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To Be Loved

A Memoir of Truth, Trauma, and Transformation

300 pages
Bridge City Books

Trauma blocks love. Love heals trauma.

Frank was just six years old when he learned there was something wrong with him. Seriously wrong. But no one told him what it was. Instead, between attending weekly therapy sessions, navigating the passion and violence of his home life, and reading between the lines of dark family secrets, he was left to figure out for himself what the world expected him to be.

Despite an unstable childhood, his remarkable intelligence, caring nature, and desperation for love and acceptance carried him from the top of his high school class to the elite residency program at Harvard University, where he ultimately became one of the world’s leading experts in the treatment of trauma. Along the way, his encounters with those suffering from abuse, addiction, and mental illness inspired a sense of purpose… and an earth-shattering awakening of his authentic self.

Ignited by this newfound identity, Frank embarked on a profound—sometimes painful—and redemptive journey that brought the love and acceptance he always longed for.


In To Be Loved, renowned trauma expert Dr. Frank G. Anderson shares the complicated experience of growing up gay in an Italian-American home that was at once fiercely loving and culturally close-knit while at the same time unaccepting, abusive, and rife with secret shame. With compassion, humor, and disarming honesty, Frank invites the reader into his formative experiences: coming out amid the LGBTQ+ carnival atmosphere of 1990s Provincetown, finding love and forming a family within the staid Boston suburbs, and coming home to confront his family’s legacy of abuse. By forging paths for forgiveness, he found that his truth and tenacious spirit were stronger than his trauma.

Author Bio

Dr. Frank G. Anderson, MD is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist who specializes in understanding and treating the effects of trauma. A longtime associate of Bessel van der Kolk’s groundbreaking Trauma Research Center and Dick Schwartz’s Internal Family Systems Institute, Frank is the author of two best-selling guides to trauma recovery and maintains a private practice in Concord, MA. Frank believes that traumatic events can have lasting effects on the well-being and life of an individual, and a better understanding these events can help lead people down pathways of healing.