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Integrating Polyvagal Theory in Clinical Practice with Stephen Porges, PhD & Deb Dana, LCSW

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Stephen Porges, PhD |  Deborah Dana, LCSW, LICSW
6 Hours 32 Minutes
Audio and Video
Oct 30, 2020
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Digital Recording
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Watch researcher Stephen Porges and expert clinician Deb Dana in this rare virtual training to fully learn the theory and the practice of integrating Polyvagal into your clinical work.

In times of crisis, our clients may want to anchor in an autonomic state of calmness and social engagement. But our physiological state, emotions, and nervous state can override our capacity to be calm and we often mobilize into sympathetic fight and flight, anger and anxiety, or dorsal despair, disconnection, and collapse.

This pervasive threat may destabilize our nervous systems and limit our capacity to provide the cues to our clients consistent with our benevolent intentions to connect, support, and be present.

Now you can learn the science that explains how social behaviour turns off defences and promotes feeling safe – critical in the world of treating trauma – and how to inform your practice with this latest, and most respected, science.

Applying a Polyvagal perspective to our therapeutic strategies that witness and expand the capacity to feel safe - and use social behaviour to regulate the physiological state - can be effective in treating psychological disorders that are dependent on defence systems.

Purchase today for this don’t miss training with Dr. Porges and Deb Dana.




This online program is worth 6.5 hours CPD.



Stephen Porges, PhD's Profile

Stephen Porges, PhD Related seminars and products

Kinsey Institute, Indiana University and Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill

Stephen W. Porges, PhD, is a distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University, where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium within the Kinsey Institute. He holds the position of Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland, and is a founder of the Polyvagal Institute. Dr. Porges served as president of both the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences and is a former recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development Award. He has published approximately 400 peer-reviewed scientific papers across several disciplines including anesthesiology, biomedical engineering, critical care medicine, ergonomics, exercise physiology, gerontology, neurology, neuroscience, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, psychometrics, space medicine, and substance abuse. His research has been cited in more than 50,000 peer-review publications. In 1994, Dr. Porges proposed the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that links the evolution of the mammalian autonomic nervous system to social behavior and emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders. The theory is leading to innovative treatments based on insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders.

He is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation (Norton, 2011), The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe (Norton, 2017), Polyvagal Safety (Norton, 2021), co-author with Seth Porges of Our Body Polyvagal World (Norton, 2023), and co-editor with Deb Dana of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies (Norton, 2018). Dr. Porges is also the creator of a music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol™, which currently is used by approximately 3,000 therapists to improve spontaneous social engagement, to reduce hearing sensitivities, and to improve language processing, state regulation, and spontaneous social engagement.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Stephen Porges has employment relationships with Indiana University Bloomington and the University of North Carolina. He receives royalties as a published author. Dr. Porges receives a speaking honorarium, book royalties, and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He receives royalties from Integrated Learning Systems/Unyte. All relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations have been mitigated.
Non-financial: Dr. Stephen Porges is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Psychophysiological Research. He holds a patent on Televagal equipment. Dr. Porges is co-owner of Polyvagal Music, LLC launching in 2024.

Deborah Dana, LCSW, LICSW's Profile

Deborah Dana, LCSW, LICSW Related seminars and products

Deb Dana, LCSW, LICSW, is a clinician and consultant specializing in using the lens of Polyvagal Theory to understand and resolve the impact of trauma and create ways of working that honor the role of the autonomic nervous system. She developed the Rhythm of Regulation Clinical Training Series and lectures internationally on ways Polyvagal Theory informs clinical work. She is a founding member of the Polyvagal Institute, clinical advisor at Khiron Clinics, and an advisor to Unyte.


Deb is the author of The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation (Norton, 2018), Polyvagal Exercises for Safety and Connection: 50 Client-Centered Practices (Norton, 2020), Befriending Your Nervous System (Sounds True, 2020), Anchored: How to Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory (forthcoming from Sounds True), co-editor of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies (Norton, 2018), and creator of the Polyvagal Flip Chart (Norton, 2020).

To learn more, visit or


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Deborah Dana maintains a private practice, is an advisor with Unyte/iLS and is a consultant with the Veterans Association and Khiron Clinics. She receives a consulting fee and speaker honorarium from Sounds True. Deborah Dana receives a speaking honorarium from Life Architect and Embody Lab and receives royalties as a published author. She receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. All relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations have been mitigated.
Non-financial: Deborah Dana has no relevant non-financial relationships.


  1. Determine the principles and features of the Polyvagal Theory.
  2. Evaluate maladaptive behaviours, including states of dissociation, and how they may be an emergent property of an adaptive physiological state triggered by survival mechanisms.
  3. Propose a face-heart connection that defines a social engagement system linking bodily feelings with facial expression, vocal intonation, and gesture.
  4. Analyze the neural process (neuroception) that evaluates risk in the environment and triggers adaptive neural circuits that promote either social engagement or adaptive survival strategies.
  5. Utilize an autonomic map to identify common body responses, behaviours, and beliefs for each autonomic state.
  6. Determine ways to engage the co-regulating pathways of the Social Engagement System to create an environment of safety in clinical sessions.
  7. Justify how the autonomic nervous system operates as an internal surveillance system and its impact on clients’ habitual responses to trauma.
  8. Practice the trauma-informed therapist’s role as co-regulator and the impact on clinical outcomes.
  9. Assess for patterns in clients’ autonomic states to better inform treatment planning.


Adaptive function of evolutionary changes in the autonomic nervous system (Porges)

Navigating the hierarchy through autonomic mapping

Anchoring in regulation

Engaging the vagal brake (Dana)

Connectedness: A biological imperative (Porges)

Identifying ruptures and practising repair

Assessing the right degree of connection

How to have an autonomic conversation (Dana)

The Social Engagement System as a Portal of Co-regulation: Harnessing a Neuroception of Safety in Clinical Treatment (Porges)

Utilizing the individual pathways of the Social Engagement System (Dana)

A One Nervous System Model (Porges)

Guiding questions for Polyvagal Informed therapists (Dana)

Discussion and Q&A with Speakers

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Case Managers
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


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