DEB DANA, LCSW, specializes in treating complex traumatic stress and lectures internationally on the ways Polyvagal Theory informs clinical interactions with trauma survivors. She is the coordinator of the traumatic stress research consortium in the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and the developer of the Rhythm of Regulation clinical training series.
Deb is the author of The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy (Norton, 2018) and co-editor with Stephen Porges, of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory (Norton, 2018). Deb received her B.A. in social welfare and her M.S.W., both from the University of Southern Maine.
She is trained in Internal Family Systems, Tapas Acupressure Technique, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. She completed the certificate program in traumatic stress studies at the Trauma Center. To learn more about Deb’s work, visit www.debdanalcsw.com or www.rhythmofregulation.com
- Social Workers
- Nurses and Doctors
- Other Professionals Who Work within the Mental Health Fields
ESSENTIALS OF POLYVAGAL THEORY
- Evolution of the autonomic nervous system
- How trauma influences autonomic profiles
- Three organizing principles
- Neuroception: Detection without perception
- Hierarchy: 3 predictable pathways of response
- Coregulation: The biological imperative
NEUROCEPTION AND THE SHAPING OF AUTONOMIC PATHWAYS
- Understand the internal surveillance system
- Track cues of safety and danger
- Everyday “biological rudeness”
- Trauma, autonomic wisdom, and cognitive override
NAVIGATE THE AUTONOMIC HIERARCHY
- Exploring three autonomic circuits
- Sympathetic branch
- Ventral vagal pathway
- Dorsal vagal pathway
- How trauma shapes cycles of autonomic response
- Engage the regulating capacities of the autonomic nervous system
- Introduction to autonomic mapping
THE SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM
- The five elements of the Social Engagement System
- What happens when parts of the system are unavailable?
- Using the Social Engagement System to regulate states
- Exercising the Social Engagement System
TRACKING AUTONOMIC STATES
- Seeing patterns over time
- Use micro-moments to resource change
- Explore the blended states of play and stillness
- Create autonomic anchors
MEETING THE BIOLOGICAL NEED FOR CONNECTION
- Mapping the continuum of solitude to sociality
- Create safety in co-regulation
- Working with the cycle of reciprocity - rupture - repair
SHAPING THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM TOWARD SAFETY
- Identify portals of intervention
- Create neural exercises
- Use breath as a regulator
- Resourcing new patterns through movement
- Explore the autonomic response to touch
- Use autonomic imagery
INCORPORATING POLYVAGAL THEORY IN CLINICAL PRACTICE
- Getting comfortable teaching Polyvagal Theory to clients
- Tracking the 8 steps of a Polyvagal-Informed clinical session
- Polyvagal-Informed assessment and treatment planning
- Polyvagal Theory and Phase I trauma treatment
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A POLYVAGALINFORMED THERAPIST
- The guiding questions
- Ethical considerations
- Research limitations and potential risks
- Describe the principles of Polyvagal Theory and how to communicate them in client friendly language.
- Explore three circuits of the autonomic nervous system for the purpose of client psychoeducation.
- Analyze how the autonomic nervous system operates as an internal surveillance system and its impact on clients’ habitual responses to trauma.
- Determine how to help clients engage the regulating capacities of the autonomic nervous system in order to create an environment of safety.
- Explain how to exercise the Social Engagement System to assist clients in becoming more adept in skills of co-regulation and creating reciprocal relationships.
- Assess for patterns in clients’ autonomic states to better inform treatment planning.
- Summarize the trauma-informed therapist’s role as co-regulator and its impact on clinical outcomes.
- Identify portals of intervention in the autonomic nervous system to more effectively establish safety and treat trauma.
- Discover the right degree of neural challenge and exercises to employ with clients to help shape the autonomic nervous system toward safety and connection.
- Examine how to work with the cycle or reciprocity-rupture-repair in helping clients achieve the biological need for connection.
- Design a Polyvagal-informed clinical practice based on appropriate assessment and treatment planning.
- Examine ethical issues, research limitations, and potential risks to be considered by a Polyvagal-informed therapist.
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