Window of Tolerance

July 13, 2023

The Window of Tolerance is a model founded in Neuroscience (the scientific study of the nervous system), which helps develop good practice for improving and maintaining mental health and wellbeing. It offers a way of thinking about how we function optimally, in our various roles, and how to manage when heightened emotions begin to have a negative impact.

Like everyone, children’s emotions fluctuate, particularly at times of stress and crisis and in the height of emotion, they find it difficult to express what’s happening verbally. Physiological and behavioral changes provide the information we need to understand and support them.

Recognizing the signs that a child or young person is struggling with their emotions, helps us to support them. Using the Window of Tolerance is one way of doing this.

Developed by Dan Siegel, a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, the Window of Tolerance describes the best state of ‘arousal’ or stimulation in which we are able to function and thrive in everyday life. When we exist within this window, we are able to learn effectively, play, and relate well to ourselves and others.