May 25, 2024

Co-regulation and self-regulation.

A young child enters this world needing total help in regulating all of their physical and emotional states. The child is dependent on their caregiver to provide their regulated nervous system in order to co-regulate the infant’s nervous system. Growing up children continue to seek help through co-regulation with a parent, peer, sibling, or grandparent. As language becomes more developed, children grow in their own ability to manage some uncomfortable feelings on their own and ask for help when needed. A teenager does navigate many big emotions but should be able to engage in some self-regulating activities like listening to music, journaling, or talking about their feelings. Learning how to regulate our own nervous system and practicing self-regulation is an ongoing process. Ideally over time we build up our emotional bandwidth and are able to tolerate a wider range of our emotional and somatic experiences.


An adult is responsible for managing their own internal states, including feelings, primarily through self-regulation. Emotions can be regulated using grounding, breath work, movement, or orienting to a resource. What self-regulation tools and emotional resources a person turns to is unique to them, and what helps their nervous system. We have choice and responsibility to understand our internal experiences and respond with intentionality. No one is responsible for managing another adult’s feeling states. Adults can absolutely turn towards co-regulation via a 20 second hug with a trusted person, or loving touch with a pet. In health we are regulating our own feelings, instead of managing another person’s emotional reactions by compensating in some way like not speaking up, modifying a boundary, or ignoring our own emotions.


If you find yourself curious about co-regulation or self-regulation, or interested in exploring changes to how you approach your emotional experiences, reach out. Hit the start free consultation button and we can set up a time to talk.

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Lauren Miller Therapy

14583 Big Basin Way Suite 2B, Saratoga, CA 95070
(408) 409-5419
lauren@laurenmillertherapy.com

Lauren A. Miller provides individual therapy to children and adults across California, serving the communities of Saratoga, Los Gatos, Campbell, Monte Sereno, San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Mountain View, and Palo Alto. Lauren provides telehealth therapy to residents in Idaho.

©2024 Lauren Miller

Lauren Miller Therapy

14583 Big Basin Way Suite 2B, Saratoga, CA 95070
(408) 409-5419
lauren@laurenmillertherapy.com

Lauren A. Miller provides individual therapy to children and adults across California, serving the communities of Saratoga, Los Gatos, Campbell, Monte Sereno, San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Mountain View, and Palo Alto. Lauren provides telehealth therapy to residents in Idaho.

©2024 Lauren Miller

Lauren Miller Therapy

14583 Big Basin Way Suite 2B, Saratoga, CA 95070
(408) 409-5419
lauren@laurenmillertherapy.com

Lauren A. Miller provides individual therapy to children and adults across California, serving the communities of Saratoga, Los Gatos, Campbell, Monte Sereno, San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Mountain View, and Palo Alto. Lauren provides telehealth therapy to residents in Idaho.

©2024 Lauren Miller