Holding Space: How To Hold Space And Help Someone Process Their Emotions

Holding space is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to help someone with Asperger’s emotionally process the day. Simply put, holding space is acceptance without judgement. It often, but not always, involves sitting with someone, practicing Deep Listening, and being a mirror to help them become aware of themselves (their feelings, emotions, and physical sensations).

Holding space helps people with Asperger’s (or really anyone) process their emotions, feel safe, and be able to settle and center themselves.

Holding space DOES NOT involve fixing, judging, offering advice, manipulation or any act of change. It simply allows what is already there to have the space to be.

A lot of people have trouble when practicing holding space for someone else because they feel overwhelmed by the conversation, or the person stores all of anxiety and throw it all out there at once.  If this is the case in your household, remember once people feel that they are heard and what is going on with them matters, they become more comfortable and feel more safe.  If you are finding that you are having a tough time with this skill (it takes practice and time to master) you may want to practice the process we call being with it.

When you hold the space be prepared for the space to be held, it will be used.  So make sure your tanks are full (are you hungry, thirsty, tired, frustrated, or irritated?). If so, let the other person know, and communicate your plan to be in a space where you can be there for them in a non-judgemental way.  Keeping your resiliency up will allow others to process and will keep you grounded.  

When holding space, it is NOT the time to fix, correct or offer advice, without first asking. Once the person you are holding space for seems done, you can ask them if they’d like some advice. If they say yes, feel free to offer your observations and advice. If they say no, respect that decision and then bring up the conversation again at a later time.

The best thing about holding the space is that it is iterative and you can do with anyone.  It is like throwing a lifeline to anyone who is needing to process the stressors in their life.

I Want To...

About Asperger Experts

Asperger Experts is a transformational media company based out of Seattle, Washington that enlivens, empowers and educates people with Asperger's, their families, and the communities in which they live.

It was created in 2012 and is staffed by parents, people with Asperger's, and professionals dedicated to serving and assisting others through sharing knowledge and building communities.

The core of our work focuses on planning, producing and distributing highly transformational courses, as well as creating and managing online communities for people with Asperger’s and their parents.

Our courses are all created by us, drawing from our first hand experience having either lived with Asperger’s, or raised someone on the spectrum.

Our communities are filled with parents, people with Asperger’s, teachers, therapists and others who have had direct and personal experience with life on the spectrum.

We believe in taking our own life experiences and sharing them with the world, and are fortunate to reach over a quarter million people each day with our live videos, courses, workshops, articles and videos.

Thank you for supporting us and our work. We literally couldn't do this without you.

Comments? Questions?