TPP 311: Deb Dana on Befriending Our Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory
If you are a regular listener of this show, you will be familiar with Polyvagal Theory, as it’s coming up in multiple interviews. But this episode is the first one dedicated solely to exploring this powerful theory. And to explore it with us, I’m thrilled to be talking with Deb Dana, a clinician, consultant, and author who is known for being a translator of Polyvagal Theory, which was developed by Dr. Stephen Porges in the mid-1990s.
In this episode, Deb Dana gives us a primer of the key points of Polyvagal Theory, and in doing so, explains the ways in which it can support the way we parent our differently-wired kids. Deb explains the nervous system pathways, why co-regulation is essential to our survival, what befriending and listening to our autonomic nervous system looks like in practice, and the benefits of having a breathing practice. We also talk about why these concepts can change our relationships to our daily life even if our circumstances stay the same.
Deb Dana, LCSW is a clinician, consultant and author specializing in complex trauma. Her work is focused on using the lens of Polyvagal Theory to understand and resolve the impact of trauma, and creating ways of working that honor the role of the autonomic nervous system. She is a founding member of the Polyvagal Institute, consultant to Khiron Clinics, advisor to Unyte, and developer of the signature Rhythm of Regulation Clinical Training Series. Deb is well known for translating Polyvagal Theory into a language and application that is both understandable and accessible for clinicians and curious people alike.
Deb’s clinical work published with W.W. Norton includes The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation, Polyvagal Exercises for Safety and Connection: 50 Client Centered Practices, the Polyvagal Flip Chart: Understanding the Science of Safety and the Polyvagal Card Deck: 58 Practices for Calm and Change.
Things you'll learn from this episode
-The mission behind Deb’s book Anchored: How to Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory
-What the nervous system pathways are and the three states we can be in
-What aspects of our nervous systems are innate or “hardwired” versus routed in nurture or life experience
-Why co-regulation is essential to our survival and examples for ways in which we constantly do naturally
-What befriending and listening to our autonomic nervous system looks like in practice
-What the benefits of having a regular breathing practice are
-Deb Dana’s website, Rhythm of Regulation
-Anchored: How to Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory by Deb Dana
-Polyvagal Card Deck: 58 Practices for Calm & Change
-Polyvagal Exercises for Safety and Connection: 50 Client-Centered Practices by Deb Dana
-Polyvagal Practices: Anchoring the Self in Safety by Deb Dana (coming March 2023)
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