The polyvagal theory presented in client-friendly language.
This book offers therapists an integrated approach to adding a polyvagal foundation to their work with clients. With clear explanations of the organizing principles of Polyvagal Theory, this complex theory is translated into clinician and client-friendly language. Using a unique autonomic mapping process along with worksheets designed to effectively track autonomic response patterns, this book presents practical ways to work with clients' experiences of connection. Through exercises that have been specifically created to engage the regulating capacities of the ventral vagal system, therapists are given tools to help clients reshape their autonomic nervous systems.
Adding a polyvagal perspective to clinical practice draws the autonomic nervous system directly into the work of therapy, helping clients re-pattern their nervous systems, build capacities for regulation, and create autonomic pathways of safety and connection. With chapters that build confidence in understanding Polyvagal Theory, chapters that introduce worksheets for mapping, tracking, and practices for re-patterning, as well as a series of autonomic meditations, this book offers therapists a guide to practicing polyvagal-informed therapy.
The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy is essential reading for therapists who work with trauma and those who seek an easy and accessible way of understanding the significance that Polyvagal Theory has to clinical work.
Reviews and Endorsements:
“Polyvagal theory has been a godsend for trauma therapists and survivors alike, helping them understand symptoms and reactions that had been mysterious and uncontrollable. Until now, however, therapists lacked a method for putting PT into practice. With this well-written book, Deb Dana not only explains the theory clearly but also offers therapists practical steps for helping survivors remain regulated.” — Richard C. Schwartz, PhD, Developer of the Internal Family Systems Model of psychotherapy
“Deb Dana’s gift for language invites us to enter the Polyvagal Theory cognitively and experientially. As we deepen into awareness of its importance for our clinical endeavors, she then guides us in developing processes that help us identify and influence the ebb and flow of the autonomic nervous system in ourselves and our clients. Rich in experiential practices, this book offers a much-needed concrete roadmap for every practitioner.” — Bonnie Badenoch, PhD, LMFT, author of The Heart of Trauma: Healing Our Embodied Brains in the Context of Relationship
“Deb Dana has written the definitive guide to integrating the concepts, maps, language and applications of polyvagal theory into any therapeutic modality. Working with the regulation of a client's nervous system through the power of the polyvagal lens guides clinicians to interventions with trauma survivors that are immediately and reliably effective in teaching clients to manage their survival responses and recover safety in connection. This clear and comprehensive book is much needed and very much welcomed.” — Linda Graham, MFT, author of Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being
About the Author:
Deb Dana, LCSW is a clinician and consultant specializing in working with complex trauma and is the Coordinator of the Kinsey Institute Traumatic Stress Research Consortium. She developed the Rhythm of Regulation Clinical Training Series and lectures internationally on ways in which Polyvagal Theory informs work with trauma survivors.