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The Polyvagal Theory Made-Easy
I often tell my clients, "Your nervous system has a memory that's second-to-none, and is the most loyal and protective friend you'll ever have.  Until understood and helped, your nervous system will remember every meaningful threat you've experienced as if it were yesterday, and will defend you in whatever way it deems necessary....  And, your logic and reason will get little say in the matter!"

I love the Polyvagal Theory by Dr. Stephen Porges (Psychologist and Neuroscientist).  This theory really is a game-changer toward understanding and growing yourself, understanding others in your life, and raising and developing healthy children.  Learning the PVT will show you how your nervous system really does deeply influence your inner and outer world

(often outside of your conscious control), and how the different reactions we have in life may actually be your innate brain-based protection-mechanisms 'running amok'. 

Learning the  Polyvagal Theory will help you understand:

•    Why your specific inner-world developed the way it did for you.
•    Why you continually create particular patterns in your outer world.
•    Why certain triggers in life 'get you every time' despite your best efforts.
•    Why certain people consistently attract or repel you.
•    How your nervous system was hard-wired to adapt, and then alter, after
     traumas or neglect you might have suffered (remembered or not).

The Polyvagal Theory is so important because it takes us beyond the simplistic, behaviour-based models of growth and change of the 80s and 90s - models so many of us, even some therapists, still primarily rely on.   But through the PVT, instead of seeing ourselves as a series of behaviours we need to either develop or change, we now understand our 'problem' behaviours as innate, self-protection strategies the nervous system activates to keep us safe when some kind of threat is perceived!  So, 'problem-behaviour' is actually a safety strategy needing more comprehensive repair.  That's an important understanding!

In fact, to me, this the Polyvagal Theory is a revolutionary information that our world should really explore.  Why?  Because this research offers us a truly important perspective-shift that (instead of shame and self-criticism) brings compassion, empathy and understanding, not only for ourselves, but for important others in our lives, including our developing children, or the people we're helping to heal.


And, with this, we can feel a renewed curiosity for how to repair and reset these old, yet still over-active protection responses (with interventions and therapies that go beyond cognitive-behaviour approaches alone).  Finally, we can begin to feel re-mobilized, re-regulated, and re-connected again... or maybe even for the first time in our lives!

So, if you're a parent, a therapist, or someone struggling to understand why you feel stuck despite good intentions and 'tools' that don't seem to last, learning the Polyvagal Theory will help you!  


The Polyvagal Theory Made-Easy
(75 Min)
'Learn The Language of Kids' Protector Parts'
(1 hour 45 Min)
Understanding Trauma Responses in Children
(30 Min)
Your Five (Brain-Based) Protection Responses, and Their Specific 'Tools of the Trade':
Many people have heard of the 'Fight and Flight' protection responses that our brains and embodied nervous systems activate when a threat of some kind is perceived.  But, did you know there are three additional protection responses all human nervous systems can also activate to try and help us? 

These protective responses, that often show up in our day-to-day lives (in both overt and subtle ways) are discussed in the work of many clinicians, including Dr. Janina Fisher.  I'll list all five below, including the many ways each works to keep us safe or try and get needs met, even if these don't seem 'logical' (Have a look at 'The Polyvagal Theory Made-Easier' video above for more background about this).

The five protection mechanisms are:  Fight, Flight, Freeze, Submit, and High-Need (Attachment) Cry.   In exploring these, people often recognize that their nervous system automatically uses one or two of these as  'primary protections' when any kind of threat or unmet need is perceived.  It's kind of like your 'protection personality type'.

And, when certain protection reactions are overworking for you, the goal is to help these repair and reset, while also building the responses of the 'Core Self'.  Have a peek below:
Your Five Protection Reactions
Core-Self Responses
(aka 'Social Engagment' or 'Regulation')
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