We have a puppy.  It’s like having a new baby.  We’re getting up in the night to let him out and he needs carrying when we go out as he hasn’t had his jabs yet.

Here he is inspiring me to write this.  He could of course sit on the floor as I write, but it’s lovely to have him on my lap.

helping me write tonight
helping me write tonight

Everyone likes to hold him.  He’s been passed around from child to child at cubs and the school gates. He loves it, they love it.

held at school
held at school

Winnicott says that a good enough parent ‘holds’ the infant so that the infant learns that their needs will be met. As we get older the ‘holding’ moves away from physical care and holding to emotional care and holding.  If we learn early on that we will be held, we can develop knowing that our needs are OK, that we are OK and that it is reasonable to have our needs met and to in turn, meet the needs of others.

Pup is being held so much we don’t need to train him to follow us..he just does because he wants to be with us, as being with us is nice.

We all need to be held. We all need to hold.

  • Who holds you emotionally?
  • Who is there to give you a hug when you need one?
  • Who do you hold emotionally?
  • Who do you hug when they need one?

I gave a colleague a hug today.

I will always remember the caretaker Dave giving me a hug after mum died.

We all need a hug
We all need a hug


  1. stimulate oxytocin which makes us feel content and connected
  2. lower heart rate
  3. stimulate dopamine – a feel good neurotransmitter
  4. stimulate serotonin – too little serotonin is linked to depression
  5. lowers stress
  6. kick starts our parasympathetic nervous system..the bit that slows us down
  7. enhances the immune system – as stress lowers our immunity
  8. makes us smile and feel connected
  • How can you boost your hugs and holding? (don’t forget pets count too)

I can’t do the physical holding for you, but I would love to know how I can be better at emotional holding.

Some of you have already filled in the survey in the last blog and I’d love to hear from more of you.  It takes 5 minutes to do and asks about what you need and how I can help.  Please click here to do the survey.

You know I’m not perfect or sorted or an expert, but if there are ways I can help to emotionally hold you more effectively..tell me about it.

Have a virtual puppy hug.



If you enjoyed reading this please share it with friends. You might also be interested in talking to me about coaching , or maybe try some of my online courses (some are free), or treat yourself to a climate protecting pamper with vegan friendly, organic Tropic which supports the planting of forests and education in deprived areas.
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