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The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook

4.56  ·  Rating details ·  16,632 ratings  ·  1,573 reviews
Child psychiatrist Bruce Perry has treated children faced with unimaginable horror: genocide survivors, witnesses, children raised in closets and cages, and victims of family violence. Here he tells their stories of trauma and transformation.
Kindle Edition, 290 pages
Published December 5th 2007 by Basic Books (first published January 8th 2007)
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Miranda Reads
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Absolutely fascinating.
The truth is, you cannot love yourself unless you have been loved and are loved. The capacity to love cannot be built in isolation.
Whewww, this one was an emotional doozy - I was equally fascinated and horrified by what the author witnessed and treated.

There's the case from the title - where a (marginally) well-meaning old man finds himself in charge of a young boy (the grandson of a deceased girlfriend).

Not knowing how to raise children, but having plenty of experie
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-100-reviews
This is a book about damaged children and the psychiatrist who tried to help them. The two saddest stories are the little girl, a toddler really, who at 3 was being prepared to testify against the man (as the only witness) who had murdered her mother in front of her and then cut her throat. She was too young to know about death and had tried to wake her mother and feed her, give her milk and then laid down on her and sung her lullabies.

The other was the 21 Waco children that David Koresh had ta
Greta G
Last Saturday, I was awakened from my sleep at five in the morning by strange noises. It took me a while to realize that it was my son who had just returned from a night out with his friends, and had a bout of hiccups. He has a place of his own, but every now and then, he sleeps at his old folks’ home, so I usually don’t expect nightly visitors.
Anyhow, I went upstairs to have a glass of water, and he followed me upstairs (our sleeping rooms are downstairs).
“You woke me with your hiccups!”
“I d
May 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A thorough, interdisciplinary book about childhood trauma written with compassion and eloquence, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog amazed me with its depth and insight. Bruce Perry, an experienced psychiatrist, shares many case studies about kids who have suffered horrible adversity, and he discusses their development and recovery with intelligence and an apparent kindness. One quote that stood out to me about how we should treat people who self-medicate and self-harm with understanding instead of ...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Bruce Perry is an absolute godsend to the hundreds of children and families he's helped. I wish we could clone him. He's absolutely brilliant, charming, empathetic, and has no qualms with thinking outside the box.
Tanya W
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Non-fiction books, as a general rule, bore me.
The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dogis 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 was how t
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
Aug 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
bella farren
This was such an incredibly eye opening, powerful and painful read. This is definitely not something everybody would want to read, as it centres around child abuse (a substantial amount of detail regarding child sexual abuse); but the effect of trauma on brain development and behaviour is incredible. (There is also a LOT of anatomy and physiology of the brain talk, so that may become a little dull for some).

I was recommended this book for my Child Development class and I’m so glad I read it. It
Mary Christensen
This book has almost no redeeming qualities. In fact, its primary worth is undoubtedly as a clear example of multiple cultural failings.

1. It is the most obvious, cringe-worthy trauma porn. It is primarily a titillated retelling of the most horrifying situations. It is a collection of carnival sideshows to chill and entertain the masses.

2. Perry has a Savior Complex to make Jesus blush. In every story, there will be a Suffering Child. In every story, no other person will understand, will listen
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Incredibly eye-opening on the effects of trauma."

What did you love best about The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog?
This book is a must read for anyone who works with children......and anyone who suffered trauma as a child. Dr. Perry is incredibly insightful, honest and humble in sharing what it took him a career to learn. I hope everyone in the mental health fields and their supporting agencies heed his teachings.

What did you like best about this story?
I read this to improve my understanding of trau
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Aug 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
Michael Perkins
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
now that my first grandchild, a grandduaghter, has come along, I was prompted to think about this book once again.

It seems pretty clear to me that our upbringing and childhood, even it if is not near as extreme as in the stories in this book, leaves a deep emotional imprint on us that lasts a lifetime. This begins at birth.

The key to my family of origin was a highly dysfunctional and fearful mother. It heavily impacted all of us and still does, Once I became a father, I had a very specific stra
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic book when it comes to the impacts of early life trauma and the young developing mind in general. Highly recommend for anyone, not just those it’s prescribed to in related fields.
Using case studies from the author's practice, this book focuses upon the incredible growth, development and malleability of the human brain.

Depending upon your personal preferences, you may or may not appreciate the author's frequent digressions into the biology of the brain to describe what his patients are experiencing.

The fairly frequent discussion of animal experimentation saddened me, especially when considering that numerous experiments conducted in the name of psychological science ten
Jan 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, psych
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
Caroline Lampinen
This book is incredibly frustrating - the information is valuable and intriguing, but the tone makes me cringe. This author is a well intentioned (aren't they all?) white dude who's seemingly pretty proud of himself for wearing jeans and thus "not looking the type" etc etc. I found the tone so condescending it was hard to read, and skimmed some paragraphs.

The worthwhile part of the book, though, is the scientific parts that talk about the physical concrete parts of the brain and the research on
Marco Pavan
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved the way it was written. Very easy to digest and process. The reported episodes were very challenging to process and picture, touching and heartbreaking. I highly recommend this book cause it explains at length how the brain develops during childhood and how trauma and nurturing can affect development, and the author manages to deliver the message in simple terms and very clearly
Özlem Güzelharcan
I love reading books on psychology and the title of this book definately got my attention but I sadly found the book afar from any literary taste. Since I'm not a therapist who wants to collect some info on traumatized children, I could not get involved with the stories at all. I also found the stories were disjointed and I had a very hard time following this book.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
An eye-opening book on child trauma, using case studies to explore how trauma affects the brain, body, and behavior, and how clinicians, practitioners, parents, and other adults can play a role in healing this trauma.

I think this is a must-read for anyone who works with children - not just children who are known to have been exposed to trauma.
Nirooj Bista
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
"For years mental health professionals taught people that they could be psychologically healthy without social support, that “unless you love yourself, no one else will love you.” Women were told that they didn’t need men, and vice versa. People without any relationships were believed to be as healthy as those who had many. These ideas contradict the fundamental biology of human species: we are social mammals and could never have survived without deeply interconnected and interdependent human co ...more
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're at all interested in abnormal psychology, this is a fascinating book. Lovers of Oliver Sacks's books, which frequently deal with unusual brain anomalies, may find similarities in this book in that both consist of case studies of people with brain dysfunction. The primary difference with this book is that the principal author, Bruce Perry, is a child psychiatrist in Texas whose area of interest is brain trauma.

There are gripping stories in this book, such as Perry's team being the one d
So, I started this book LAST summer. I went in blind and I had been expecting detailed case studies about the children and how Perry treated them.That is not what this book is, whatsoever. Which is why I put it down last summer. But when I came back to it this summer, with different expectations, I couldn't put it down. If you're looking for a set of case studies about traumatized children, this is NOT for you. This book is more of a narrative in which Perry recalls some of his cases and relates ...more
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
Nov 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, audio
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
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Goodreads Librari...: ISBN: 9780465056538 2 24 Feb 06, 2014 02:56AM  

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