Spurred on by becoming a dad six years ago, child and family psychotherapist Louis Weinstock was inspired to write a book to help parents and children navigate what he saw as an increasingly worrying world. "I felt there was a lot of things out there focusing on treating symptoms, but I couldn't find anything tackling what the root causes were – I wanted to figure out what was going on and come up with solutions to help adults raise children who feel empowered in a tumultuous world."

Weinstock's thoughtful exploration focuses on seven root causes – tackling issues like narcissism and individualism in society, as well as our increasingly digital lives – and the associated routes to healing for each. While calling for a more compassionate society at large, Weinstock also focuses close to home, on parents: "Parents are the filter through which children experience the world. In my practice, the children I would see in therapy for 50 minutes a week would then go back to a home where there may be ongoing issues. I started to realise I could have more of an impact by focusing on the parents, on helping them heal their wounds so that they don't pass them onto their children."

Weinstock urges us to consider children's behaviour as communication, as a response to something in their environment, rather than isolating the issue as a problem to be fixed within the child. "Whether it's anxiety, depression, self-harm – they are trying to achieve something, there is some kind of intelligence or wisdom within the symptoms. It's only if the parents are willing to see the possibility of that and look at themselves that that healing can happen."

Watch our interview with Louis Weinstock here:

Louis Weinstock is the author of How the World is Making Our Children Mad and What to do About It

Further reading

Are mental health diagnoses in children doing more harm than good?

5 ways adults can support children with behavioural needs

The mental health toll of silence in families

Why grandmothers matter

How to manage feeling guilty as a parent