What Happened to You?
Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing
ONE MILLION COPIES SOLD
#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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Few people have overcome their traumatic childhood more publicly than Oprah Winfrey. In this honest and informative book, the TV icon partners with psychiatrist Dr. Bruce D. Perry to explore how early childhood trauma creates patterns in our brains that shape how we react to situations for the rest of our lives—usually in ways we aren’t even conscious of. Structured as a conversation between two longtime friends, the book draws on both Perry’s casework and Oprah’s wealth of revealing interviews with childhood trauma survivors, such as a convicted murderer turned criminal justice activist. Though some of the stories of neglect, assault, and self-harm can be difficult, we came away from What Happened To You? with an enlightening—even cathartic—sense of empathy. Oprah and Dr. Perry don’t offer easy solutions for overcoming childhood trauma, but they do provide eye-opening perspectives on its lasting effects.
A Remarkable Culmination of Memory-Making and Collaboration
The personal and professional trajectories of Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce Perry have crossed and run parallel long enough to culminate in this manifestation of wisdom informed by memories of research, stress, loss, grief, humility, resiliency, and practice. The application of this wisdom not only addresses how individuals resolve their memories of suffering, but how families, communities, nations, and even the human species may reach their potentials.
This is the best book I have read in a long time. It is incredibly eye opening and the information is applicable to anyone’s life as either we have experienced our own traumas or know someone who has.
Time to heal
This book was amazing! I read it in one sitting and I plan to explore this healing idea more. I have done some healing but there is much more to do. I will share this book with everyone I know because that is what is needed, collective healing.