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Shame and Belonging in Childhood

Updated: May 31, 2023

The Interaction Between Relationship and Neurobiological Development


Recent neurobiological research findings parallel, support, and inform Gestalt field theory’s notions of childhood development. This article examines the neurobiological research literature involving the role and importance of relationship in structuring neural circuits in the first and second year of life, as well as what this information meansfrom a Gestalt constructionist, intersubjective perspective. Areas covered include the caregiver-infant interconnection that enables brain circuitry development supporting elation/arousal, the role of minor forms of shame and repair that leads to the normalization of disappointment as a tool in belonging, the neurological underpinnings of the development of ground shame,and a discussion of how neurological research supports a need to diagnose from a field perspective rather than an individual perspective.

Visit Source Site: British Gestalt Journal


Lee, R. Shame & Belonging in Childhood: The Interaction BetweenRelationship and Neurobiological Development in the Early Years of Life. British Gestalt Journal 16(2)

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