The polyvagal theory presented in client-friendly language.
This book offers therapists an integrated approach to adding a polyvagal foundation to their work with clients. With clear explanations of the organizing principles of Polyvagal Theory, this complex theory is translated into clinician and client-friendly language. Using a unique autonomic mapping process along with worksheets designed to effectively track autonomic response patterns, this book presents practical ways to work with clients' experiences of connection. Through exercises that have been specifically created to engage the regulating capacities of the ventral vagal system, therapists are given tools to help clients reshape their autonomic nervous systems.
Adding a polyvagal perspective to clinical practice draws the autonomic nervous system directly into the work of therapy, helping clients re-pattern their nervous systems, build capacities for regulation, and create autonomic pathways of safety and connection. With chapters that build confidence in understanding Polyvagal Theory, chapters that introduce worksheets for mapping, tracking, and practices for re-patterning, as well as a series of autonomic meditations, this book offers therapists a guide to practicing polyvagal-informed therapy.
The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy is essential reading for therapists who work with trauma and those who seek an easy and accessible way of understanding the significance that Polyvagal Theory has to clinical work.
About the Author
Deb Dana, LCSW, lectures internationally on ways polyvagal theory informs therapy. She is the author of Polyvagal Flip Chart and Polyvagal Theory in Therapy. She lives in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Stephen W. Porges, PhD, originator of polyvagal theory, is a Distinguished University Scientist and the founding director of the Kinsey Institute Traumatic Stress Research Consortium at Indiana University, and is also a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and a co-founder of the Polyvagal Institute. He lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida.
[O]ffers a window into the inner life of a traumatized person and a way out of trauma and back into finding joy, connection, and safety through enlightening theory, rich experiential practice, and practical steps. — Psych Central
[M]akes for essential reading. In addition to a thorough exposition of the theory, The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy offers practical steps and tools to help clients reshape their automatic nervous systems.
— Sussex Counselling and Psychotherapy News
Polyvagal theory has been a godsend for trauma therapists and survivors alike, helping them understand symptoms and reactions that had been mysterious and uncontrollable. Until now, however, therapists lacked a method for putting PT into practice. With this well-written book, Deb Dana not only explains the theory clearly but also offers therapists practical steps for helping survivors remain regulated. — Richard C. Schwartz, PhD, Developer of the Internal Family Systems Model of psychotherapy
Deb Dana’s gift for language invites us to enter the Polyvagal Theory cognitively and experientially. As we deepen into awareness of its importance for our clinical endeavors, she then guides us in developing processes that help us identify and influence the ebb and flow of the autonomic nervous system in ourselves and our clients. Rich in experiential practices, this book offers a much-needed concrete roadmap for every practitioner. — Bonnie Badenoch, PhD, LMFT, author of The Heart of Trauma: Healing Our Embodied Brains in the Context of Relationship
Deb Dana has written the definitive guide to integrating the concepts, maps, language and applications of polyvagal theory into any therapeutic modality. Working with the regulation of a client's nervous system through the power of the polyvagal lens guides clinicians to interventions with trauma survivors that are immediately and reliably effective in teaching clients to manage their survival responses and recover safety in connection. This clear and comprehensive book is much needed and very much welcomed. — Linda Graham, MFT, author of Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being
[M]akes the Polyvagal theory accessible and provides numerous examples of how to implement the theory into clinical work. Beginning therapists especially will find the book helpful with its many suggested maps and methods for using the theory. . . . Advanced therapists not familiar with the Polyvagal theory or with the nervous system in general will appreciate this. — Somatic Psychotherapy Today