Psychology Today: Help, I Don’t Speak Limbic!

Self-Reg for parents, photo of man and son sitting on the grass together

Dr. Shanker’s latest article for Psychology Today explains how to talk to a teen when he’s “gone limbic.”

“All too often, we misinterpret what a teen is “saying” because of mindblindness: i.e., we fail to recognize which state the child is in. The truth is that, past a certain age (typically three), we cease to see limbic behaviors for what they are. A form of mindlessness sets in, where we commit the category-error of applying concepts that apply to the rational state to what is, in fact, limbic.

Self-Reg teaches us how to recognize when a teen is in a limbic state and how to respond accordingly. It teaches us how to “speak limbic”: how to interpret the meaning of limbic utterances and how to respond; to reframe what sounds aggressive for what is, in fact, self-defensive. Whether or not the teen’s utterances are “requests” for assistance, they are most certainly indicators of the need for assistance.”

Read the full article here.

Dr. Stuart Shanker is a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Psychology from York University and the Founder & Visionary of The MEHRIT Centre, Ltd. Stuart has served as an advisor on early child development to government organizations across Canada and the US, and in countries around the world. Dr. Shanker also blogs for Psychology Today