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Showing 1-10 of 609 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 708 reviews
on January 6, 2016
Bruce Perry is a psychologist with extensive study and experience in his field. Although many adults, arrogant parents in particular, think they know what is best for their children under all circumstances, Perry shows that by looking at parenting from many angles, it is possible to provide children with better environments, happier lives and more upstanding and productive lives as adults. As the old meme goes, when children see adults show kindness to animals and the less fortunate, they internalise these lessons and apply them in their own lives. Brutal and violent parenting, on the other hand, can lead to bitter adults that see everyone else as their enemies. Having never been shown trust, they assume that everyone else is as untrustworthy as the brutes that "looked after" them as children and teenagers.

A wise young mother, Mama P, exemplifies the ideal maternal approach to parenting. Children need what they need, and they should not be put into boxes of "toddler," "adolescent," "teenager" or "male" or "female" and treated according to social mores and stereotypes. No qualified doctor would think of prescribing insulin to a non-diabetic. Some children, starved for affection by callous or simply ignorant parents, will fail to reach their full potential, even when it comes to something as basic as growth. Young children cannot simply become physically healthy adults simply by ingesting nutrients. If human contact isn't there, toddlers will remain short-statured and could even die from neglect alone. A study in the 1940s found that over a third of neglected infants simply die. This was described in great detail in Failure to Thrive: a Practice Guide by Chichester and published in the United Kingdom.

Perry details several riveting case studies, including a young girl who was raped, children who were fortunately rescued from the Branch Davidian cult, and one victim whose mother abused him to gain attention (she suffered from Munchausen's by Proxy). The trauma recounted within will no doubt be difficult reading, but this is one of the most important non-fiction books in the 21st century. Finally, we have empirical evidence that demolishes any last hope paternalistic despots have of defending their style of "parenting." Caretakers can say "suck it up" or "learn to love yourself" until they're blue in the face, but such attitudes only lead to misery and destructive self-replicating spirals.

Children need to be loved before they can learn to love themselves.
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on April 22, 2017
A friend who is in the field of child development introduced me to Dr Perry's work. I read a lot of psychology books, always hoping to discover deeper meaning. Often, authors will be repetitive about their findings. Dr Perry's explanations were not such. He gave various stories with explanations to include neurological findings. I couldn't put this book down, have ordered his other, and am now more interested in his lectures and the work his organization does in TX.

I am a child advocate and found Dr Perry's book very helpful in understanding trauma and how relationship dynamics play a role in healing.

I would love to see Dr Perry author a book specific to his lectures on how society plays a role and what we can do to make significant changes. He touches on this in the end; the breakdown of the family unit and how other countries successfully "have both highly productive economies and provide high quality child care and lots of paid family leave." It would be wonderful to explore his thoughts on this model on a deeper level.

This book is a must for anyone in the field of child advocacy and psychology or trauma. But for parents especially! Although this book provides clinical and neurological explanations, it is easy to read without losing interest.
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on October 2, 2016
This book is one of the best books I've ever read. It is evidence-based and well-researched, explaining the workings of scientific discoveries about nature/nurture and the brain in a way that people of all science levels will be able to understand. It also does an excellent job of interspersing true, disturbing stories of child neglect and abuse with hope and practical tips for helping those we encounter in our lives who may have experienced these horrible things. It does not bring in horrible stories to "shock" and does not dwell on them in a way that is unhelpful and just re traumatizing. This has been so helpful for me as a Master of Social Work student, but I also see how it could be beneficial for anyone working with kids, from teachers to foster parents, to just a family friend or a soon-to-be parent. Really, the lessons are easily transferable to all work with children. The book is also broken into manageable chapters.
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on May 30, 2017
Personally, I hate reading, I read less than 10 books in my lifetime. I was force to read this for an English class and I DIDNT REGRET read this book.

I love this book. It gives you different life perspective. It gives real life experience and story. When you read the book, is as if you're experiencing and going through it with the characters.

It's a very powerful book. I recommend everyone to read it.
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on April 29, 2008
Assisted by a talented science writer, child psychiatrist Bruce Perry presents a series of heartbreaking stories of children severely damaged by trauma. But that's only one side of this remarkable book. The other side is how many of these profoundly damaged children were assisted to heal.

Perry explains his "neurosequential" approach that sequentially targets brain regions left undeveloped by abuse or neglect. He presents compelling cases to illustrate how the child's age at the time of the abuse or neglect will determine the gaps in neurological development and how his interventions sequentially target those developmental gaps. For children whose brains were stalled out in infancy, for example, therapy may start with healing touch or rhythm before moving on to higher brain activities.

The focus, always, is on the child's humanity. Perry explains the importance of listening and letting the child set the pace. He warns of the damage caused by well-intentioned but poorly trained therapists who push children to open up, or who administer punitive interventions in the guise of treatment. Healing is not about a specific technique administered in cookbook fashion but, rather, about love, and restoring shattered human connections.

This is an enlightening and heartening book and a real page-turner to boot. The neurological underpinnings of the trauma theory are presented in clear English accessible to anyone who can read. If you're a mental health professional, psychologist, or psychiatrist, you'll love this book. If you're a parent or a teacher, it's also for you. Whoever you are, it's for you. I guarantee you will be engaged and inspired.
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on May 8, 2014
As a professor of counseling I consider this a must read book and recommend it to students regularly. As a professional counselor I consider this a must read book and recommend it to clients. As a parent I consider this a must read book and recommend it to friends. As a human the stories in this book touched my soul.

Every now and then a book comes along that is not trying to market something or sell you something else. Rather it truly is the wisdom of the author, and a life of experience, shared with others. This is one of those books. Both easy to read and at the same time full of complexity, the author weaves narrative stories with research and academic knowledge in a very effective manner. The stories illustrate both the sadness of children who do not receive the attentive love they need, and the hope of effective interventions when we understand what is needed.

The book is readable and valuable for both the lay person and the professional. It is a "paradigm shifter" that does so quietly and with grace. The author makes no grandiose claims and writes so very respectfully of those he has encountered along his journey. I'm am very grateful this book was recommended to me, and I highly recommend it to you.
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on June 17, 2017
If you have many kind of empathy in your body, many of these case stories will be hard to swallow. However, there is relief in the notion that individuals are beginning to understand what changes need to happen to create a more balanced and happy society. My hope is that in my elder years the information in this book is common knowledge and applied to education systems everywhere.
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on April 1, 2017
I have learned so much about how the developing brains of children are affected after experiences with trauma and/or high levels of stress. As an educator, this information is valuable and an important reminder to not treat every student as if they have had the same experiences at home. I highly recommend this book to anyone who interacts/works with children and anyone else who may be interested in the contents of this book.
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on May 21, 2017
Loved this book by Dr. Perry. This book entails real life stories from Child Psychology and how they impacted how psychologists learn to understand how a child’s brain works or is defined by the tragedies of their young lives. This is a great read for those in a field that works with children and great for foster/adoptive parents to understand why these children do what they do and how to help guide them in life.
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on January 17, 2012
Unlike many books written on the subject of child trauma, psychology and psychiatry, Perry approaches his clients and their cases with a good balance between a biological/neurological view and psychological view of the effects of trauma on children. It discusses in simple language the biological changes which occur as a result of abuse or trauma in early brain development, and then revealing how those changes show themselves in subsequent behaviour and cognitions. Whilst other books written on similar topics tend to dwell on the almost "airy-fairy" psychological approaches to up a child's self-esteem, such as talking about love and cuddles; The Boy who was raised as a Dog discussed the importance of these things, without ignoring the biological, and evolutionary, reasons as to why humans need this type of affection.
The only frustration I had with this book was the amount of concluding statements put in. Whilst the rest of the book was written well, it was as though the concluding paragraphs of each chapter were written following the instructions of a high schooler's essay writing guide; referring back to each paragraph and re-stating each point. This was frustrating mainly because they were long-winded and unnecessary.
Overall, I found this book quite thought-provoking and gave me a good basic understanding of the neurosequential approach used by Perry and his colleagues.
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