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Publisher's Summary

Why Love Matters explains why loving relationships are essential to brain development in the early years and how these early interactions can have lasting consequences for future emotional and physical health. This second edition follows on from the success of the first, updating the scientific research, covering recent findings in genetics and the mind/body connection, and including a new chapter highlighting our growing understanding of the part also played by pregnancy in shaping a baby’s future emotional and physical well-being.  

The author focuses in particular on the wide-ranging effects of early stress on a baby or toddler’s developing nervous system. When things go wrong with relationships in early life, the dependent child has to adapt; what we now know is that his or her brain adapts too. The brain’s emotion and immune systems are particularly affected by early stress and can become less effective. This makes the child more vulnerable to a range of later difficulties such as depression, anti-social behaviour and addictions or anorexia, as well as physical illness.

©2015 Sue Gerhardt (P)2019 Taylor & Francis

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  • Luke
  • 20-02-20

Every parent should read this book

I read this as part of a recommended reading for graduate level classes/working as a new clinician. Regardless, every parent, or soon to be parent, should read this book. Developmental psychology and attachment theory is quite fascinating but many folks who read this book will discover why their personality is the way it is, and gives good strategy for raising securely attached children.

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  • Jessica P.
  • 26-12-20

interesting book well read

could have more practical examples on how to regulate your baby. I'm so worried now after reading it. did I let him stress too long or was finishing lunch in order to feed more important?

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  • citizen67
  • 10-02-20

Brilliant!!

One of the best and most important books I have ever listened to, and it tells me so much about my life and my problems I have suffered stemming from the neglect I suffered as a baby and a child from my narcissistic Mother. It explained so much.
Every politician and decision-maker in this country should read (listen to) this book.

I find this Audible speaking-books system a very easy way to absorb a book, although this particular book was over 10 hours long I listen to it through completely 2x times, and then put it on in the background as I was doing things many, many more times to absorb all of the details of what it said.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-12-20

important read for all parents

Be warned it's hard not to feel guilty and worry about how to undo your parenting mistakes. Fear not as the solution is to start being responsive to your own and children's emotions- achnowledge feelings and practice impulse control. Easily said,but yet to put this into practice.

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  • Frazer
  • 13-07-20

Brilliant

As a practicing child psychotherapist this book was full of useful studies in contemporary neuroscience. Highly recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Adeline Gray
  • 15-02-21

Fantastic research on the shape of brain and thoughts

I am grateful to have stumbled across this wonderful book, because it has helped me to understand myself and other loved family members better. There is a reason for our behaviour, and it is shaped in the womb and during infancy. I hope to find acceptance in the near future for the way people are. Thank you Sue Gerhardt.

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  • Miss Lisa J mitchell
  • 19-01-21

Brilliant

Absolutely brilliant read, loved every minute. Should be taught in every school in the world

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-12-20

A must read for anybody really.

It is comprehensive, very well researched and provides a very persuasive argument for investing and valuing infant care and relationships between caregivers and their babies. It provides insight about early experience we all could benefit from, regardless of our profession or whether or not we have children.

I would definitely recommend it to anyone having children, or caring for young children though. Excellent.

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  • Emma F
  • 10-09-20

Thorough and well researched

As a parent, it's easy to pick up one book or article that recommends one approach to baby and child care and then pick up another that recommends a contrary approach.
What I found compelling about this book is that it is well researched with the arguments in favour of a gentle, responsive and more emotionally devoted type of parenting style all evidenced by science and studies. The book is extremely well referenced throughout. It is however quite pithy and academic to read/listen to at times, which makes me think it is more pitched at other academics in the field more-so than an exhausted mum. Still, very useful from a parenting perspective!

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  • JoePublic
  • 17-07-20

Essential reading, exquisitely narrated

Phyllida Nash’s well paced narration ensures Sue Gerhardt’s message is clearly heard. A comprehensively researched and fascinating book. An important work evidencing links between early life experiences and adult dysfunction across the lifecycle. It will change the way you think.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-04-21

Essential reading for humans

This book is densely packed with research on early childhood development that shows without a doubt the importance of responsive parenting. The science is fascinating and the implications are vitally important for everyone to understand - not just parents, because parenting happens in the context of a wider society.
Some of the information in this book is a bit confronting, but I urge you to push through the tough bits; it's worth it!