Building Together: How Relationships Make Families and Communities More Resilient
This book is for anyone who works with children and families . . . who advocates for families and communities . . . who makes or influences social policy and funding decisions . . . or is concerned about the effects of inequality and tribalism on our society.
“Building Together develops a clear and compelling case for change by drawing upon a diverse set of disciplines, including ethology, sociology, psychology and neuroscience. Anyone who cares for children, their families or their communities will benefit from Building Together.”
— Andrew Garner, MD, PhD, FAAP Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, CWRU School of Medicine, and co-author of Thinking Developmentally: Nurturing Wellness in Childhood to Promote Lifelong Health
To help rebuild families and communities, first we must understand what they truly need …
Children who grow up amid abuse, neglect, addiction, violence, and poverty can experience stress so toxic that it rewires their brains. The effects follow them into adulthood, leaving them vulnerable to psychological and physical illnesses—and likely to pass their struggles on to their children.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
In Building Together, Benjamin Kearney, Ph.D., explains how we can help children, families, and ultimately entire communities with interventions and policies guided by a few universally recognized and inexhaustible forces: joy, empathy, and love.
This is not mere idealism. These ideas are grounded in neuroscience, which has advanced more in the last decade than in the previous century, and in Dr. Kearney’s experiences as chief clinical officer of OhioGuidestone, the largest community behavioral health provider in Ohio.
In clear, accessible language, Dr. Kearney explains how we are shaped both by evolutionary forces and personal experiences; why nurture matters more than nature; and how caring relationships, within and outside the family, are essential to building the resilience that human beings need to help them weather stress and trauma.