- Paperback: 318 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (September 18, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415870534
- ISBN-13: 978-0415870535
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Why Love Matters: How affection shapes a baby's brain 2nd Edition
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"This book provides an interesting and eminently readable account, compressively set out, with a clear description, assisted by case studies, as to how the interaction between automatic physiological responses and biochemical reactions function to help maintain a good state." – Nicola Miller, in Seen and Heard
"For a reader acquainted with psychology, this truly is an all-encompassing book on early human development and presents fascinating links between genetic expression and socio-cultural and environmental influence. " – Michael Fiorini, International Journal of Psychotherapy
"This book is a rare achievement. It succeeds in combining the most accessible and readable account of the neurobiology of early development I have come across with an impressive level of scholarship. Though written with a light touch this fascinating updated volume eloquently describes how very recent advances in neuroscience are being used to re-define and deepen our understanding of the relational origins of human nature, and how this knowledge can be used to address the early roots of many of the common problems that all societies are now facing. A best seller in the UK, Sue Gerhardt's book deserves to be more widely read in the USA." – Allan N. Schore, Ph.D., UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine
"A sensational read. Combining cutting edge research on the brain, parenting and emotional development with wonderful writing, this is popular science at its best. A page-turner of a book which packs a powerful and life-changing message and is a must-read for parents, policy-makers, childcare professionals, students and indeed anyone interested in a healthier and happier future." – Dr. Graham Music, consultant psychotherapist, Tavistock Clinic, London, and author of Nurturing Natures
"With the knowledge summed up in this superb book, we can ensure that our child and every child gets close to the very limits of human potential." – Steve Biddulph, from the foreword
Praise for the first edition: "Why Love Matters is hugely important. It should be mandatory reading for all parents, teachers and politicians." – Rebecca Abrams, in The Guardian
"Sue Gerhardt writes in an easy-to-read, page-turning way and makes complex science tangible, relevant, popular and accessible." – Martine Horvath, Eye on Education
"The book is successful in conveying the important message about the role which early relationships play in the formation of the brain and is a useful tool for parents, professionals and students… An informative, enjoyable and motivating read." – Gemma Roxanne West, Student Play Therapist for BAPT Magazine
"Bolstering the work of the best-selling 2004 edition is this trade-meets-specialist publication that itnersects neuropsychology with attachment theory to emphasise the foundational importance of scure attachement through one-on-one primary care. The book is the product of impressive literature review and synthesis to further Gerhardt's argument... What is striking about Gerhardt's contribution is the volume of evidence she amasses and the wholistic, arguably 'whole-brained' approach she adopts. Perhaps most compelling, however, is the reported extent of the attachment disturbances... [A] courageous and mmeticulously argued, highly elucidating call to take the care of our most vulnerable dependents more seriously, and install good, present, securely attached love at the centre of our plan to help children live well." - Susie Elliot, researcher, Psychotherapy and Counselling Journal of Australia
About the Author
Dr Sue Gerhardt has been a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice since 1997. She co-founded the Oxford Parent Infant Project (OXPIP), a pioneering charity that today provides psychotherapeutic help to hundreds of parents and babies in Oxfordshire and is now the prototype of many new ‘PIPs’ around the country. She is also the author of The Selfish Society (2012).
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Top customer reviews
Sue Gerhardt’s Why Love Matters is an important book that addresses the crucial issue of what we need to recognize if we are to be more understanding of ourselves and each other and promote the health and well-being of future generations. This is a topic that should interest everyone because in one way or another we all contribute to what happens. The book presents evidence based on scientific research that supports the crucial role of relationships in the early development of healthy self-regulation. It describes how the ability to experience emotions with clarity and behave in constructive ways is rooted in what transpires in our immediate social context long before we have any awareness of what is happening. The book is well written and the presentation is entertaining covering not only the science but also providing vivid illustrations from the author’s clinical experience as well as from literature, film, and biography. The book underscores that it is during an individual’s most vulnerable months; namely prenatal life, infancy, and toddlerhood, that relationships have the most profound and enduring impact on our development. This is because during early life the brain is forming and becoming rapidly organized into functional systems whose structure and dynamics are not solely shaped by genetics. Exposure and experience drive genetic expression during time-limited sensitive periods and ultimately help determine whether our responses to environmental challenges or stressful circumstances will be more or less adaptive across situations.
It must be acknowledged that the idea of time-limited windows of opportunity to promote maximum well-being is not a comforting notion. Unfortunately, the idea is supported by lots of evidence which is not to say that one cannot point to exceptions where individuals subjected to adverse circumstances emerge with admirable qualities. Such resilient individuals are not the norm and often they have benefited from some unexpected relationship. It is also the case that biological arguments are not readily embraced by many well-intentioned individuals who find such arguments to be dangerously deterministic explanations for human behavior and contrary to notions of voluntary choice and responsibility for one’s actions. However, dismissing the ideas put forth in this book would only serve to perpetuate societal neglect of children and families who are in need of well-timed support if they are to avoid adverse outcomes such as susceptibility to academic failure, depression, violence, criminality, and/or addiction. Here some may perceive that the author is casting blame when in fact she is clarifying what needs to be recognized if we want to be supportive in ways that are effective. Investing in the early years is simply the right thing to do and besides that it is estimated to be less costly than the alternatives. Again this is an important book with a message that perhaps is not entirely reassuring or easy to accept but one that is profoundly enlightening!
An absolutely epochal work that has managed to go completely unnoticed in the US, where it is needed most.
Note to author: I eagerly await a second edition of Why Love Matters, which should allow for the incorporation of the latest science on mirror neurons into the book...
I have now bought 4 of these books & given them as presents to friends who are expecting babies, this book should be part of every governments guide to how to bring up children & every new parent , male & female should read it.. its not just a baby book, theres way more to it than that.
I suggest every parent-to-be get a hold of this book. One reviewer was dissapointed by the lack of specific exercises to play with. However, I don't think they are necessary because this book gives specifics about why certain strategies affect infants. I think understanding why certain types of parenting work better than others makes parents more likely to come up with the kind of adaptive spontaneous strategies which come out of such a way of thinking. You could also check out Brazelton for more specific info about exercises to do with your baby.
As a side note, once you read this book and make decisions about parenting based on the exhaustive research cited within, you will not only feel more confident about your parenting, but you will be able to defend against attacks from helpful but persistent grandparents, in-laws, and friends - should you want to engage in such discussions.