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Publisher's Summary

A renowned psychiatrist reveals how trauma affects children - and outlines the path to recovery.

"Fascinating and upbeat.... Dr. Perry is both a world-class creative scientist and a compassionate therapist." (Mary Pipher, PhD, author of Reviving Ophelia)

How does trauma affect a child's mind - and how can that mind recover? In the classic The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, Dr. Perry explains what happens to the brains of children exposed to extreme stress and shares their lessons of courage, humanity, and hope. Only when we understand the science of the mind and the power of love and nurturing can we hope to heal the spirit of even the most wounded child.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2006, 2017 Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz (P)2018 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"Filled with compassionate, caring stories by a wise healer and scientist, this book will appeal to all who are interested in understanding how children heal." (Lynn Ponton, MD, author of The Romance of Risk)

"In this harrowing but profoundly humane book, Perry and Szalavitz provide an all too timely, utterly engrossing account of traumatized children's lives.... Once I opened it, I could not put it down." (Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, author of Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species)

"In beautifully written, fascinating accounts of experience working with emotionally stunted and traumatized children, child psychiatrist Perry educates readers about how early-life stress and violence affects the developing brain. He offers simple yet vivid illustrations of the stress response and the brain's mechanisms with facts and images that crystallize in the mind without being too detailed and confusing." (Publishers Weekly)

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What listeners say about The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog

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Didn’t know what to expect

I could not stop listening to this book. As a mother and one day a grandmother, I hope to use the knowledge that Bruce Perry , and Maia Szalavitz have discussed in this book . To remind us that the child is so precious and that trauma has so much effect on the child’s brain . I will listen to this book many times I’m sure . Thank you

3 people found this helpful

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Love it!

I learned so much. The audio was great as well! I would recommend this audio book to anyone who works with children.

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Loved this book

I had heard about this book from a family member of mine who read it as part of a course he was taking in university. Being a student myself in a different but similar field, i chose to download and listen to this book while i commuted. I really enjoyed the book and can understand why it’s used for educational purposes.

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very informative

Really enjoyed listening to this, I found it very insightful. This book helped me understand why there is so much secondary trauma for children

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  • MV
  • 2021-12-11

Great, Repeat Listen!

Nice Listen, helpful for a parent and offers insight for individuals in various walks of life to be mindful of our actions and the cause & effect, for future generations. To notice individuals patterns with specific abuse/neglect.

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amazing and inspiring book

solid read front to back. good narration, so much good material in this book. definitely recommend

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Informative and intriguing

Incredible case studies that share valuable information about the impacts of childhood trauma in brain development

1 person found this helpful

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Life Changing Book

My life was totally changed as a mom, a sibling, a friend, who lived childhood neglect and trauma, and currently training to become a Trauma Therapist. I'd recommend this book to anyone in contact with children. we can do better than labeling children with behavioral issues.

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Wish I read a long time ago

This book goes there! Great job at tackling this incredibly difficult subject. No wonder Oprah likes you so much- you are helping so many.

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Must read

Must read for everyone, especially ones who are starting a family, teachers, early childhood educators, social workers, psychologists, and many more.

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  • C. Turner
  • 2019-06-07

Nice to see some good come to those abused/neglect

I enjoyed this book as a graduate student in clinical mental health. I like to use the same approach and it's nice to see that others do too and found good results. It also reminded me that with trauma victims it's best to allow them a choice in their recovery.
I do warn those with past abuse that this book contains some triggers and to be cognizant of them when reading this book as it contains some details on sexual abuse/assault and neglect. The descriptions are necessary in order to understand the treatment process.

33 people found this helpful

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  • Robin Schrader
  • 2018-12-22

Helped me with my most difficult students.

This book IS the answer to what the students with the hardest behaviors need. This and Help for Billy

27 people found this helpful

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  • cindy w.
  • 2019-09-29

Every school counselor should read

This book was amazing. As a school counselor, we are seeing more and more children come into the school system with trauma and we are trying to teach them the academics required in schools but can't move past the behaviors they are displaying. Teachers are not equipped to help them with the trauma and are only being pushed by the administration to have these students show progress in their testing scores. I know that our school system will be looking into trauma-informed training, and I for one can not wait for that day. I am going to approach the administration to look at the NME and hope they consider this approach to help us help our students.

18 people found this helpful

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  • S. Rio
  • 2020-10-01

Required reading for ALL in Family Services & Child Education

Dr. Perry’s model for understanding and healing trauma in children NEEDS to be implemented world wide! As a parent of children that were adopted through the Foster Care System. This book has been eye opening on so many levels! It’s has explained so much about their trauma. As well as the whys and reasons they behave and react they way they do. Needless to say I was parenting them like they were non-traumatized children, which made some things worse. Just as Dr. Perry said! I have stopped immediately and have seen a big change in their behavior. I have been recommending this book to any and all therapist I know. Thank you Dr. Perry!

14 people found this helpful

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  • Michael Davis
  • 2020-12-08

Essential information for parents and providers

I work in a hospital. I see plenty of hardship and trauma every day. I have to guard my mind in my reading. COVID-19 has made the stress even greater. So, I approached this book with caution. Kids and trauma can be triggers for a hard day. For that matter, adults and trauma, too. In any case, the authors of the book showed considerable restraint in choosing their content making it possible, though still hard, to read this material.
I regard this book as being essential reading for parents and care providers. In fact, when I say care providers, I mean adult care providers, too. This book argues that there are critical experiences that children need to have to develop well. When children experience trauma, it can alter their development in ways that severely alter their future life experience including health, relationships, psychological well-being, encounters with the justice system, and even careers. Of course, those familiar with the ACEs study (Adverse Childhood Experiences) are already aware of this.
Perry and his associates have developed a neurosequential model that helps victims of childhood abuse. It helps them find and rebuild gaps in their development. It is a complex process taking into account a wide range of experiences. At least, this is my understanding, having read the book.
What is really important about this book is that it is not only a manual, it is a series of well-told - indeed many beautiful - stories of abused or neglected children whom the author and his team have treated. Perry and his associates grew a science-based approach to help them rebuild the core elements of their lives. Momma P and other characters will stop you in your tracks. What is it that Momma P has? The ability to relate with respect, compassion, and physical and emotional gentleness. Make no mistake: this book is not just academic content: it is also important and illustrative stories, each one revealing something important about his message of relationships and healing.
On a final note, this book is also an appeal to change how our systems - of justice, education, assistance, and parenting - enable childhood abuse, mistreatment, and neglect. By way of example, Perry and his team cared for children released in the first phase of the Branch Davidian siege in Waco. Based on the apocalyptic warnings of the released children, Perry warned the FBI, ATF, and the Texas Rangers that any raid would end badly. His warnings were ignored. It ended badly. This is true of so much of his wisdom: society ignores the science, then calls for help when there's a mess.
We can and should do better. Many of the principles he suggests can be used elsewhere, too. Building relationships of trust, respect, and gentleness - among other qualities - can alter so many of the difficult behaviors we observe in health care and elsewhere.

12 people found this helpful

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  • jdun93
  • 2020-09-23

excellent and informative

I am a psychotherapist working with children in the foster system and found this book to be very helpful in my work. I have also worked with adults and find that much of this can be applied to work with them, as well. I highly recommend this book to anyone working with children or adolescents in any capacity, either providing therapy, medical services, teaching, tutoring, or any other role. I also highly recommend this book for all psychotherapists regardless of the population you work with.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Megan E
  • 2020-07-27

Fantastic resource

This should be required reading for anyone who works with children, especially those from hard places such as foster parents, CPS workers and teachers.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Crystal Dutton
  • 2019-07-09

The book was not what I thought I was going to be

The book was a bit drawn out. It did not catch my attention at all. I am big into mental health and learning about it especially in children so I thought that’s what intrigue me a little. Narrator is good and have some good points it’s just not what I thought it was going to be. Hello disappointed I use my credit I’m at the café

5 people found this helpful

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  • Keshia
  • 2018-12-01

follow up

Great study, lots of insight and a good resource. I will be sharing as well .
persuing training.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-10-07

Amazing book

I was truly impressed by the book and how it described non obvious but important things can be missed in children development. It’s helpful even with adults to understand what’s behind their actions. Strongly recommend this book!

2 people found this helpful