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LOVE Elspeth McAdam STOK Conference. 13th November 2009, Denmark.

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Presentation on theme: "LOVE Elspeth McAdam STOK Conference. 13th November 2009, Denmark."— Presentation transcript:

1 LOVE Elspeth McAdam STOK Conference. 13th November 2009, Denmark

2 Love If music be the food of love, play on Shakespeare
All you need is LOVE Beatles STOP -- Linguagram meaning of love

3 Lingugram of love Ocean of meaning in a drop of grammar!
Meanings emerge as we the word is used In 2s or 3s explore meaning and narratives of love and what it entails what actions, what stances

4 Love is the source of human socialisation
Love is biological Love is the source of human socialisation - Humberto Maturana

5 Maturana’s thoughts on love
Stickiness/Love is the spontaneous dynamic condition of acceptance by a living system of its coexistence with other living systems: a reciprocal fitting, a happening that takes place or does not Love is a biological phenomena, and requires no justification; If love occurs there is socialisation if it does not then there is not. Love is the fundament of social phenomena and not its consequence. Social phenomena only last as long as love lasts in that domain.

6 Socialization Love is the source of human socialisation
What is especially human is what we do in love as humans This is an invitation to respect the biological condition that is the basis of humanity. Without love as a spontaneous biological phenomena there is no socialisation

7 Language Can only develop as a mutual dance between people
To be conserved over time involves dramatic increased complexity of relationships to be maintained where love, care respect is lived Conversations are an entwining of emotion, language & action Language now living and perpetuated but appropriation/ownership culture – competition, hierarchy, negation valued and love/humanness incidental But still live love based childhood then competition and patriarchy come in in adolescence. Schism of world of humanness coexisting with world of inhumanness Emotion changes, language changes. How talk and act different in different domains.

8 Love is a healer! Love is a fundamental condition of being a human being When the biology of love is interfered with we disappear or become ill and are cured by love New beginnings always start in love – new respect and dignity couplings Very relevant just now – Maturana talks about war and lack of respect for green issues as being loss of love. Aggression and competition also a loss of love Also the importance of the two bottom items to keep in mind for the work we all do.

9 An Invitation Maturana is offering us an invitation to respect the Biological condition that is the basis of humanity. Without love as a spontaneous biological phenomena there is no socialisation Without socialisation there's no language, no reason, no self consciousness, no awareness of emotions, so without love we are not social beings. This is not trivial and has huge implications. My preoccupation with this has been our country’s attitude to delinquent children is horrendous and shows no love --

10 Value of Maturana’s ideas of love as Biological
Really important in this day and age as there are so many wars, tyranny and ideology that the rationalisation justifies the loss of socialisation. We no longer have love that accepts and enjoys the differences. How we are treating our children can be seen as a loss of the biological ideas/narrative of love. Press talk about children as monsters or wild animals but Govt beginning to listen

11 Mirror neurones Daniel Stern
Children do not use spoken language until 18 –24 months but understand and communicate clearly. They learn very early to respond via mirror neurones (MN) to carer’s communication – smile they smile, anger they withdraw or cry There are also intention neurones (IN) that pick up and anticipate others’ intentions. MN & IN – GROW IMPLICIT KNOWLEDGE - Huge and difficult to put into words Eg LOVE So how do we create a context where love can grow.

12 “ “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a
faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.” - Albert Einstein

13 Love is experienced in the whole body as are all emotions
Non-verbal expressions are seen and sensed even though we do not appreciate we are showing them.

14 Meetings Zone of Tranquillity Zone of Fight and Flight
Peaceful, open, reflective, in dialogue and open to change Zone of Fight and Flight Defensive, deny, justify, aggressive Melissa Griffiths, Glenda Fredman Tell Bethel story

15 Implicit Knowledge Children and vulnerable people are very sensitive to this implicit communication, responding fast to any sense of criticism moving into a fight and flight mode, So when we meet people we need to make sure we are in a Zone of Tranquillity to help people feel safe. We also need to enhance our listening to our own mirror and intention neurones This fits with the neurobiology as it is emerging from all the scans now possible

16 Neurobiology: Types of Affect Systems
Paul Gilbert We are all born in a state of fear and high arousal – we need to be fed, cared for, kept warm, OXYTOCIN STORY

17 The Contentment System
When animals are not threatened and not seeking resources they become content Contentment associated with positive affect, and sense of calm and well being, enabling signals of caring and kindness to have soothing qualities, that activate positive affect, safeness and social connectedness. – the social safeness system. The contentment/social safeness system is wired to act as a regulator of the threat protection and drive systems. Oxytocin story of birth Withdrawal of love is like morphine withdrawal – going cold turkey and maybe explains why addicts take morphine

18 Threat Protection System (TPS)
All living things have evolved threat-detection and protection systems Stimuli impinging on organisms must be checked out for potential threat Mammalian defences include a menu of behaviours – fight, flight, freeze; emotions- anger,anxiety,disgust; stories TPS have evolved to be attuned to certain kinds of threats and operates a better safe than sorry policy These threats often picked up by mirror neurones but children also learn them through limit setting. First is fear and not love, second is love tend to read an

19 continued Sensitivity and response to specific threats results from interaction between genes and learning Response options may conflict and create confusion Brain state choreographed from threat protection can bias other processing systems ambiguous events read negatively Over and under development of sensitivities in threat protection underpin many psychopathologies Psycho pathologies – anxiety, OCD PD CD

20 Cortisol High cortisol negative outlook & view of life
active Right brain – high emotions low activity in Left brain- limited cognitive processing High Anxiety in pregnancy is predictor of CD in child Normal –L Brain more active than Rt Brain- positive feelings, cheerfulness & sociability High anxiety of mother in pregnancy with high cortisol levels may sensitize the baby to high arousal and possible ADHD, particularly if also in infancy a lot of stress or violence.

21 The Drive System This system motivates and directs us to important resources It is a source of anticipation and pleasure It underpins the development of desires and some goals – both materials and those linked to self esteem – eg seeking status or fame It is an activating system highly stimulated by certain drugs Positive emotions flowing from this become focus of Western philosophy and materialistic cultures Western Cultural stories of patriarchy and wanting to own things Maturana feels destroys life

22 Imagery Imagination can stimulate any of these pathways or systems – v biological Read a good menu and you salivate Ballerina post surgery Imagining caring loving thoughts or memories or loving, caring, content futures encourage contentment pathways to grow. Imagine success and dreams of a successful career, sport etc grow the drive pathway. Ballerina story elderly female ballerina in hosp for heart surety and all wired up to monitors. Nurse noticed that heart rate up and patient slightly sweaty. She was roused and sweetly said she had just been doing her bar work class!

23 What is love? Interestingly this fits the attachment story very well so it is useful to look at it and think about it when we work with families. Love biologically may mean creating a balance between all these 3 affect modes

24 Love is reciprocal and relational
Cannot do it alone Anxious mother or mother who needs mothering herself often not available to her child Withdrawn, unresponsive baby less likely to encourage mother’s warmth Ideally Love and responsiveness need to flow in both directions

25 Attunement- Being in Tune
Being present to your child Using mirror neurones to respond to child in way it wants Observe when temporarily withdraws– withdraw to give child space Peek a Boo games – led by child’s anticipation Entering their grammar Putting language on their emotion Seeing emotion and behaviour as an invitation – “You seem cross, you want all Mummy’s attention, I understand and know… but sometimes Mum has to give attention to your brother, I know you do not like it … but I do have to show him love too. Love you” Look at films of mother child interactions – responsive attuned mothering can pick up when to hold gaze and when to look away.

26 Setting limits Some Cortisol facilitates growth of nor adrenaline in orbito frontal cortex which develops regulatory/inhibitory behaviour Eg When told to STOP/DANGER- temporary loss of attunement – helps child fit social norms Change from sympathetic to Para sympathetic arousal Shame is experienced- important part of socialisation. More important is the recovery from shame – with restoration of attunement. Need to balance – so need some fear, some drive and plenty of safeness in order to survive

27 Delight and pleasure at other’s achievements
Genuine delight and pleasure when someone you love achieves something from smiles to first steps to passing exams, getting a job, getting married etc Stimulates sense of value and self esteem that allows person to be confidently motivated Interesting that these fit so well with what people have found in our neuro biology

28 Bowlby, 1951, The Early Systemic Therapist
Just as children are absolutely dependent on their parents for sustenance, so in all but the most primitive communities, are parents, especially their mothers, dependent on a greater society for economic provision. If a community values its children it must cherish their parents.

29 Secure Attachment Story
Resilient to stress and trauma Mother present and attuned to baby MN Co creative gaze holding and letting go IN Any rupture of affirmative relationship with well attuned mother – fast reparation MN Games of anticipation and expectation –peek a boo IN Respond to baby and led by their response MN Boundaries develop with the withdrawal of affirmation and fast restoration of relationship MN & IN Communication thru eye contact helps brain to grow, Mother’s sympathetic system aroused –dilated pupils MN Implicitly child knows mother is there for it MN Attuned parents grow a social brain Mirror Neurones MN & Intention Neurones IN – GROW IMPLICIT KNOWLEDGE - HUGE AND DIFFICULT TO PUT INTO WORDS Eg LOVE

30 Insecure attachment Baby does not experience being cocooned by protective mother Mirror neurones and intention neurones pick up hostility and aggression, inconsistency and lack of attunement, over-involved play Baby overstressed – stress response active prematurely. Cortisol receptors flooded and shut down. So free floating cortisol – sense of stress/inhibits endorphins, dopamine and pleasurable feelings Cortisol stimulates adrenaline -) fight and flight and increased arousal Cortisol highest when loss of power/control

31 Ambivalent Mother inconsistent, intrusive & dismissive
Child becomes enmeshed, child is compliant, desperate to please, mother feels eaten up and pushes away Child terrified of Abandonment so does not explore Child swings between safeness and fear/threat protection systems. Little of drive system develops

32 Avoidant Attachment Mother functional, pushing away, child does not feel valued or engaged with Child becomes terrified of contact, rejection, dismissive of others, poor historian, poor story line, poor self awareness. Wariness of others Cortisol stimulates adrenaline -) fight and flight and increased arousal, Cortisol highest when loss of power/control

33 Therapeutic implications
Whatever story we tell of formative childhood experiences perhaps need to understand the biological consequences of what we do and ensure we can create opportunities for “love.” How do we help children stand on this tripod of the Healthy Affective Circle So much of this comes to the biology of love and creating a robust safety system

34 Social Construction We create our worlds through language and tell stories Active process depending on what stories are told, to whom and in what context Words create: meaning and action, intentionality, emotion and morality Language is future orientated Change happens simultaneously as we caress people with our words Language we use is a moral issue. Questions create a world for people to live with dignity

35 Appreciative Language –everyone wants to be a HEROINE
We all grow with being valued Positive stories allow people to have a choice to change Tell one of the untold stories Give people genuine dignity and respect Perfect system –coherent with their values and morality - Maturana

36 Criticism, blame and shame
Invites people to justify their actions and create explanations to repeat the “unwanted” behaviour It encourages denial and defensiveness If fast reparation may help child conform to social norms

37 As professionals we are:
Responsible for creating a morally respectful, dignified world Stories are prioritised differently for everyone in different contexts + different relationships Our own stories bewitches us – they fit OUR morality So difficult to make sense of/understand another’s morality when people do things you feel are wrong

38 Questions are Fateful What you ask is what you get
Ask questions that will give energy to the desired outcome and engagement in the conversation –connect thru love! Enquire about high points or success stories as this is when most abilities are evident energizes people. Abilities become resources Appreciate the richness of an episode- by asking questions to bring out all the details. Every PROBLEM is a FRUSTRATED dream – question and work with the dream

39 Identity is created by the stories others tell of us.
“We get to know ourselves through the detour of the other.” Identity is created by the stories others tell of us. We exist in the worlds of others Paul Ricoeur

40 Identity Identity is constantly inflow. A mosaic. Multiple stories depending on context and relationship What stories would you like told? What would you have to do to get those stories told. What actions live the identity?

41 Identity Identity is more usefully thought about as a process of identifying the abilities of the self. Identity is constant inflow as new abilities are recognized and used -Dewey

42 Identity cont Ability spot and encourage abilities to flower and blossom in different contexts so they become values & resources for future use

43 Ability Spotting Ask about high points/moments of pride or joy, SPOT abilities whilst fulfilling these actions – spot abilities as they emerge By getting into the details of the other’s story, the abilities emerge through the stories told. These emerge through detailed exploration, sharing, and co creativity of stories lived. They are accepted, as the evidence is before you in the story told.

44 “We are always in the PROCESS Working with the FUTURE OF
BECOMING” Vygotsky Working with the FUTURE

45 Hope Focusing on becoming creates hope – I can be something different
Creating possible futures is part of love as it takes as a stance that life holds riches for the future that are yours. It shows a belief in someone’s abilities and strengths to go on, survive and live a full and rich life.

46 Working with the future
The future is in the present. In the Future meaning grows, the meaning of events emerge. Meaning is crafted in the consequences of an action as it is lived out in the future in relationships. The future creates present action  Dewey talks about END - in – VIEW Vygotsky -- We are always in the PROCESS OF BECOMING

47 Martin Luther King I have a dream

48 Dreaming Use DREAMING instead of solutions as different language game.
Dewey – Reflexive Imagination which increases choices for living. Don’t think of just one future, think of 4/5 when values and relationships are harmonised Creates Zones of Proximal Development where people can experiment with a different identity and life trajectory Imagery stimulates the oxytocin pathways

49 Dreams are: Often Unrealistic, Idealistic – hopeful and create possibilities Energising & Fun & Playful –life giving Emotion is positive, enthusiasm, person feels valued Everything is possible Can’t fail Values are lived Fragmentary

50 Dreaming the future therapeutically
Go 10 – 15 years hence – gets away from as yet unsolved problems Talk about future in present tense. Tell a reassuring story – you are a mature adult leading a really happy competent life, suggest all problems gone so how are they now relating to family/friends etc. Be as unrealistic / creative as desire, enjoy the metaphors  look at meaning in metaphor.

51 Curiosity about the future
So it is 2020 … where are you living which community/country? What sort of house/apartment? What does it look like? Are you married , do you have children? Etc etc What job are you doing? Great detail – like a video – 3D experience Create the details of dreams by asking lots of detailed questions When person located in living the future as now Back light – work slowly back to the present -- Ask about how managed to get there as they have already solved difficulties and created a future. Continue dreaming right up until the present day so they know what to do tomorrow.

52 Witnessing and attesting
We now call our Network Meetings FUTURE PLANNING MEETINGS We invite all those who are concerned about the FUTURE of the young person – family/schools/police/SS Ask about moments of pride Ask about moments of pride and look for abilities Focus on abilities even in unwanted behaviours – what abilities are needed to be a good thief? – observant, fast, courage,daring, network ASK NETWORK when else noticed these abilities-GIVE EGS – when shown courage or loyalty compliant, desperate to please

53 Conclusions World View – need to consider love and socialisation as love that accepts and enjoys the differences. Societally - Care for our “mothers” and our children so they are given the love and safeness they need to develop all 3 bits of their affective systems. This means from conception on. Mothers is used generically as a relational care giving role – fathers,teachers,siblings,peer groups etc

54 How – just a few ideas! Pregnancy – reduce stress, violence, support, education, skills and emotional awareness. Societally to create narratives of success and survival in press To see people’s competences and comment on them To give everyone hope and a future Support parents and children at risk of developing CD

55 Thank you for listening! !

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