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Co-regulation: The superpower you didn't know you needed

Co-regulation is the way that the nervous system of one individual influences the nervous system of another.

Our emotions, body language, tone, and energy are all externalizations of our nervous system. The state of our nervous system can both soothe and disturb. It can be a strong social superpower and a great deterrent. Awareness of your internal state in combination with self-regulation skills allow you to co-regulate to support another nervous system. Co-regulation has long been discussed in the context of parenting, though is equally important in adult relationships. This is especially true when one or both individuals are neurodivergent.

Neurodivergent individuals may have greater difficulty regulating their nervous system on their own and can benefit from the co-regulation of another.

Ways to practice this superpower:

  1. Regulate yourself -- know what calms you and practice this often

  2. Be present and empathize -- listen and put away judgment

  3. Take time to validate

  4. Provide warmth and responsiveness

  5. Breathe together

  6. Engage in physical touch -- like hand holding or a hug, if you know this to be calming for them

  7. Support with predictability -- respond in usual ways and engage in routine

A gentle reminder for your relationships: Co-regulation before expectation.

-Rachel Robertson, MOT, OTR/L

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1 commentaire

02 janv. 2023

WOW! This is amazing!

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