Mental health providers and other professionals often talk about a child or adult's "dysregulation" and "self-regulation," but these terms are often left undefined. A 2017 summary and the 2015 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services help define self-regulation and show the complex social, biological, and environmental factors involved in development of self-regulation.

The summary defines self-regulation as "the act of managing one’s thoughts and feelings to engage in goal-directed actions such as organizing behavior, controlling impulses, and solving problems constructively."

Components of self-regulation
Self-regulation is a term that refers to a number of essential capabilities for successful human functioning.

Being able to self-regulate helps us succeed in many aspects of life, including creating satisfying relationships, tolerating difficulty, prospering in school and work, managing finances, and maintaining physical and mental health. Self-regulation is a critical life skill. ...continue reading


Have you ever tried to change another person's behavior? Of course, you have! We've all tried that. By now you know that it's practically impossible to change someone else. And you know that it's only a tiny bit easier for us to change ourselves. But changing our own thoughts and behavior is exactly what we have to do if we want to help someone else recover.

Michelle Siegel, Judith Brisman, and Margot Weinshel, the authors of Surviving an Eating Disorder, propose two essential guidelines for family members:

Accept your limitations: You can't control another person.

Accept the other person's right to be different from you.

But what does that mean in practice? We've all tried using logical or emotional argument to convince a loved one to give up disordered eating patterns. It didn't work, did it?! ...continue reading