Dr Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey co-write the critically acclaimed book, which has been on The New York Times audio bestseller list for two years and counting. To celebrate this milestone, Macmillan Audio has partnered with organisations nationwide to donate copies of the audiobook to continue to share the powerful conversations that can reframe how we approach past trauma. They met 30 years ago when Perry was at the University of Chicago and working as a consultant for a residential home for children who had been abused and neglected. A board associate mentioned him to Winfrey, who had publicly shared her experience with sexual abuse.

“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

Trauma, commonly the most insidious version, the wounds from early childhood—appears throughout our lives in actions and reactions that are far from ideal. And often, we can’t control these actions or reactions, taking them as the truth of who we are. This captivating book is different from other books on trauma because it’s rendered as discussions between Oprah and Dr Perry, delivering wisdom to readers on how they, too, can begin to explore their pasts for clues about how they’ve been conditioned by trauma. It also offers a healing path for peeling back those layers of problematic programming to expose a more authentic version of yourself to the world.

Narrated by Oprah and renowned brain and trauma expert Dr Bruce Perry, What Happened to You? It provides powerful scientific and emotional insights into the behavioural patterns many of us struggle to understand.

Through deeply personal conversations, Winfrey and Dr Perry focus on understanding people, behaviour, and ourselves. They pose shifting the commonly asked question, “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” offering listeners a lens to better understand ourselves and those around us.

Oprah Winfrey and eminent psychiatrist Bruce D. Perry examine how childhood trauma can have a powerful and lasting impact on the brain—and thus our worldview, health, and behaviour—sometimes without us even realising it. They discuss why the developing brain is so susceptible to trauma, why trauma survivors often experience flashbacks, and why addressing your trauma is essential to living a healthy and happy life. They also describe how to begin the healing process with compassion for yourself and others.

Throughout our guide, we’ll connect Perry and Winfrey’s ideas to those in other popular books on trauma, such as Bessel van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score. We’ll also elaborate on the authors’ main themes, such as trauma’s impact and the healing process. Finally, we’ll provide information and resources to help those struggling with trauma find high-quality care.

“The range of positive responses to our audiobook What Happened To You? has been overwhelming and gratifying. We hope these donations will help reach more people who can use the audiobook to stimulate reflections on their journey and the power of connection to heal and grow.”
Dr Perry

“What Happened to You?” tackles resilience, trauma and suffering from scientific and emotional vantage ends. This book moved me because of the open and honest conversations between Oprah and Dr Perry. They fully commit to concentrating on understanding people, behaviour, and ourselves. It’s a deep shift in our path to trauma, and it authorises us to understand our past to shed a course to our future―unlocking the door to stability and recovery in a proven effective way. This should definitely be mandated reading for everyone as it clarifies how we don’t actually know anyone until we know what happened to them.

These giveaways will distribute copies of the audiobook to organisations helping individuals and communities impacted by trauma, including domestic violence shelters, mental health clinics, and community centres. Recipients include Prevent Child Abuse America, The Ana Grace Project, The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and more.

What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing. By Bruce D. Perry, M.D., PhD, & Oprah Winfrey


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