The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog

Author: Bruce Perry


Trigger Warning: Contains explicit descriptions of trauma and abuse

Official Description:

How does trauma 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 classic The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, Dr. Perry tells their stories of trauma and transformation and shares their lessons of courage, humanity, and hope. Deftly combining unforgettable case histories with his own compassionate, insightful strategies for rehabilitation, Perry explains what happens to children’s brain when they are exposed to extreme stress—and reveals the unexpected measures that can be taken to ease such pain and help them grow into healthy adults. 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.

Why I recommend it:

I do not recommend this book to anyone who may be triggered by explicit descriptions of child abuse. I do, however, recommend this book to those wanting to learn more about the ways in which trauma impact development, attachment, and the growing mind. The Author, Perry, not only describes in great detail the impact that stress and trauma have on the brain but also describes how love and care can have positive impacts on a child that has been harmed. Perry details the importance of reliable, loving connections to others in childhood development. Perry’s focus on relationships and connections remains more important now than ever.

My favorite quote from the book: “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.”…The truth is, you cannot love yourself unless you have been loved and are loved. The capacity to love cannot be built in isolation”