We Need to Belong: Finding One’s Personality, Sharing Life Stories in a Community

15th Jun 2017, 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine

We Need to Belong: Finding One’s Personality, Sharing Life Stories in a Community – Professor Colwyn Trevarthen

Humans are exceptionally artful beings, entering the world already with a sense of self and equipped for social interactions. The notion that a new-born baby is an intuitively skilled communicator – able to make discoveries through movement in a uniquely complex body and with intimate feelings for people – creates a natural science of culture. We are born wanting to communicate and wanting to form rich bonds with others.

Professor Colwyn Trevarthen’s lecture will ask whether or not our desire to communicate is merely affectionate attachment for protection reasons or the basis for the creation of meaning and language.

Colwyn will discuss how all of our learned skills for practical life depend on second person awareness. He will assess how humans develop emotionally and will draw on his extensive experience amongst arts psychotherapists and applied arts practitioners to explore the concept of non-verbal dialogue.

Colwyn Trevarthen is Emeritus Professor of Child Psychology and Psychobiology at the University of Edinburgh. He is a leading child psychologist who focuses on the artfulness of our social self, and its importance for wellbeing and learning. His research reflects his belief that very young babies rapidly develop proto-cultural intelligence through interacting with other people. Colwyn is a fellow of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, a learned society which supports scientific studies and aids their publication.

Further details about Festival of Ideas 2017 can be found here