Child & Adult Counseling for Emotional Wellness & Emotional Regulation
What is emotional regulation?
Emotional regulation is the process by which we understand and shape the intensity and duration of our emotional experiences, so we can best respond to them by taking action to meet our wants and needs in cooperation with others.
- Individual counseling helps people “feel together” and whole.
- Couples counseling helps partners feel “together” and connected.
- Child therapy/play therapy helps children learn to regulate and express their feelings.
Without emotional regulation skills, people often feel like a “mess” or they could fly off the handle at any moment. Or, perhaps, they are “cut off” from their emotions or talk about them as if they don’t have them.
Couples without emotional regulation skills (one or both partners) often don’t connect warmly. They might have learned to turn away from each other to avoid “triggering” strong, painful emotions. They may be so wrapped up in negative coping skills (drinking, porn, etc.) that they don’t know how to reconnect. Or they’ve learned to replace intimacy with intensity–they have strong connections, put they lack warmth and tenderness.
Emotional regulation skills help people of all ages overcome common challenges that occur without emotional wellness.
You may benefit from emotional regulation skills if you experience these common problems:
- Drawing boundaries
- Expecting others to mind read
- Concerned with pleasing others
- Not concerned about others
- Asking directly for what they want
- Turning wants into needs to justify them
- Bottled up emotions
- Throttled up emotions
Emotional Regulation Skills:
- Emotional Literacy
- Self Soothing
- Stance of the Curious Observer
Skills in emotional regulation help people connect to themselves and others in ways that are authentic, joyful, and offer meaning. Emotional regulation skills combine emotional literacy, mindfulness, self soothing techniques, and a willingness to explore to increase a person’s awareness of what he is feeling, his ability to integrate his thinking, and to take action that best cares for what he wants and needs.
Child Therapy/Play Therapy:
Ideally, emotional regulation skills training begins when we are very young. Some researchers say that we start learning to regulate emotional experiences when we are in the womb.
We emerge from childhood with some emotional regulation skills. Luckily, it is never too late to develop the skills that can help us learn to tune in to our emotions and learn to interpret what they are truly trying to tell us.
When we are children, we are highly emotionally sensitive and aware. Not only are we aware of our emotional experiences, but we are often aware of the emotions of others. Along the way, as parents discount our experience and our observations (Mommy, are you sad?), we can get confused about what we are feeling. We don’t trust our feelings. We lose contact with our intuitive sense, and we often lose touch with what we want and need.
Whether the challenges to emotional wellness have developed slowly or with a sudden change or trauma, child therapy/play therapy can help.
I am a registered play therapist offering play therapy in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I work with children age 3 and up to increase emotional regulation skills through play therapy.
When one or both people in a romantic relationship experience emotional problems, there are often relationship difficulties. Emotional regulation skills in the context of couples therapy will be viewed through a developmental lens. Relationships go through predictable developmental stages. These stages, involve difficult transitions of growth and change ultimately leading to a mutually fulfilling cooperation between two romantic partners. The stages are hard to navigate without emotional problems. They become tumultuous with them!
Emotional Wellness Benefits:
- Increased confidence
- Increased intuition
- Feelings of meaning and purpose
- Increased joy and zest
- Cooperative relationships
- Goal setting that takes into account their wishes, feelings, and needs