The window of tolerance refers to the optimal range of emotional and physiological arousal that a person can manage effectively. The window of tolerance is a helpful metaphor I use as a trauma therapist in Oakland, CA.
As a couples therapist in Oakland, CA, one of the first things I teach is how to pause when outside of your window of tolerance. When discussing important things with partners, friends, or family, you NEED to be in your window of tolerance. When a person's level of arousal is within this optimal range, they are better able to think clearly, regulate their emotions, and engage in adaptive behaviors. Once you exit your window of tolerance, you need to take a break, slow down, or shift gears.
Signs you are outside of your window of tolerance:
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triggers and the window of tolerance
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Stephanie Bain, LMFT
***Resources are not a substitute for therapy and are not intended for making diagnoses or providing treatment. Not all practices and tools are suitable for every person. Please discuss exercises, practices, and tools with your individual therapist or health care provider.