Polyvagal Theory offers a neurophysiological framework to consider the reasons why people act in the ways they do.
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.
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.
Stephen Porges and Deb Dana are founding members of The Polyvagal Institute and have collaborated on various projects. In 2018 they co-authored Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory - The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies (Norton, 2018). Their collaboration continues in various forms – including professional training available for clinicians and practitioners via The Polyvagal Institute and other co-hosts such as PESI.
We aim to offer various paths towards a polyvagal-guided understanding for the greater good. For those completely new to Polyvagal Theory, the Beginner's Guide is a free resource which clearly lays out key concepts in easy-to-understand language for all to access. There are also many other helpful sources dotted around this website – such as podcast interviews and video recordings which can be very helpful for understanding the landscape and terminology.