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Trauma Revealed as Mental and Physical Health Vulnerabilities – Insights From the Polyvagal Theory
This will be an interactive webinar with Dr Porges, addressing topics such as chronic pain, polyvagal theory and the role music can have in trauma healing. Questions can be submitted prior to the webinar.
Polyvagal Theory provides an insight to understanding the role of autonomic regulation as an intervening variable, exacerbating or dampening the influence on the impact of mental and physical health. Adversity history may retune autonomic regulation and lower the threshold for threat reactions, resulting in a greater impact on mental health and even a greater potential vulnerability to viruses and illness .
Studies show that chronic pain does not always stem from structural or tissue damage, but instead may persist because the nervous system is stuck in psycho-physiological states of survival. But what exactly is chronic pain? How does it develop, and how can we find relief?
The Polyvagal Theory provides a way in to understanding the mechanisms and processes that enable music and music therapy to improve social engagement behaviours and to enhance the regulation of bodily and behavioural state. The theory provides insights that bridge music therapy with the nervous system and health outcomes.
Anyone who wishes to deepen their experience and understanding of the Polyvagal Theory.
Stephen W. Porges, PhD, is a Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University, where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium within the Kinsey Institute. He holds the position of Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland.
Dr. Porges served as president of both 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 has published approximately 400 peer-reviewed scientific papers across several disciplines including anesthesiology, biomedical engineering, critical care medicine, ergonomics, exercise physiology, gerontology, neurology, neuroscience, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, psychometrics, space medicine, and substance abuse. His research has been cited in approximately 40,000 peer-review publications.
In 1994 Dr. Porges proposed the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that links the evolution of the mammalian autonomic nervous system to social behavior and emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders. The theory is leading to innovative treatments based on insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders.
He is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation (Norton, 2011), The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe (Norton, 2017), co-editor of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies (Norton, 2018), and Polyvagal Safety (Norton, 2021).
Dr. Porges is also the creator of a music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol™, which currently is used by more than 2500 therapists to improve spontaneous social engagement, to reduce hearing sensitivities, and to improve language processing, state regulation, and spontaneous social engagement.