Oprah Winfrey offers 'tools to build self-worth' in new book on trauma

30 April 2021 - 07:46
Oprah Winfrey's new book has everybody talking.
Oprah Winfrey's new book has everybody talking.
Image: Reuters

US media personality and author Oprah Winfrey wants to help people confront their childhood traumas, understand their impact and start being kinder to themselves and those around them by asking the question “what happened to you?", rather than “what's wrong with you?”

Winfrey seeks to do this through her new book, titled What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing , which was co-authored with psychiatrist Dr Bruce Perry.

Here's what you need to know: 

How relationships help your healing process 

In an interview with CBS News on Tuesday, Winfrey and Perry said the book seeks to provide readers with the right tools to help them heal from past traumas. 

“Each of us creates a unique world view shaped by our life's experiences and that world view is shaped when you are a child,” said Winfrey.

Perry emphasised the importance of having healthy relationships with people other than family, who understand your past traumas.

“Healing comes from moments in which people are present, attentive and attuned and truly see you.”

Where can you get the book?

The 300-page book is available in book stores and on Amazon for R240. 

Instability, neglect and punishment

Winfrey shared some of her childhood experiences in an Instagram series.

In one, she opens up about how she was beaten as a child to silence her. This resulted in her becoming what she called a “world-class people pleaser” who struggled to set boundaries. 

“The long-term impact of being whupped then forced to hush and even smile about it turned me into a world-class people pleaser for most of my life. It would not have taken me half a lifetime to set boundaries and learn to say no with confidence had I been nurtured differently,” she wrote.