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"From early infancy, it appears that our ability to regulate emotional states depends upon the experience of feeling that a significant person in our life is simultaneously experiencing a similar state of mind." - Daniel J. Siegel


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 28th, 2013 11:20 pm (UTC)
I've not heard that quote before but I'm pretty familiar with the concept of co-regulation and attunement and all of the ways that life can be harder when that gets messed up. Teaching families and caregivers about this is the very foundation of the philosophy of the agency I work for.
Jan. 29th, 2013 12:09 am (UTC)
Well, that explains it.
Jan. 29th, 2013 06:44 pm (UTC)
This is really interesting to me, because I think I approach most social situations without the expectation that anyone will share my state of mind. I generally expect to be coming at things from a completely different angle, and I try to be a good listener. But then, maybe that's a superficial response, and I actually do feel that connection with the most significant people in my life. I'll have to think about it some more.
Jan. 29th, 2013 07:01 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. Kind of hits home for me. I have a hard time regulating my emotional states, especially when I'm upset. When something goes wrong, it feels like the world is ending. I often wonder if this is because of the terrible babysitter I had when I was an infant. This woman believed that picking babies up was "spoiling" them, so unless I needed to be changed or fed, she would leave me in my crib. Apparently I would scream for hours on end.

Obviously when my mother found out about this, she changed sitters, but I dunno. I think maybe screaming for hours on end and having no one come for you could maybe do something to your brain?
Jan. 29th, 2013 07:25 pm (UTC)
I am doing my master's work on self-regulation in early childhood, and yeah, the stress associated with not having your needs met (and physical reassurance/attachment/BEING HELD is totally a need for an infant!) can affect your later ability to self-regulate. But! Hopefully your later experiences worked to offset that early experience a bit? (Props to your mom for recognizing how awful that woman was!)

This American Life did a great story about education that talked about the effects of stress on kids a while back. The transcript is here--all of it is great, but if you search for "Nadine Burke Harris" you can read about her work with stress/trauma in little kids.

You know, or you could listen to it, what with it being a radio show and all. :)
Feb. 1st, 2013 01:21 am (UTC)
It wasn't until I started going to my psycho pharm that I was told that there probably was a connection between my absolute terror of abandonment / desire to be alone / history of depression and anxiety and the fact that I'd spent most of my infancy in the ICU with pneumonia. It seems obvious that would do something to me, but two GP's and three therapists completely missed it. I guess it's just starting to be a common idea.
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