We began receiving positive feedback from therapy professionals as soon as Comfort Critter appeared. Here’s what one of them had to say . . .
Provided courtesy Julia Gibson Coffey, L.C.S.W.
The Comfort Critter® may be used by individuals to calm, organize and soothe the self, therefore calming the limbic circuits. Due to the sensory input of holding, touching or stroking the Comfort Critter, calming circuits first established during the co-regulation between infant and parent may be activated, allowing the individual to experience calm during stressful events.
As a transitional object, the Comfort Critter enters into the emotional co-regulation established between parent and child, promoting flexibility in the individual, expanding their ability to cope. When over-stimulated, the Comfort Critter may help the individual to down regulate through the nurture promoted by touching the Comfort Critter. For the under-stimulated individual, the Comfort Critter may promote stimulation, enlivening the individual’s ability to cope through the stories that the individual creates about the relationship between themself and the Comfort Critter.
When the individual invests in the Comfort Critter, the individual is directing self away from the feelings experienced in relationship to the stressful event and is instead focused on the containment offered by the Critter’s ability to “hold” the feelings and not react. Therefore, due to the fact that the Comfort Critter is neutral, the individual has a sense of emotional safety when communicating their internal experience of the stressful event, promoting integration of the self across transitional states.
The Comfort Critter may have the ability to intervene at the appropriate physiological level with the dysregulated child and in so doing may gain the attention of the right brain. For instance, if the individual experiences panic in relationship to a recent diagnosis, then the Comfort Critter may be helpful in soothing the most primitive part of the brain where fight, flight or freeze is experienced. Once the individual is calm, then the logical left brain may be engaged, organizing the experiences of the right brain through the use of narrative.
For the younger child, play with the Comfort Critter may “enhance the emotion-regulating function in the frontal lobes, helping the individual to manage their feelings better.” (Sunderland 2006, p. 104).