Polyvagal Theory in Therapy

The autonomic nervous system is a common denominator in the human family. We all share the same biobehavioral platform. 


Polyvagal Theory offers a neurophysiological framework to consider the reasons why people act in the ways they do. Through a polyvagal lens, we understand that actions are automatic and adaptive, generated by the autonomic nervous system well below the level of conscious awareness. This is not the brain making a cognitive choice, These are autonomic energies moving in patterns of protection.   And with this new awareness, the door opens to compassion. 


Out of Stephen Porges's brilliant work developing Polyvagal Theory, a world-wide community of Polyvagal-informed people and systems is developing as we better understand the power of the autonomic nervous system to guide our movements and shape our stories.   My work as a clinician, consultant, lecturer, and Coordinator of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium in the Kinsey Institute is focused on 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 as we move through states of protection and connection in an ongoing quest for safety.   

                                                               Deb Dana, LCSW

 Polyvagal Theory...the science of feeling safe enough to fall in love with life and take the risks of living...