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ONLINE EVENT: How Polyvagal Theory Helps Us to Manage Our Reactions to COVID-19

April 15, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm MDT

Led by Stephen W. Porges, PhD and Deb Dana, LCSW

In this time of deep disruptions to daily life, we are confronted with challenges that are unfamiliar to our biology and disruptive to our neurobiologically patterned behaviors and feelings.  For us to comply with the requirements for social distancing and adhere to stay-at-home orders, we have to acknowledge and inhibit the powerful biological pull of our essential need for human connection.  While we want to anchor in an autonomic state of calmness and social engagement, our nervous system may be challenged by the Covid-19 crisis impacting our ability to follow through with our benevolent intentions to connect, support, and be present with others   Instead, the pervasiveness of the crisis dominates our awareness, triggers our nervous system into states of defense, and moves us between mobilized feelings of hypervigilance, anger and anxiety, and immobilized feelings of despair, withdrawal, and collapse.   Polyvagal Theory informs us of the adaptive function of these shifts in autonomic state and helps us understand the emergent emotional feelings, behaviors, and personal narratives that accompany these physiological changes.

You will learn about how:

  • The autonomic nervous system responds to cues of safety and risk
  • Social distancing and isolation impacts the autonomic nervous system
  • Moving from in-person to online therapy affects autonomic pathways of regulation and co-regulation for therapists and clients
  • To engage the pathways of the Social Engagement System to create an environment of safety and foster co-regulation during a remote session



April 15, 2020
10:00 am - 5:00 pm MDT
Event Category:
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