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Robin  Karr-Morse

Robin Karr-Morse

Author & Therapist

Robin Karr-Morse

Author & Therapist


To get to the root of many issues facing our nation today—including juvenile violence, adult incarceration, and the looming health crisis—we must look more deeply than our current focus and to the cradle of human formation in earliest development.

As a family therapist and having served more than 20 years in Oregon’s education and child welfare systems, Robin Karr-Morse has drawn together the latest science in psychology, biology, neurology, and genetics to write two popular books that take readers inside the reality of early development. Ghosts from the Nursery looks at the correlations between child abuse and neglect in the first three years of life and later developing aggression and violence. Scared Sick examines the role of early trauma in the later development of heart disease, addiction, and a host of illnesses currently escalating in our nation.

Robin Karr-Morse views the goal of her work as empowering parents and persuading policymakers to reshape social policy so that we begin to support families in building healthy children rather than continuing to build larger and larger systems to fix or contain broken adults. Her message, based on the emerging research, is an optimistic but urgent call to action.

Speaker Videos

Ghosts from the Nursery

Speech Topics

Scared Sick: The Role of Childhood Trauma in Adult Disease

In this talk, Robin Karr-Morse addresses:

  • How toxic stress in early life facilitates later physical and emotional disease, including addiction
  • The biology of trauma and its impact on the immune and endocrine systems
  • New findings in the role of genetics in the stress-related diseases: epigenetics
  • The relevance of the attachment relationship to adult health: the biology of attachment
  • Social policy that supports health from the beginning of life

Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence

In this speech, based on her book, Ghosts from the Nursery, Robin Karr-Morse shares:

  • How the brain develops and the biological roots of violent and aggressive behavior
  • The relationship between child neglect and abuse and current incarceration rates
  • How to prevent the expanding rate of incarceration: preventive social policies that help families build healthy kids

Building Preventive Social Policy