Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holly vanGulden on YouTube

Much of my study time is spent working with material from Gordon Neufeld.  I truly love how his attachment-based developmental paradigm explains the world to me.

I have a second developmental attachment hero. Holly van Gulden lives in Minnesota and travels the world teaching about attachment and adoption.  Where Gordon's theories make sense of the world in broad strokes, Holly (and her partner, Claude Riedel) specializes in supporting adopted people and their families. 

A friend recently emailed a YouTube search of bits of Holly's talks.  Holly explains permanence, the ability to take for granted that something exists even when it is out of sensory contact (like my son still exists even though I can't see him across the house in the living room), and constancy, the ability to take for granted that something is the same across various states (Mom is still my loving mommy even when she's mad that I wrote in sharpie all over the wall).

Permanence and constancy fascinate me.  Once at a conference Holly gave us homework to come back the next morning with 5 popular songs that show each concept.  The assignment wasn't hard - which tells me that while the object relations academics put really difficult and fancy words to their model, holding onto who we and those we love are is something that we humans struggle with on a daily basis.

Here is a brilliant bit of missing permanence from the trailer for the new movie The Croods, watch at 1:59m.   Alanis Morisette schools us in constancy in her song I'm a Bitch, I'm a Lover.

Take a look at her videos.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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