Trauma and Polyvagal Theory

This is a 1 hour On Demand Webinar. Access information, resources and CEU information will be available shortly after registration and registrants will be given unlimited access to the recording for a full year.

This webinar was broadcasted live on October 22, 2022 as part of the Collective Trauma Conference

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The Polyvagal Theory is a major scientific advancement in neuroscience with clinical applications to a new brain-body medicine. It provides insights into the treatment of trauma-related mental and physical health challenges. The theory describes how, via evolution, a connection emerged in the brain between the nerves controlling the heart and face. This face-heart connection provided the structures for the “social engagement system”, linking our bodily feelings with facial expression, vocal intonation, and gesture.

The Polyvagal Theory provides a more informed understanding of the automatic reactions of our body to safety, danger, and life threat. It transforms the human narrative from documentary (emphasizing events and objects) to pragmatic quest for safety with an implicit bodily drive to survive (emphasizing feelings).

This lecture will explore the role of physiological state in facilitating either connectedness and intimacy or defense, such as fight/flight, hypervigilance, dissociation, collapse, shutdown, and even syncope.

  • Describe how the Polyvagal Theory can demystify several clinical symptoms related to psychiatric diagnoses (e.g., PTSD, autism, depression, and anxiety disorders)
  • Explain how deficits in the regulation of the Social Engagement System relate to the core features of several behavioral and psychiatric disorders
  • Describe a neural process (neuroception) that evaluates risk in the environment and triggers adaptive neural circuits that promote either social interactions or defensive behaviors

Stephen W. Porges, PhD, is a distinguished university scientist at Indiana University where he is the founding Director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium.

Stephen is also Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. His more than 400 peer‐reviewed scientific papers, published across several disciplines, have been cited in approximately 48,000 peer-reviewed papers. He holds several patents involved in monitoring and regulating autonomic state, and he originated the Polyvagal Theory, emphasizing the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral, mental, and health problems related to traumatic experiences.

Dr. Porges is co-founder of the Polyvagal Institute and creator of a music-based intervention called the Safe and Sound Protocol™, currently used by more than 2,000 therapists to reduce hearing sensitivities, improve language processing, and increase spontaneous social engagement. He is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation; The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe; and Polyvagal Safety: Attachment, Communication, Self-Regulation.

Stephen Porges is also co-editor of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies.

TimeTopic Covered
1st hour
  • Describe how the Polyvagal Theory can demystify several clinical symptoms related to psychiatric diagnoses (e.g., PTSD, autism, depression, and anxiety disorders)
  • Explain how deficits in the regulation of the Social Engagement System relate to the core features of several behavioral and psychiatric disorders
  • Describe a neural process (neuroception) that evaluates risk in the environment and triggers adaptive neural circuits that promote either social interactions or defensive behaviors

This training offers 1 hours of direct contact (not counting breaks or lunch). It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards/regulatory body to verify CE requirements for their license to practice.

For Live Broadcast Attendees

Webinar attendance by participants is automatically tracked, documented and archived for future reference. Upon confirming you have attended 100% of the webinar and upon completion of a course evaluation, you will be issued a certificate of participation (see below).

For Attendees of On Demand/Recorded Version

If you cannot verify 100% attendance of the Live Broadcast or if you are watching the On Demand/recorded version of this webinar, you will need to complete a Post-Webinar Quiz with a pass of at least 80% in order to verify your attendance.

For Canadian and International participants

Upon fulfillment of the above requirements, Canadian and international participants will be issued a Certificate of Participation which features:

  • Name of Participant
  • Title of Training
  • Name of Presenter plus their credentials
  • Number of hours of training
  • Date of training
  • Confirmation that you have passed a quiz with at least 80% grade to verify your attendance

Please check carefully with your regulating body/organization that this certificate is sufficient proof for you to claim CEUs.

For general information about Continuing Education for Canadians and International participants, please click here.  

This training is aimed at all mental health professionals, including:

  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Clinical and Counselling Psychologists
  • Psychiatric Social Workers
  • Pastoral Counsellors
  • Psychotherapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Physicians
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Counsellors
  • Graduate Students in Accredited Programs in the Above Fields
  • case managers
  • licensed professional counsellors
  • all other professionals who would like to develop, update or expand their skills and knowledge in mental health practices

This course is an intermediate-advanced level.

 1 Hour Webinar RateCAD $59.00

All pricing is in CAD$. The USD$ equivalent is about 30% less than CAD$. Click here to estimate webinar rate before taxes in your local currency.

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