In this episode, Dr. David Hanscom talks with professor of psychiatry and neuroscientist Stephen Porges about the polyvagal theory. He outlines the important role played by the sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous system in governing our response to threats, whether it is from disease, chronic pain or other environmental threats. He also discusses the implications for treatment and why it is important to calm down the nervous system to promote healing.
Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D. is 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 related to traumatic experiences.