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The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing
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The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing

4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  5,186 ratings  ·  590 reviews
A world-renowned child psychiatrist offers a groundbreaking new perspective on how stress and violence affect children's brains--and how they can be helped to heal

What happens when a young brain is traumatized? How does terror, abuse, or disaster affect a child's mind--and how can that mind recover?

Child psychiatrist Bruce Perry has helped children faced with unimagina

Kindle Edition, 291 pages
Published December 5th 2007 by Basic Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Tanya W
A very impactful read. The most practical thing I think I can take from it is a greater compassion for my fellow men. We really don't know what people have gone through to contribute to who they are. These stories make me not want to judge anyone (some "bad" people experienced trauma and neglect to the degree that their brain was permanently affected). I wish I could do something to make life better for or be a friend to some of these unusual, and socially misfit individuals. Thank goodness many ...more
WOW. This book is MIND BLOWING! I cannot say enough good things about it. It is utterly fascinating. I heartily recommend it to anyone interested in neuroscience, psychology, and/or child development. He combines short narratives of his experiences working with various children with very scientific analysis of what he learned about the brain's development; and as the book evolves his theories and knowledge build on what he's learned and observed before. The "science" part of the book is challeng ...more
Bruce Perry treats children who have suffered childhood trauma using a neurosequential approach. This approach supposes that as the brain grows from the most basic deep structures to the most complex outer structures (basically from the inside out and from the bottom up) in the first 3 years of life, trauma at any phase of that development shapes or prevents the proper physiological development of the brain area that is developing. Because the higher brain structure development depends on develo ...more
really interesting, heart wrenching stories. favorite quotes:

"More than in any other species, human young are born vulnerable and dependent. Pregnancy and early childhood are tremendous energy drains on the mother and, indirectly, on the larger family group. But despite the severe pain of childbirth, the numerous discomforts of pregnancy and breast-feeding, and the loud, continuous demands of a newborn, human mothers overwhelmingly tend to devote themselves to comforting, feeding an protecting
Perry refutes the adage that children are resilient, and walks us through the cases of traumatized children -- the consequences on their psyches and behavior, and how to heal them.

A few minutes of stress for baby rats can affect their brain into adulthood. Yet these children are expected to handle abuse, witnessing the murder of a parent, systematic neglect... What seems to affect them the most is the lack of love, even while medical diagnoses are offered. A disruptive girl has ADD, of course. B
Oct 21, 2008 Licia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all who care about children
This book should be read by everyone who cares for children professionally. We know that children are abused and suffer, yet when we meet some of these children we often don't understand how to help them. This book of stories from Doctor Perry's practice shows us children who come from backgrounds of neglect or abuse. These stories tear at your heart, but knowing that Doctor Perry and others are using what we know about neuroscience to heal offers us hope. If anything, reading this book will mak ...more
This was recommended to me by a colleague. I thought it would be a disturbing read and put of off for ages, however despite some of the horrendous cases, the book is not a shock and awe text. It’s actually quite uplifting. Dr Perry has a gifted way of explaining the connections between trauma, neuroscience and psychotherapy, which is accessible to the lay reader. His model of recovery assumes that children can be healed by receiving the stimulation they missed at certain developmental points. E. ...more
The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog, and Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing is a book worthy of such a hefty title. Dr. Bruce Perry writes, in conjunction with journalist Maia Szalavitz, about some of the most distinctive cases that he has worked over his years as a child psychiatrist. In the process, Perry makes powerful arguments for early intervention in the lives of traumatized children, and gives many insights ...more
I liked this book WAY more than I thought I would. WOW!!!! When I finished it, I just wanted to reach out and hug all the children in my life. I also wanted to rewind and have some do-overs with my own children. If you have any children in your life, you should read this. It reminded me that there is nothing more important than putting children first, over dishes, over vacuuming, over any of the small stuff we have in our lives. Children are the most important thing.

It is amazing how the brain
"The truth is, you cannot love yourself unless you have been loved and are loved. The capacity to love cannot be built in isolation."

"Many of the sleeping and crying problems seen in infancy today are likely caused by the fact that a human infant left alone and out of sight distance of adults for almost the entire evolutionary history of humankind would have been facing near-certain death. It's hardly surprising that babies find being left alone to sleep distressing. In fact, what's startling (a
Non-fiction books, as a general rule, bore me.
The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog is a non-fiction book.
The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog did NOT bore me.

To the contrary, it fascinated me. It incited a hundred different emotions that I didn't think was possible with a non-fiction book. It made me smile; made me cry. It punched me right in the chest and soothed me the next. It was UTTER PERFECTION.

The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog is a book of beauty and one of the most beautiful things about it
I borrowed this book from my supervisor when I interned in a pediatric psychiatric hospital, and I pretty much read it in one sitting. The book completely changed the way I looked at patients. Before, I saw them as children who were reacting to terribly traumatic experiences. Now, I understand that the traumatic experiences literally changed the way their brain functions. It explains why so many therapeutic interventions fail; our techniques aren't right. We're treating the cancer with cold medi ...more
Synesthesia (SPIDERS!)
Everyone should read this book. It's full of tragedy and sadness, but there's hope to it. Trauma can really shape how a child's brain develops and how they see the world.
Incredibly frustrating to write a review and watch it disappear...

A very insightful book into the effects of early childhood trauma. Dr. Perry explores the seemingly obvious and seemingly impossible at the same time. Of course love and empathy are important for healthy development but the extent to which early trauma can disrupt development is astonishing. The physical, emotional, psychological, and social effects of trauma are almost unfathomable as presented by Perry, as are the ways in which
Jul 22, 2009 Elise rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents to be, mental health professionals
This book, more than anything I have read so far (even as a grad student in social work), exemplifies just exactly how important early childhood attachment and interpersonal connection is to any human being's existence. It explains how not being touched or talked to in your formative years literally impedes brain development, how neglect is in fact a form of trauma, and just exactly how trauma works in a child's brain -- all without going completely dry or detached (I read it in one sitting; cou ...more
Pretty fast read (I read it all in one sitting, though maybe I'm weird). It was an interesting collection of anecdotes with some interpretation. I thought the "neurosequential" theory of treatment was interesting, that the brain develops in a certain order during infancy and the time of neglect can affect which brain functions are affected. However, the horrifying stories make the book seem sensational, and the fact that basically all of the stories show the author coming in and saving the day m ...more
This nonfiction audiobook is definitely an intriguing listen. The author, a prominent child psychologist, reflects upon his more high profile and memorable cases. Though Perry uses pseudonyms, each case history rings with authenticity, interspersed with the science and theories of the mind. Perry discusses a wide range of disorders and scenarios of the worst types of neglect. Sexual abuse, outright neglect, Munchausen By Proxy, children of the Branch Davidians, orphans from Eastern Europe and ev ...more
Jon Mountjoy
An interesting book looking at brain development from the perspective of child abuse. Introduces (to me) the linear model of brain development - how an abused victim can be rehabilitated by providing the stimuli it missed as a child in the order it should have been received in (ie. hugging an adult that suffered from touch deprivation). It's obviously still a model, but I'd like to know more: for example, are there time-limits on when the stimuli can be given. I know that stereoscopic vision dev ...more
I'd like to give this book 4.5 stars. It's about a child psychiatrist and some of the children/cases that he's treated over the years. He talks about the effects of stress and trauma on kids. The stories are heart wrenching as expected, but sadly typical of what I see working in the public schools! His approach is intriguing and makes total sense. He gets a little wordy I think when talking about the science and brain development and psych. info., but I still kept reading. After you read it agai ...more
Winston O'Toole
Ultimately, this book is optimistic and hopeful, which is the opposite of what I'd expected. It's an excellent companion to Gabor Mate's In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts because, as it turns out, most addicts wind up that way because of childhood trauma.

Anyways: The stories are bleak. Really awful things happened to kids. Really awful things are still happening to kids. Sometimes really awful are done to kids by the people trying to happen. Sometimes evil is just ignorance.

But kids get better! We
Dr. Perry, a child psychiatrist who works with traumatized children, writes about some of his cases in a sensitive, readable, and ultimately human way. His neurobiological perspective shows, in understandable language, how trauma can stunt brain development and how some of this delayed development can be treated by providing nurturing environments in which the children can "catch up" to their peers. He also brings some insights into understanding antisocial behaviors and potential roots for thei ...more
What I wrote on fb, promoting it:

I just finished an incredible book and there were so many people that I thought would like it that I decided to just give a blanket FB recommendation in case you're looking for something to read. Because, aren't we all?

The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog. The author/psychiatrist discusses what happens when young children are traumatized or victims of violence and how it affects their brain and behavior. He shares what he's discovered in how to treat and heal. Part c
Amazing. Amazing. *pauses for a moment; deep breath*

This book is a critical helper to reviving our cold, fast, isolated, and yet crowded society into something more humane, more in touch with our deeper, more meaningful selves. The more people who read and understand, who allow themselves to slow down, cherish, listen, respect, touch, love children--and themselves, the more our entire society will grow in empathy and humanity.

Easy to understand and yet offering challenging thoughts, Perry's writ
I expected this book to be, at least sometimes, extraordinarily sad and painful to read, and it was. I expected it to also have some uplifting and healing moments, and it did, more than I had expected. What I didn't expect was how interesting it was going to be! There is a LOT of cerebral information in this book, by which I mean both information for the brain and about the brain. But Perry dumbs it down about as much as the subject matter will allow, so that those of us who don't have degrees i ...more
Informative and tragic, this collection of traumatized-kid stories manages to be compelling without being a pop-science freakshow. Perry presents a streamlined version of his nueroscience research in child trauma, illustrated with cases of kids brainwashed, tortured, assaulted...

I always want take-homes from disturbing books like this-- something to tie the jarring loose ends into a nice little bow. Although this is a descriptive rather than a prescriptive book, Perry delivers these appeasing li
This book rocks.
It's written by a child psychiatrist who specialized in working with traumatized children. He tells the stories of very bizarre cases that he has worked on, and how each form of abuse psychologically affects the children.
But what I really loved about this book (and what I thought was really unique) is that he goes further to explain the physiological effects of abuse -- like how the brain responds to threat or, neurologically, why learned behaviors are learned. And usually I thi
This is the sort of fabulous book you insist on telling your oldest friends and the people you just meet all about. It reminded me of the Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: the sort of non fiction book that rearranges your understanding of a subject you thought you already knew.

Perry is a psychiatrist who has specialized in working with children recovering from trauma. His research and practice synthesize both neurobiological and the sociological aspects of development. I've found this explo
Really great book that made me want to go and hug my children! What interested me most were the chapters on neglected children and how infants and toddlers especially need a pattern of physical and emotional connection--personal interaction, rocking, hugs, physical touch--in order to grow and thrive. When they don't have that, their brains aren't able to grow properly and are actually smaller in size. Emotionally and socially they don't develop as other children do and treatment needs to go back ...more
Initially I found the title painful and a bit off-putting. I was worried that the stories might be too graphic or painful. I was very surprised to discover the real-life stories shared were tastefully told.

Dr. Bruce Perry is one of the leading child trauma experts in the United States. In this book he shares eleven different neglected or abused children's tale. Each case also includes psychological insight along with an explanation for the child's behavior and the chosen type of treatment.

I fo
Painful. Difficult. Essential. This collection of true case studies from the work of a child psychiatrist has forever changed the way I look at childhood trauma. His experiences with children who have been abused, brainwashed, and neglected is powerful and insightful, teaching as much about the development of the human brain as he does about instinct and human nature. Whether discussing children who were brainwashed by the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas or teaching a boy who was literally r ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: ISBN: 9780465056538 2 12 Feb 06, 2014 02:56AM  
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  • Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence - New and Revised Edition
  • Attachment in Psychotherapy
  • Suffer the Child
  • The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head: A Psychiatrist's Stories of His Most Bizarre Cases
  • The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are
  • Trauma and Recovery
  • Too Scared To Cry: Psychic Trauma In Childhood
  • Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control: A Love-Based Approach to Helping Attachment-Challenged Children With Severe Behaviors, Volume 1
  • Agnes's Jacket: A Psychologist's Search for the Meanings of Madness
  • The Flock: The Autobiography of a Multiple Personality
  • Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy
  • Motivational Interviewing: Preparing People for Change
  • Danger to Self: On the Front Line with an ER Psychiatrist
  • Crazy All the Time: On The Psych Ward of Bellevue Hospital
Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential--and Endangered Brief: Reflections on Childhood, Trauma and Society Maltreated Children: Experience, Brain Development And The Next Generation A Child's Loss:  Helping Children Exposed to Traumatic Death (The ChildTrauma Academy Press Caregiver Series) Inu To Shite Sodaterareta Shōnen: Kodomo No Nō To Torauma

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“The truth is, you cannot love yourself unless you have been loved and are loved. The capacity to love cannot be built in isolation.” 18 likes
“The more healthy relationships a child has, the more likely he will be to recover from trauma and thrive. Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love.” 12 likes
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