In this episode, Dr. David Hanscom continues his discussion with professor of psychiatry and neuroscientist Stephen Porges about the polyvagal theory. Dr. Porges explains the transformative power of feeling safe to keep us healthy. Using clinical examples from the treatment of pain and trauma, he illustrates how the nervous system responds to cues of safety or threat in the environment to alter the body’s physiology and either promote or inhibit healing. He discusses how these responses act as a kind of co-regulation in our social interactions with others as a critical component of building trust.
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.