chapter  15
8 Pages

Understanding soothing: The wider context of balancing affect-regulation systems

Soothing and balancing our emotions is related to compassion (Point 16) but should be seen as a complex and multicomponent process. Here are some key aspects:

(Skilled) affection and kindness

As outlined above, a powerful way of soothing is via physical contact, kindness and warmth. Feeling that the other person genuinely cares about you and is able to provide caring is soothing. Kindness, however, often has to be supplemented with other qualities such as skill and abilities. You are more likely to be reassured by your doctor if you know he/she is highly competent, knowledgeable or wise. You are more likely to feel reassured if you know the ``other person'' understands you. This issue of ``holding such authority'' for the client is important in therapy.