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The human - a mammal of the carrying kind

About me

My maternal grandmother was from Bergen and her husband from Drammen, Norway. After marrying in 1899 they emigrated to Bremen, Germany. I was born thirty-nine years later and grew up in this town. I graduated as a kindergarten teacher in September 1957 and on 4th of October in the same year I returned to Norway, the homeland of my grandparents. I had five important Norwegian sentences when I left Germany:

Would you like some cake? Don’t pick your nose. Do you need to use the potty. Lovely is the blue sky ( part of a Norwegian Christmas carol) – and: I love you! After three months as an intern in a kindergarten my vocabulary had enlarged enough for me to get a job as group leader. I became a Norwegian citizen in 1967.

I moved to Sandefjord with husband and children in the summer of 1970. Supervised by psychologists from PPT and child psychiatrists from BUP I worked with children with problem behaviour, i.e. children with difficult lives for a number of years. I worked in creche/kindergarden administration in two other counties for several years at a later stage. Apart from administrative tasks I was also involved in planning and implementing future projects. I was utilised as an intermediary in personnel conflicts and other long-lasting disagreements in crèches/ kindergarten and I gave lectures on the subject “Children and Play”. During that period I attended courses on “Observation Technique”, “Project Management” and “Project work”.

During my three last years of employment I worked for the PPT. Here too I worked with specific children with difficult lives in addition to the regular PPT work. During these years I attended courses on Children in Mourning and Crisis, Neglect and in Communication.

My specific interest in the newborn and infants started while participating in a 40 hour course on infant development: ”Normal development – signs of risk and selected theories in child psychiatry”, based on among others; J. Piaget, S. Freud, M. S. Mahler and M. Klein. Every so often I would shake my head, these theories just could not be valid. I would read the original literature and only get more confused. I familiarised myself with behavioral psychology and its different branches as a contrast to psychoanalytic thought. Only when I studied experimental infant research and later the history of human evolution and not least field research on peoples who still live in gatherer/hunter societies did I find confirmation of things I had suspected.

I was appointed conflict mediator for the Conflict counselling centre in the fall of 1993, a position I held for 11 years. I resigned from my job with the PPT and from January 1st. 1994 I was free to devote myself to mediate in conflicts, painting and giving exhibitions both in Norway and abroad, and last but not least to concentrate on self-studies on theories of evolution, human ethology (psychology, anthropology ethnology and primatology), lactation and breastfeeding and the above mentioned themes research, subject and other literature. I published a number of articles in “Impuls” (Journal of Psychology, University of Oslo) , Journal of the Norwegian Psychological Association, The Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association, AmmeNytt (Breastfeeding magazine) Fødsel i Fokus (Birth in Focus), etc. I am an extraordinary member of VELB (European Lactation Consultant Association) since 2006.

Translated by Kristine Wahl