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Mar 29, 2019

Our guest for this episode of the podcast is Deb Dana, LSCW and she is on the show to tell us all about Polyvagal theory and the explanatory power it has for how and why we are the way we are in the world and with each other in  a psychological, neurobiological, sociological, but also practical way.

Polyvagal theory is easily one of the most valuable things I have learned about in my life and I am very excited to share it with you.

Don't know what Polyvagal theory is? don't worry. Deb Dana takes us in and through a working understanding of the theory while explaining how it applies to relationships, mental health and trauma, therapy, safety and danger, the neurobiology of survival, and even into contemporary American politics.


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Episode Breakdown

  • What is the polyvagal theory
  • The 3 organizing principles of polyvagal theory: neuroception, hierarchy, co-regulation
  • Neuroception - the first organizing principle
  • The value of face to face interaction in a world of digital communication
  • Cues of safety; cues of danger
  • The nervous system is an organ of relationship
  • Hierarchy - the second organizing principle
  • The evolution and dissolution of the autonomic nervous system
  • Addiction through a polyvagal lens
  • Trauma through a polyvagal lens
  • Paired Antagonism
  • Co-regulation - the third organizing principle
  • The health risk of the ‘perception' of loneliness
  • The difference between social support and social connection
  • Eye contact, listening, and still-face
  • The role of the therapist
  • MDMA and psychedelic-assisted therapy through a polyvagal lens
  • What does “safety” and “being safe” mean?
  • Contemporary American politics through a polyvagal lens
  • How to regulate the nervous system.

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