What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing - book cover
  • Publisher : Flatiron Books: An Oprah Book; 1st edition
  • Published : 27 Apr 2021
  • Pages : 304
  • ISBN-10 : 1250223180
  • ISBN-13 : 9781250223180
  • Language : English

What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing


Our earliest experiences shape our lives far down the road, and What Happened to You? provides powerful scientific and emotional insights into the behavioral patterns so many of us struggle to understand.

"Through this lens we can build a renewed sense of personal self-worth and ultimately recalibrate our responses to circumstances, situations, and relationships. It is, in other words, the key to reshaping our very lives."―Oprah Winfrey

This book is going to change the way you see your life.

Have you ever wondered "Why did I do that?" or "Why can't I just control my behavior?" Others may judge our reactions and think, "What's wrong with that person?" When questioning our emotions, it's easy to place the blame on ourselves; holding ourselves and those around us to an impossible standard. It's time we started asking a different question.

Through deeply personal conversations, Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry offer a groundbreaking and profound shift from asking "What's wrong with you?" to "What happened to you?"

Here, Winfrey shares stories from her own past, understanding through experience the vulnerability that comes from facing trauma and adversity at a young age. In conversation throughout the book, she and Dr. Perry focus on understanding people, behavior, and ourselves. It's a subtle but profound shift in our approach to trauma, and it's one that allows us to understand our pasts in order to clear a path to our future―opening the door to resilience and healing in a proven, powerful way.

Editorial Reviews

"Where Hope Lives:

What we experience in childhood shapes us forever―and that is especially true for young victims of trauma. It's a lesson Oprah learned as a child being raised by an abusive grandmother. She developed 'a keen sense of when trouble was brewing'―when she would be subjected to 'whuppings' at times so brutal, the welts left behind would bleed through her clothing.

As a result of this and other abuse she suffered, Oprah has had a lifelong interest in understanding and overcoming the profound effects of early trauma―and helping others do the same. Now, she's teamed up with neuroscientist and child trauma expert Bruce Perry, MD, PhD, on this essential book. Revealing, intimate, and educational, it's a testament to the authors' wish for readers to come to grips with, and let go of, the past―and to move forward into 'post-traumatic wisdom.'"

―Leigh Haber, O Magazine

Readers Top Reviews

Sylviarom40Maite UKA
Profound shift in the way you think and process things instead of asking “what’s wrong with you?” to “what happened to you?” Understand why and how we respond to the world now and clearing our path and clearing a way for our best future!
Cyrus Webb
When we think about Oprah we automatically focus on all the good she has done and the lives she has touched. She has made us feel seen, loved and valued. In the book WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?, however, she shares her own personal journey with trauma and the importance of doing the work to move forward and thrive. Along with her co-author Dr. Bruce D. Perry, Oprah gives what were never-before-known stories of her own life with traumatic experiences, how they impacted her life growing up and why it has been so important for her to work through them, not just for herself but for those she loves. We have heard that 'hurt people hurt people', and WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU? shows how that occurs, but also gives us tools so that we can break the cycle and allow healing and joy to fill our lives instead of the pain. For those that have struggled in silence or felt unseen, Oprah has opened the door of self-awareness once again to us. WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU shares the importance of discover and the work we all have to be whole.
Malika F.
All proceeds are being donated to the Boys and. Girls Club Mississippi. Class act.
Ernie Somers
I was very much looking forward to this read, however due to some print being light green or light blue, my eyes do not adjust to it well. DISAPPOINTED. UPDATE: I've repurchased as a kindle, much easier to read.
I love Dr. Bruce Perry but this book is a bit off. The ink is hard to read and I feel like this is another interview turned to a book where Dr. Perry does all the explaining. This is a rehash of all the existing trauma books already out in the markets not sure where Opera fits in this book other than asking questions. Please do yourself a favor and get Bessel’s book on the body keeps the score.