Emotion coaching and co-regulation

Emotion coaching is a technique designed to help children and young people to notice, recognise and begin to express how they are feeling, which is vital for their emotional development and long-term mental health and wellbeing.

The Hamish & Milo Wellbeing Programme advocates the following stages of emotion coaching:

  • Noticing and responding to the child’s experience of the emotions whilst holding them in connection and care.

  • Labelling the emotion and the ‘felt experience’ of the child to build a vocabulary of feelings.

  • Validating the child’s experience of the emotion and the sensations they are having.

  • Responding to help and support the child through the emotional experience.

  • Reflecting about what was happening and help the child to express their feelings.

“The goal of emotion coaching is to explore and understand emotions, not to supress them.”¹

¹ John Gottman – Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child (1998)

The framework for Hamish & Milo comes from a range of theoretical contexts which hold the quality of relationship at the core of support work and togetherness with peers as a social group. Hamish & Milo is based on attachment aware theory and the importance of early social and emotional development, as well as understanding the emotional stress that many children with SEMH needs experience and the impact on the developing child.