Polyvagal theory engages the help of the autonomic nervous system in therapy. This approach helps us look at how we continuously receive and interpret signals from within our bodies, our environment, and other people as cues of safety and connection or cues of threat and danger. Polyvagal-informed therapy helps us realize how much of the information we perceive, interpret and react to is beneath the surface of our awareness and helps us become aware of it. Looking at our actions through the lens of the autonomic nervous system takes judgment out of how we think of ourselves.
The basis of this approach is the realization that connection is impossible unless we feel safe, which means not only reducing the cues of danger but also actively seeking out and attending to the cues of safety in service of making connection with ourselves, others and the world possible.
When can it be helpful?
Polyvagal-informed therapy approach is especially helpful with depression and anxiety disorders and as a first step in creating a sense of safety and stability as the prerequisite for treatment of trauma.
What does it involve?
Engaging in polyvagal-informed therapy will include exploring what the activation of different states of autonomic nervous system looks like for you, tracking how much time you spend in each of the states, what shifts you between them, and learning how to resource the shifts as a conscious choice rather than an automatic reaction that feels out of your control.
How can I get started with Polyvagal-Informed Therapy?
If you are interested in Polyvagal-Informed Therapy to support your journey, you can reach out to book a free consultation with any of the therapists listed below.
Team Members that offer Polyvagal-Informed Therapy