Melissa's Reviews > 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

The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog by Bruce D. Perry
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May 15, 08

bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in May, 2008

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 development in the areas beneath it, trauma in childhood can affect brain development long after. The treatment of these children depends on determining how the trauma sensitized the stress response system and how the children coped with the trauma, such as disassociating, and retraining the brain beginning from when the trauma occurred. This may include rocking, music and movement classes, life skills training, CBT etc. The final chapter gives suggestions for minimizing childhood trauma in our society emphasizing that the breakup of the EXTENDED family and our increasing social isolation are increasing our risk. Appreciate the author's assertion that humaneness is learned, not inborn, that we cannot love ourselves unless we are loved by someone else, and that the key to healthy individuals and society lies in numerous strong relationships. Excellent insightful book.
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