[VIRTUAL] What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing

Date: January 25, 2022
Time: 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

You are invited to join a discussion about the book, “What Happened To You?” Conversations on Trauma, Resilience and Healing by Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah led by Cathy Cohn, Ph.D., and Ellen Taxman, MA.  

The book offers a framework to look at trauma through a lens of resiliency rather than a lens of pathology.  It helps to understand that while our early childhood experiences have shaped who we are, there is a more integrated way to understand trauma. By embracing this understanding, we can redesign our personal narrative to give a sense of personal pride and alter how we respond to situations, circumstances, and connections. As Ellen states: "This book can transform people’s lives.”  

The book challenges us to shift our focus from “What’s wrong with you?” or “Why are you behaving this way?” to asking “What happened to you?”. The book brings together Dr. Bruce Perry, a world-leading expert in childhood trauma, and Oprah Winfrey, an inquisitive and powerful storyteller to bring their extraordinary expertise to explain the science of trauma while providing ways to overcome its effects.  The book offers hope and compassion for one’s story.  

The group will meet on Tuesdays from January 18 through February 15 from 5:30 - 7 pm.  

The format will be 30 minutes of educational discussion followed by smaller breakout groups for a guided conversation among all participants.  Because of the sensitive nature of this topic the book discussion will be limited to 16 people.   

The topics for the 4-week group are:

  1. The science of trauma: Introduction to Book (The Spectrum of Trauma- The three E’s:  the event, the experience, and effects)
  2. The emotion and response to trauma (Oy, Generation to Generation Trauma, Coping to Healing and Post-Traumatic Healing)
  3. Hope for the future. (Relational Hunger in the Modern World and What We Need Now: Is Love Sweet Love)
  4. Connection to community, personal connections, and spiritual faith to find comfort.  


Dr. Cathy Cohn is a clinical social worker and psychologist working in private practice. She is trained in the treatment of trauma, grief, depression, and anxiety. Dr. Cohn’s early career focused on working with at-risk children in the juvenile justice system.  She then worked as a school psychologist and school social worker for the Boulder Valley School District.  Dr. Cohn has also been an adjunct professor at the University of Denver teaching classes on Risk and Resiliency.  She has been recognized within her field for creating innovative programming focusing on what’s right with people rather than what’s wrong.  Dr. Cohn is a frequent speaker within the community on topics related to trauma.  

Ellen Taxman started her professional life in a laboratory where she worked for 10 years in scientific research before pursuing her desire to work more directly with individuals and families. Ellen’s primary focus for the past 25 years has been to improve the quality of life for older adults through her advocacy work mainly in the nonprofit and public sectors.  She created the Older Adult Support Services for Boulder Jewish Family Services as a satellite office to the Denver agency back in 1999, where she served as the Care Manager. She serves as a volunteer Long Term Care Ombudsman, in addition to, serving on several organizations, such as Aging Advisory Council for Boulder County and Circle Talk (CT) where she has facilitated CT groups in assisted living communities.  She earned a Master of Arts in Gerontology and Long-Term Care Management.

You can purchase the book at the Boulder Bookstore. Reading the book is required to participate in this discussion.

Tuesdays, January 18, 25 | February 1, 15 | 5:30 - 7 pm | $48

**Registration ends January 18**