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Apr 29, 2024

#368: Polyvagal Path: Healing Your Nervous System & Your Life with Dr. Stephen Porges

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Boundaries, Co-Regulation, Grief, Health, Nervous System, Nervous System Regulation, Neuroception, Physiological Responses, Polyvagal Theory, Relationships, Self-Love, Self-Regulation, Self-Worth, Social Media, Somatic Therapy, Transformation, Trauma


In this episode, I had the pleasure of welcoming Dr. Stephen Porges, the originator of the Polyvagal Theory, to the podcast. Dr. Porges discusses the impact of trauma histories on our relationships and behaviors – sharing Polyvagal Theory’s role in our physiological responses. We also discuss post-pandemic societal shifts, navigating the challenges of societal evaluation, the impact of social media, and ethical considerations surrounding digital interactions. Dr. Porges explores alternative modalities for self-regulation – emphasizing the importance of co-regulation, and shares somatic therapies for trauma healing. Listen in to this conversation that reminds us of the transformative power of connection for promoting healing and well-being.

Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D. is a Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium in the Kinsey Institute. He is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and Professor Emeritus at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland.  He served as president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences and is a former recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development Award. He is the originator of the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral, mental, and health problems related to traumatic experiences. He is the creator of a music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol ™ , which currently is used by approximately 3,000 therapists to improve spontaneous social engagement, to reduce hearing sensitivities, and to improve language processing, state regulation, and spontaneous social engagement. Dr. Porges is a founder of the Polyvagal Institute.


0:00:00 Intro

0:02:08 Dr. Porges’ Journey to Understanding Nervous System

0:09:58 The Concept of Neuroception

0:20:10 The Impact of Fear and Stress on Human Behavior

0:31:41 Effects of Dysregulation from Media Consumption

0:34:49 The Future of Virtual Reality and Human Response

0:39:59 The Arrogance of Consciousness

0:41:14 Evolution of Psychedelics and Regulation

0:43:46 Impact of Intellectual Work on the Body

0:44:15 Polyvagal Music for Regulation

0:46:59 Accessibility and Trauma Histories

0:48:03 Moving Towards Regulation

0:51:11 Psychological Impact on Physical Health

0:53:54 Disconnect in Medical Approach

0:57:40 Myth of Medicine and Personalized Treatment

0:58:21 Link Between Autoimmune Issues and Trauma

1:00:34 Understanding The Body’s Adaptive Reactions

1:04:26 Imprinting of Early Experiences

1:09:52 Importance of Play and Nature

1:12:24 The Polyvagal Institute and Resources


—Stephen’s Instagram

—Stephen’s Website

—Stephen’s Polyvagal Website

—Stephen’s Facebook

—Stephen’s LinkedIn

—Stephen’s Books

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