Updated: Sep 13, 2022
I'm a big fan of Polyvagal Theory.
Glad you asked.
At our most basic, we humans are wired to feel safety when we feel connected to others. Think about watching a baby sleep soundly in the arms of his father. His nervous system is calm and regulated. However, when we lack this sense of safety and our bodies feel threatened, we go on the defensive. We defend by becoming anxious. We defend by becoming irritable. We defend by shutting down. We defend in so many ways.
Because of this our ability to help clients feel safe is central to therapeutic change. The safer clients feel around us, the more likely they are to experience change and growth.
Polyvagal theory is the science of how all this happens.
I recently interviewed Kelly Beins and Leah Dawang about how they use polyvagal theory in their work. Kelly is an OT and Leah is an life coach. Both work with a company called Unyte, whose mission is to create and develop technologies and tools therapists can use to help clients feel more safe and regulated.
We covered a LOT in our interview. We talk about the basics of polyvagal theory, the pyramid of leaning and how Unyte is developing music therapy and other tools to help clients find an embodied sense of safety.
I decided to release this interview as a free online course. So feel free to sign up and earn a free 1 hr NBCC CE credit.