Unyte Health welcomed Dr. Stephen Porges, originator of the Polyvagal Theory and creator of the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP), and Dr. Mel Pohl, the senior medical consultant of the Pain Recovery Program at The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center to this on-demand Clinical Conversations webinar.
This conversation centered around how Polyvagal Theory and the SSP can contribute to treatment methods and outcomes for patients in chronic pain and addiction recovery. We explored where chronic pain originates and its neural mechanisms, as well as the nervous system’s role in the development and relief of chronic pain.
We discussed how incorporating bottom-up therapies, such as the SSP, differs from primarily top-down approaches, and how you may apply this perspective to your own practice.
This conversation will be most beneficial for:
- Mental health professionals such as LPC, LSCW, LMSW, LMTF, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Addiction Counselors/Specialists, SEPs, EMDR Therapists and beyond.
- Medical health professionals such as MDs, nurses and beyond.
- Occupational Therapists
Dr. Pohl also shared how the SSP has impacted his clients, his approach to treatment and the subsequent outcomes on chronic pain and addiction.
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This conversation explored the following questions:
- What are the linkages between addiction and chronic pain and how can a Polyvagal Theory approach contribute to your outlook?
- If chronic pain is in the brain rather than the tissue, how might the SSP be impacting this phenomenon?
- What does recovery mean, both from medication and pain?
Stephen W. Porges
Ph.D., originator of Polyvagal Theory, creator of the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)
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. He is the creator of a music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol ™ , which is used by more than 3,000 therapists to improve spontaneous social engagement, reduce hearing sensitivities, and improve language processing.
Dr. Mel Pohl
Mel Pohl, MD, DFASAM is a Family Practitioner. He is the Senior Medical Consultant of the Pain Recovery Program at The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center. He is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) Dr. Pohl is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. He is the author of several books including A Day without Pain, revised edition and The Pain Antidote – Stop Suffering from Chronic Pain, Avoid Addiction to Painkillers, and Reclaim Your Life. Dr. Pohl filmed a show for PBS on chronic pain which aired around the country in 2016.