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: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook--What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing

by Bruce D. Perry, Maia Szalavitz


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In this instant classic of developmental psychology, a renowned psychiatrist examines the effect that trauma can have on a child, reveals how PTSD impacts the developing mind, and outlines the path to recovery.

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 Dr. Bruce D. Perry has helped children faced with unimaginable horror: genocide survivors, murder witnesses, kidnapped teenagers, and victims of family violence.

In The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, Dr. Perry tells their stories of trauma and transformation through the lens of science, revealing the brain's astonishing capacity for healing. Deftly combining unforgettable case histories with his own compassionate, insightful strategies for rehabilitation, Perry explains what exactly happens to the brain when a child is exposed to extreme stress — and reveals the unexpected measures that can be taken to ease a child's pain and help him grow into a healthy adult.

As a senior fellow at the Child Trauma Academy, Dr. Perry and his clinical group worked with hundreds who endured severe childhood neglect and abuse with incredible resilience and strength. Through the stories of children who recover — physically, mentally, and emotionally — from the most devastating circumstances, Perry shows how simple things like surroundings, affection, language, and touch can deeply impact the developing brain, for better or for worse. In this deeply informed and moving book, Bruce Perry dramatically demonstrates that only when we understand the science of the mind can we hope to heal the spirit of even the most wounded child.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465094455
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 08/29/2017
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 11,629
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD, is the senior fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy, a not-for-profit organization based in Houston, TX, and an adjust professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Maia Szalavitz is an award-winning journalist who specializes in neuroscience. With Dr. Perry, she also cowrote Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential—and Endangered. Her other books include Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction and Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids. She lives in New York City with her husband and a Siamese shelter cat.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xiii

Preface to the 2017 Edition xv

Introduction xxiii

Chapter 1 Tina's World 1

Chapter 2 For Your Own Good 29

Chapter 3 Stairway to Heaven 59

Chapter 4 Skin Hunger 87

Chapter 5 The Coldest Heart 107

Chapter 6 The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog 137

Chapter 7 Satanic Panic 171

Chapter 8 The Raven 199

Chapter 9 "Mom Is Lying. Mom Is Hurting Me. Please Call the Police." 227

Chapter 10 The Kindness of Children 241

Chapter 11 Healing Communities 259

Chapter 12 A Picture, Not a Label 277

Appendix 293

Chapter Commentaries for the 2017 Edition 305

Study Guide and Comments for Group Leaders 349

Group Leader Comments for Discussion Questions 361

Acknowledgments 385

Notes 389

Index 403

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