The Spectrum of Trauma 94
Chapter 5 Connecting the Dots 120
Chapter 6 From Coping to Healing 152
Chapter 7 Post-Traumatic Wisdom 184
Chapter 8 Our Brains, Our Biases, Our Systems 210
Chapter 9 Relational Hunger In The Modern World 244
Chapter 10 What We Need Now 272
Credits And Acknowledgments 302