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Blog: Window of Tolerance

Window of Tolerance

Diagrams (C) Miriam Segal

Window of Tolerance

Many people have never heard of the academic term "Window of Tolerance", but are likely more familiar with the everyday expression "comfort zone." People talk about being in or out of their comfort zone, and this is another way of saying they are inside or outside their Window of Tolerance (WoT).

Simply put, the WoT is your experience of safety and presence, your range of optimal arousal. Daniel J. Siegel, who coined the term, defines it as "the arousal levels in which a person is awake, calm and safe enough to have the potential for curiosity, sociability and learning in the social context."[1] If you feel safe and comfortable to a large degree doing what you are doing or just being, you are inside your WoT. If you feel stressed, challenged, stuck, or unmotivated, for example, you are likely outside your WoT. A person who has had a traumatic experience may find himself outside his WoT in situations that in some way or other remind him of the experience.

The WoT varies from person to person. Some people find themselves outside their WoT very quickly, while others feel safe most of the time. Some go way outside their WoT and become very overwhelmed, while others experience most challenges as small, which they manage well, in general.

An example of a therapeutic goal is to support people in expanding their WoT, and to build resilience, so that they are able to feel safer in a wider range of situations. Another goal is to train the ability to return to the WoT, on the occasion a person has been outside their window. There are a variety of techniques that can be learned and practiced which empower people to take charge of their own experience.

- ©Miriam Segal, 21.10.2018

See also
https://s3.amazonaws.com/nicabm-stealthseminar/Trauma2017/img/co/NICABM-InfoG-Window-of-Tolerance.pdf

[1] Siegel, D.J. (1999). The Developing Mind: Toward a Neurobiology of Interpersonal Experience. New York: Guildford Press.

Safe and Sound Protocol

I participated in the safe and sound protocol led by Miriam Segal and experienced deep shifts in my visceral feeling of safety. These shifts allowed me to enter a deeper level of clearing trauma from my body without the trepidation that I would remain in pain or illness. I’m not sure exactly how to put in words the value of this training. What I can say is I was able to put complete trust in Miriam as my guide through this process. She was consistently present and attentive as I experienced the sounds of the protocol, supportive, patient and open to whatever I needed to express in the process. I have experienced a significant amount of personal and spiritual growth over the last several years and am particularly grateful for this experience of feeling safe through triggers and the underlying thoughts and emotions not only from the past but also in my imaginings of the future. If this experience of feeling safe in the process of expansion appeals to use I encourage you to make the investment in yourself through this protocol with Miriam. I am profoundly grateful for her courage and competencies in offering this.

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Danielle McMahon, Personal Peace Practitioner

I so wish, Miriam, that you had done this class [UNDEFIABLE] six years ago, because as I read your brochure, I felt like I was reading a story of what I’ve been through over the course of the last six years, the journey of my life, and as I read that, I thought, ‘Man, if this had been available six years ago in a 12-week program, I would have saved myself so much wonderful time!’ […] I’m excited for you to be offering this, and I’m excited for your participants to be exposed to this material. I think it’s just fantastic.

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Bobby Cobb, Reductive Liberation Hypnotist & Coach

Thank you for a great course [Conscious Courageous Conversations], deep and powerful.

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Helga Rachel Høgåsen, Coach, Innerleadership

I have attended Miriam Segal’s workshops which have been powerful and effective. I appreciate her insightful, no nonsense approach, which combines compassion and connection. Miriam works with you using practical exercises and instructions to help make life changing outcomes.

Thank you Miriam.

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David McHugh, Hypnotherapist

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