Bruce Perry’s Trauma Work

I have learnt a great deal from Dr. Bruce Perry about trauma and the healing of trauma over the past years. I have posted a number of articles about Bruce’s work on my Healing blog on The Carrolup Story website that I run with John Stanton. I thought it was time that I linked to these articles on this website due to the impact of childhood trauma and neglect on the development of addiction. 

‘What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing’: In this book, Bruce has put together so well what he has learnt throughout his career (a great deal from the young people he has worked alongside), and has described his theories of how we function as human beings, and how trauma can have such a devastating impact on us. He describes the many ways we can facilitate the healing of trauma.

On Relationships and Connectedness: Bruce Perry: ‘Yes, I’m very concerned about poverty of relationships in modern society. In our work, we find the best predictor of your current mental health is your current “relational health”, or connectedness. This connectedness is fueled by two things…

Belonging and Being Loved: Bruce Perry: Belonging and being loved are core to the human experience. We are a social species. We are meant to be in community, emotionally, socially and physically interconnected with others. If you look at the fundamental organisation and functioning of the human body, including the brain, you will see that so much of it is intended to help us create, maintain and manage social interactions. We are relational creatures.

On Trauma and Healing: Quotes from Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey’s New Book: Our ancestors recognized the importance of connectedness and the toxicity of exclusion. The history of the civilized world, on the other hand, is filled with policies and practices that favored disconnection and marginalization—that destroyed family, community, and culture.

Oprah Winfrey & Dr. Bruce Perry in Conversation: SXSW EDU 2021: Oprah Winfrey and leading child psychiatrist and neuroscientist Bruce Perry, MD, PhD explore the impact of childhood trauma on who we become, the decisions we make, and how healing must start with one question ‘what happened to you?’….

Stress, Trauma, and the Brain: Insights for Educators – Bruce Perry: As I watched these films, I realised how pertinent what Bruce was saying to what was going between Noel White and the Aboriginal children of Carrolup. I also realised how important these films are for teachers and the people overseeing education systems today.

Relationships, Connection and Healing from Trauma: In The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, he tells their stories of trauma and transformation. Dr. Perry clearly explains what happens to the brain when children are exposed to extreme stress. He reveals his innovative methods for helping ease their pain, allowing them to become healthy adults.

On Empathy: I’m reading a fascinating book at the moment, written by Maia Szalavitz and Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D., titled Born for Love: why empathy is essential—and endangered. Possessing empathy is a key attribute for people who are trying to help others heal or recover from trauma and its consequences, e.g. mental health problems, addiction.

Six Core Strengths for Healthy Child Development: ‘Each of the core strengths–attachment, self-regulation, affiliation, awareness, tolerance, and respect–is a building block in a child’’s development. Together, they provide a strong foundation for his or her future health, happiness, and productivity….’

Aboriginal healing practices for loss and trauma: Bruce Perry: Examination of the known beliefs, rituals, and healing practices for loss and trauma that remain from Aboriginal cultures reveal some remarkable principles. Healing rituals from a wide range of geographically separate, culturally disconnected groups converge into a set of core elements related to adaption and healing following trauma.

Without a Life Story: Bruce Perry: Without a life story, a child is adrift, disconnected and vulnerable—their neurobiology of reward, stress regulation and relational interactions are all altered—in negative ways—without a cortically mediated coherent personal narrative. Our conventional efforts to ‘treat’ them will often be frustrated and ineffective.