Book Review: "Why love matters – How affection shapes the baby’s brain" by Sue Gerhardt

Poggioli, M., 2011. Book Review: "Why love matters – How affection shapes the baby’s brain" by Sue Gerhardt. Reformulation, Winter, p.43.


This book was delightful to read and I could not put it down until I had finished it. It describes the neuroscience behind human relationships and  reciprocal roles, how one’s own self is shaped  by relating to another person and our ability to relate to others in easy to understand language. It spells out the reasons that love is so important in the development of human relationships. She quotes from diverging disciplines and how they are coming together to produce a new understanding of emotional life.  It links the role of early experience and the development of personality disorders, our ability to self regulate emotionally and behaviourally. It spells out how babies who have been treated harshly may not develop empathy for others and how the violent people of the future are now babies.

As therapists we have often understood this but we have not had the hard science to prove it.

I give this book 10 out of 10 and would recommend this book as essential reading for any CAT therapist.

Marisa Poggioli

Full Reference

Poggioli, M., 2011. Book Review: "Why love matters – How affection shapes the baby’s brain" by Sue Gerhardt. Reformulation, Winter, p.43.

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