The truth about how to overcome adversity

With a Foreword by Professor Steve Hayes, author of The Liberated Mind and originator of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Caught in a maelstrom of personal trauma in his childhood and teenage years, Dr Pakenham stumbled upon the secret to resilience – embracing inner pain is empowering. Later in his life, as a professor and educator of clinical psychology, he discovered his early insight was supported by science and the spiritual traditions.

This raw and powerful memoir is a gutsy exposure of personal resilience in the face of the lingering echoes of trauma. From childhood domestic violence and bullying, intimacy with his mother’s suicide, alienation from gender and sexual diversity, and drug addiction and homelessness, Dr Pakenham weaves together his personal story and professional experiences to reveal how he flourishes through hardships.

Each one of us is affected by trauma at some point in our life. In this book Dr Pakenham reveals how his approach has inspired his personal and professional growth and that of his clients’ and students’, and gives real-life examples of how to use your inner pain to invigorate your life.


A clinician, professor of psychology and a world expert on resilience in adversity, Dr Pakenham has committed his career to exploring the nexus between suffering and personal growth. His research in this field has been widely published. He lives in Australia.