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No. 569, June 11, 2007

The possible future attachment paradigm

Many articles in Strategies in later years have been about various positive consequences of good relationships. There seems to be a not yet fully recognised positive potential in good relationships.

Recently I was in Frankfurt to listen to the Canadian psychologist Gordon Neufeld, whose book we presented in no. 566. Neufeld spoke about psychological attachment as an ignored area in the lives of children and adolescents in Western society. Secure attachments and good relationships greatly ease child-raising, school, work, learning and growing. Trying to solve human problems without well attached relationships often leads to complicated and expensive solutions.

Neufeld’s work is based on the Attachment Psychology created by British psychiatrist John Bowlby in the fifties. Modern neurological research has confirmed the attachment theory to a great extent. To this Neufeld has added his extensive clinical experience of children, adolescents and families in combination with giving lectures and workshops to teachers in Canadian schools. According to Neufeld, children with problems do not primarily need an expert. First of all they need a mature adult to attach to, an adult who is available to the child on a daily basis.

But school, work life and modern society are rarely adapted to these needs. We do not fully realise the impact of good relationships. This expresses itself in stress, stress related diseases, lack of motivation at work, customers who do not feel responded to and even in feelings of separation towards our governments.

Joel Barker has generalised Thomas Kuhn’s paradigm theory in his book Paradigms – The Business of Discovering The Future. According to the paradigm theory, when the solutions in the present paradigm gets more and more expensive, new ways of solving problems from another paradigm will surface. We know that the well-fare systems in Europe today face massive cost challenges in the coming decades.

According to the paradigm theory the paradigm of the future is already in action on a small scale by paradigm pioneers, whom are seldom acknowledged by the established society. Many signs in later years have convinced me that the next social paradigm will be an attachment paradigm, a paradigm which will find more solutions in existing good relationships and in creating new ones.

A paradigm pioneer of the future could be the manager facilitating good relationships at work, the teacher who finds ways to get attachment from each pupil, the parent who finds time and ways to form strong attachments with their children. This could also mean that the country which find a way to facilitate this process could turn out to be a winner of the future, creating more well-fare at less cost.

Creative regards! Jonas Himmelstrand

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© 2007 Strategies to Learn & Grow Newsletter • Printable version

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