The Deepest Well
A pioneering physician reveals how childhood stress leads to lifelong health problems and what we can do to break the cycle.
When a young boy walked into Dr Nadine Burke Harris's clinic he looked healthy for a preschooler. But he was seven, and hadn't grown a centimetre since a traumatic event when he was four. At that moment Dr Burke Harris knew that her gut feeling about a connection between childhood stress and future ill health was more than just a hunch – and she began her journey into groundbreaking research with stunning results.
Two thirds of us have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience, from the likes of bereavement and divorce to abuse and neglect. In The Deepest Well Dr Burke Harris reveals the science behind childhood adversity and offers a new way of understanding the adverse events that affect us throughout our lifetime. Based on her own groundbreaking clinical work and public leadership, Dr Burke Harris shows us how we can disrupt this cycle through interventions that help retrain the brain and body, foster resilience, and help children, families, and adults live healthier, happier lives.
Like the classic Silent Spring, this book helps readers see a problem hiding in plain sight that impacts us all. By looking at the widespread crisis of childhood adversity through the objective lens of science and medicine, this book provides a roadmap for deeper understanding and change.
In the media
Offers a powerful - even indispensable - frame to both understand and respond more effectively to our most serious social ills.
David Bornstein, New York Times
A heart-breaking, world-shaking, revolutionary book. The Deepest Well uncovers offers a new set of tools, based in science, that can help each of us heal ourselves, our children, and our world.
Paul Tough, author of New York Times Best Seller How Children Succeed
The Deepest Well is a heartbreaking, beautiful book about what might be the most important single issue facing disadvantaged populations: the prevalence of childhood trauma. Relying on her work as a compassionate physician and first-class scientist, Burke Harris weaves together groundbreaking research with touching personal stories. The result is a gripping book that should convince everyone that we have a serious problem, and that unless we address it the losers will be our children.
JD Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy
This ultra-smart and compassionate book delivers revelations about what is really going on—in our bodies, in our families, in our communities—as a result of childhood toxic stress, as well as targeted solutions for individual healing. My Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) test result is a nine out of ten. When I needed it, one person extended the hand of hope and help to me. It saved me. This book has the power to extend that hand to countless others.
Ashley Judd, actress, political activist and author of All That is Bitter and Sweet