Baseline  (Main Concept MERT)

In PowerWood we always talk about our Baseline. What do we mean by that?
Our well-being is hugely influenced by two things: our Energy level and emotional resilience. We call that our Baseline.
How high or low our Baseline is defines if in a situation we are able to keep our cool, keep our eye on the target and direct our energy associated with our heightened intensity and sensitivity towards our own chosen goals and applying the PowerWood Tools or if the emotions run wild and/or the situation escalates, whether it is with an attack of despair or anger in ourselves or focussed on our child, and we lose control and have further negative experiences. This means clearing the Runway of all unnecessary stressors or irritations is of real importance to have a high Baseline.
How high or low is our energy level, do we have enough energy to keep on top of things, do we have excess energy to do something new. How bouncy is our emotional resilience, do we get easily upset if something doesn’t work the way we want or are we able to take it and use it towards achieving our goal.
We believe that the level of our Baseline defines if we are able to prevent internal or external escalation in ourselves or if applicable other family members from happening yes or no. The strength of our Baseline defines if we are able to direct our energy towards self chosen goals or that we fall back into childhood patterns or as we call them Involuntary Mechanisms (IM).
The Multilevel Emotion Regulation Theory (MERT) is giving understanding, practical tools and strategies to apply in the moment to prevent escalation and help strengthening the Baseline in general while staying compassionate with ourselves.


In psychiatry, psychology, and mental health counseling, comorbidity refers to the presence of more than one diagnosis occurring in an individual at the same time. However, in psychiatric classification, comorbidity does not necessarily imply the presence of multiple diseases, but instead can reflect our current inability to supply a single diagnosis that accounts for all symptoms.[10] On the DSM Axis I, Major Depressive Disorder is a very common comorbid disorder. The Axis II personality disorders are often criticised because their comorbidity rates are excessively high, approaching 60% in some cases, indicating to critics the possibility that these categories of mental illness are too imprecisely distinguished to be usefully valid for diagnostic purposes and, thus, for deciding how treatment resources should be allocated. (Source)

Multilevel Emotion Regulation Theory (MERT)

Simone de Hoogh has developed the Multilevel Emotion Regulation Theory (MERT) a holistic theory that helps neurodiverse (young) individuals and parents of neurodiverse children to support themselves and /or their children to develop emotion regulation skills and direct their energy towards self chosen goals and/or being a valuable contributing member of society.
Multilevel Emotion Regulation Theory (MERT) is based on Simone’s years of experience as a Solution Focused Coach supporting higher management in transitional times in the Corporate world, her experience as a mum with her own two intense, sensitive and hyper-reactive children (now young adults) combined with her experience in supporting neurodiverse children, teens, and (young) adults, parents, organisations and educational institutions as a life coach, family coach and an ECHA Specialist in Gifted Education (Advanced Diploma in Educating the Gifted and approved by the European Council of High Ability (ECHA)) and within PowerWood.

Underpinning theories of MERT

There are many theories and concepts underpinning the Multilevel Emotion Regulation Theory. To name a few: The Theory of Positive Disintegration by Dabrowski, Asynchronous Development by Silverman, Family Dynamics by Gottman, Thickness of the Boundary in the Mind by Hartman, The Theory of Successful Intelligence by Sternberg, Risks of High-Ability by Webb, Evolutionary Psychology: parenting, change, stress response, Attachment Theory by Bowlby, Neuroscience etc.

Narrowing Behaviour

We call potential mental health Issues Narrowing Behaviours. All children and individuals who are emotionally overloaded will flag this up. This can be by having a tummy ache, or a headache, being grumpy, lashing out, sleep issues, nail biting, or overly trying to control their outside or the inner world by e.g. obsessive or compulsive thoughts or phobia related fears or any other ‘narrowing’ behaviour.
Individuals and children displaying this type of behaviour are sharing with you they are stressed, emotionally overloaded or something, someone or a situation is draining their baseline or is amiss and they are trying to recreate a false sense of safety to at least have some sense of control at some level. They are stuck for now in the Cycle of Emotional and Sensory overload and need our help to get out. Narrowing behaviours might take away from us or our children the freedom to direct our life towards self-chosen goals.


Leave a Reply