“In Service to the World” Paul Golding, Founder of the Santa Fe Boys Educational Foundation
Paul Golding is on a mission: understanding Boys at Risk. Paul is concerned about the predominance of male violence and the subsequence elevated imprisonment of men in our society; and through a depth psychological and cultural exploration, he aims to get at the root of the issue. Following the completion of his doctoral studies in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Paul founded the Santa Fe Boys Educational Foundation to examine the neurobiological, psychological, and social features that are predominant in the development of very young males. “The mission of the Santa Fe Boys Educational Foundation is to broaden the conversation by supporting public discourse, projects, and research to better understand the developmental needs of young males.”
Following this mission, Paul initially collaborated with the former editor of the Infant Mental Health Journal, Hiram Fitzgerald, to host a conference in 2015 entitled: The Psychology of Boys at Risk: Indicators from Zero to Five. The January 2017 edition of the Infant Mental Health Journal, of which Paul is one of the guest editors, is entirely dedicated to the publication of many of the papers from that 2015 conference.
A second conference is scheduled for May 1-3, 2019 and is entitled: Early Origins of Male Violence: A Bio-Psycho-Social and Infant Mental Health Approach to a Major Social Issue. Prior to the conference, the January 2019 Infant Mental Health Journal will be devoted to the early origins of male violence. Many of the contributing authors in this journal will present at the May conference. For details on the Boys at Risk 2019 Conference, to be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, go to santafeboys.org
Paul says that he has had a long-standing interest in the development of boys and was looking for a framework through which to understand the complexities of the male experience. Paul states that the old models that try to examine why boys are struggling are no longer sufficient. Typically these old models state: “Boys are socialized away from feelings, crying, vulnerability, and must maintain control.” Paul contends that new research from neurobiology, epigenetics, and developmental psychology suggests that there are also innate vulnerabilities, specific to boys, which can begin prenatally and extend into the early years of life. Attachment theory furthers the evidence related to the long lasting effects of trauma that can occur during the early years. Exploring this link between early neurobiology, epigenetics, inadequate, abusive and neglectful caregiving and later expressions of violent behavior constitutes the many elements of Paul’s work.
Paul’s studies in Depth Psychology at Pacifica helped give focus and viability to his role as a facilitator who gathers information and convenes scholars to address the developmental needs of young males. Paul says, “Pacifica gave me the confidence and a more sophisticated idea about the interaction between psychology and culture. The material that comes from Depth Psychology is so much more helpful than empirical research.”
Paul continues, “Without the Pacifica experience, I doubt I would get to this point. It took me a long time to figure it out…to narrow it down from education, and mental health issues, to very early childhood, as a place to focus my energy.”
Congratulations on receiving the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, Paul.