One of the most common ways that humans regulate takes place in relationships with other people. It’s called co-regulation. This phenomenon is manifest in the first moments of life as an infant relies upon her mother to regulate uncomfortable situations due to her inability to self-regulate. While different in form, the same act of co-regulation may be applied in the same parent-child relationship twenty years later when the now young adult feels inclined to call her mom when she is sick, or goes through a bad break-up in college. The very aspect of relational connection can ease some of the discomfort of these negative sensations.
Because trauma leads to dysregulation within every system in the body, it is imperative that we as staff, parents, and loved ones develop the skill to regulate ourselves in order to provide a safe base for co-regulation with your daughter. In relationship therapy, having somebody to co-regulate with can provide a sense of safety when the rest of the world around her feels scary and out of control.