For a complex and sometimes daunting topic ‘Why Love Matters’ presents, in detail, scientific evidence on neuroscience and attachment in an easy to read and understandable way for the reader. Empowering the reader giving them more confidence to tackle this complex topic, relate to and understand certain issues with in relation to the chemical make-up of their brain. Useful for both professionals and parents alike.

It gives the reader an understanding of how a baby’s brain develops through to adulthood and the wide range of effects that the stress hormone cortisol can have on the brain both positively and negatively.  A hormone Gerhard states “is proving to be a key player in our emotional lives”.  It is this hormone that is produced in the Hypothalamus and its purpose is to provide extra energy for the body to deal with stress.  This stress could be either emotional or physical.  Since being able to measure cortisol levels far more easily through saliva samples has produced a variety of links to the nature of our early childhood experiences.

It goes on to look at the links between adult and child disorders in terms of their early brain development dotted with different case studies throughout whilst the third looks at how we can repair any damage from this early child development in children and in adults. Gerhardt says that “change and development continue through adult life because life is a process….it just tends to happen at a much slower pace.”  A positive ending to a book which uses fairly recent studies and evidence.

Even if you don’t get stuck into and read all of this book the first part offers a great grounding into the world of neuroscience, attachment and development.  Anyone interested in this possibly daunting world would benefit from having this book.