The Only Connect Project, lead by Professor Naomi Eilan, Dr Guy Longworth and Dr Johannes Roessler is funded by the Warwick Impact Fund. The claim it explores is that our knowledge and understanding of ourselves and others is founded in emotionally-laden communicative relations, which enable us to connect with each other. This contrast is with the claim that our understanding of each other is founded on the capacity to theorise about observed behaviour. One aim of the project is to draw on insights provided by developmental psychopathology and a rich array of clinical theories and practices to gain a better understanding of (a) how we should unpack the notion of ‘communication as connection’ and explain its role in grounding our understanding and knowledge of ourselves and others; (b) how we should explain what exactly is wrong, and why, with the observation-plus-theory model. A second, no less important aim, is this. On some level and in some sense, much of the suffering and psychological damage sustained by individuals can be explained by appeal to some kind of breakdown in connectedness and the sense of isolation it entails. The hope is that project will also provide a preliminary forum for discussing ways of implementing these insights in relevant institutions and frameworks.
For further information about the project and about the upcoming Only Connect workshop see here and here.