Maia Szalavitz is a journalist who covers health, science and public
policy. She is co-author, with leading child trauma expert Bruce D.
Perry, MD, PhD, of Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential—And Endangered (Morrow, 2011) and
The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog and Other
Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children
Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing (Basic, 2007).
She is also author of Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids (Riverhead, 2006): the first book to expose widespread institutionalized abuse in boot camps, wilderness programs, "emotional growth" boarding schools and other "tough love" teen programs. Help at Any Cost is the first history of this largely unregulated industry, examining its roots in the Synanon cult and "human potential" movement of the 1970's—and it helped spur federal legislation, which has passed the House.
With Dr. Joseph Volpicelli, M.D., Ph.D. of the University of Pennsylvania, she co-wrote, Recovery Options: The Complete Guide: How You and Your Loved Ones Can Understand and Treat Alcohol and Other Drug Problems (John S. Wiley, 2000), the first evidence based consumer guide to addiction treatment. She also co-wrote Lost Boy (Broadway, 2009),
written with Brent Jeffs, a story of a courageous young man raised in a polygamous cult.
She has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Elle, Newsday, New York Magazine, New Scientist, Newsweek, Salon, Redbook, O: the Oprah Magazine, the New York Daily News, the Village Voice, Brill’s Content, Cerebrum and other major publications. She has appeared on Oprah, CNN, MSNBC’s News with Brian Williams, and NPR.
Maia Szalavitz has also worked in television-- first as Associate Producer and then Segment Producer for PBS' Charlie Rose,
then on several documentaries including a Barbara Walters' AIDS special
for ABC and as Series Researcher and Associate Producer for the PBS
documentary series, Moyers on Addiction: Close to Home.