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  • Writer's pictureMadeleine Foster

Time In

Time out can be helpful for in-the-moment nervous system regulation, especially if you are accustomed to regulating alone. But, human beings can regulate together and "time in" has the potential to be more healing than time out. "Time in" means sticking with your partner, or friend, or co-worker when feelings arise. "Time in" means sharing feelings using "I" statements, with the intention of understanding each other and helping each other find a place of co-regulation.

"Time in" can be uncomfortable, scary, and unfamiliar, especially if we grew up with "time outs." But, "time in" can be highly rewarding and can make relationships stronger. Practicing "time in" can reduce loneliness, develop deeper understanding and intimacy in relationships, and can be more effective for emotional regulation than time out. Individual therapy, couples therapy, and family therapy can lay the foundation for "time ins" by developing deeper trust in oneself, more effective communication skills, and greater understanding of patterns and dynamics in relationships. "Time in" takes effort and practice for everyone involved but can ultimately be highly rewarding and healing.

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