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CC13 Workshop 10 - Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory I: Symbiotic Regulation of the Autonomic Nervous System - Stephen Porges, PhD

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Workshops |  Polyvagal Theory |  Social Psychology |  Couples Therapy
Couples Conference |  Couples Conference 2013
Stephen Porges, PhD
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Original Program Date:
Apr 20, 2013
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The workshop will explore clinical applications of the Polyvagal Theory. The Polyvagal Theory links the evolution of the autonomic nervous system to affective experience, emotional expression, facial gestures, vocal communication and contingent social behavior, and provides a plausible explanation of several features that are compromised during stress and observed in numerous psychiatric disorders. Humans have evolved as highly social and mutually dependent beings. Yet, when overwhelmed by stress and threat, our autonomic nervous systems adaptively dictate more primordial strategies. Therapeutic interventions that engage in the regulation of these physiological states and target the capacity to sense safety are effective in treating disorders that result from chronic reliance on older stress responses. Positive clinical outcomes result from the expansion of the patient’s biobehavioral capacity by recruiting our most evolved adaptive neural circuit—the “social engagement system.”

Educational Objectives:

  1. Describe how a Polyvagal perspective provides insights into the clinical assessment and treatment of numerous conditions.
  2. Explain the dependence of social bonds and stress responses in social contexts on the regulation of the autonomic nervous system.

*Sessions may be edited for content and to preserve confidentiality*



Stephen Porges, PhD's Profile

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Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D (Psychology) is Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland.  He is the former President of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and a recipient of a NIMH Research Scientist Development Award. He is the originator of the Polyvagal Theory and has published more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific papers across several disciplines.