Full Course Description
Module 1: Understanding Polyvagal Theory: Emotion, Attachment, and Self-Regulation
- Integrate effective non-verbal behavior into your sessions with clients.
- Neurophysiology of Behavioral State Regulation
- Autonomic Nervous System
- Social Engagement System
- The Polyvagal Theory for Trauma Treatment
Module 2: Bringing a Polyvagal Perspective into Therapy: How to Safely Navigate Emotional Storms
- Discover how to use your own autonomic nervous system to create an environment of safety for your clients
- Discover how to develop the expressive range of your eyes, voice, breath, and body to enrich your nonverbal attunement skills
- Discover how to help your clients listen to their internal state and let go of their problem story
- Discover how to reliably guide your clients from state to state and enhance their capacity for self-regulations
Module 3: Harnessing the Polyvagal System to Help Clients with Anxiety, Depression, and Anger
OutlineThe Social Engagement System-What is it?
The Social Engagement System-How to use it
- Underlying biology
- Effect on fight/flight/freeze reaction
- How interacting with others can help
Play as a neural exercise for harnessing the SES to create safety and connection
- Voice Prosidy
- Facial expressions
- Eye contact
- The concept of interstate travel
- Practicing various games for calming, regulating, establishing trust, maximizing eye contact, maximizing prosodic voice
- Explore how to connect with defensive clients, eliciting novel responses that grab their attention, interrupt automatic defensiveness, and generate curiosity
- Explore how to practice exercises for helping guarded or angry clients feel more open
- Explore how to develop skills to create small but transformative moments in therapy
- Explore how to master specific behaviors that elicit trust, like a sing-songy, rhythmic voice; open, curious eyes; reassuring touch; and sounds of empathy
- Explore how to use games to help anxious clients more relaxed and depressed clients more energized
Module 4: Brain Switch - Apply Polyvagal and Memory Reconsolidation Theories with Parts Work, Somatic, and Mindful Approaches
- Use the insula to reduce visceral sensations
- Find sensations to rewind them
- Teach clients to release endorphins
- Transform brain research into interventions
- Change the brain’s negative bias
- Externalize & personify negative thoughts
- Rapidly activate centers for positive emotions
- No‐fail homework assignments
- 4‐step method to overcome negative self‐talk: demonstration and practicum
- Replace controlling, critical inner voices with compassion and curiosity
- Use memory tricks to increase mindfulness
- Learn the prerequisite for deep therapeutic change
- Mix everyday tech savvy with neuroscience
- Explore the therapeutic impact of activating brain centers that neutralize stressful neurochemicals
- Explore how to regulate sensations from disturbing emotions by balancing them with uplifting neurochemicals
- Explore the power of visual images to externalize distress, enhance attunement, and create pathways to implicit memories and inner assets
- Explore ways to integrate a variety of therapeutic approaches into a three-step, brain-based protocol that can be used with diverse populations and ages
BONUS: Opening the Heart: How to Deepen the Experience of Therapy
The Relationship Between Heart and Brain
- Types of Memory
- Implicit Memory as the Focal Point
When Clients Cannot Feel, Approaches to Accessing Emotion
- How the Brain Perceives Threat
- Somatic effects of anxious or traumatic attachment
- The Brain in Survival Mode
- How the body protects us from hurt: armoring, bracing, constricting
- Consequences in later life: emotional distance, guarded, closed off
- Early Attachment and The Capacity for Empathy
Use the Client’s History to Diagnose Why the Body Has Closed Off Emotion
- Increase engagement and promote internal sense of safety
- Experiment with changes in posture, shoulders, opening the chest, relaxing the body
- Experiment with increasing or decreasing heart rate and tension
- Going “deep” with the client
Accessing the Social Engagement System to Evoke Emotional Engagement
- What necessitated distance from emotion?
- How did guarding, constricting, or armoring help client survive?
- What happens when the client thinks about being vulnerable?
Psychotherapy Approaches in the Treatment of Trauma
- Make use of the facial muscles, larynx, movements of the head and neck
- Increase playfulness, laughter, lightness
- Avoid pressure on client to feel vulnerable emotions
- The Transformation Model
- Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
- Integrating Mindfulness into Psychotherapy
- Neuroplasticity and Its Clinical Implications
- Articulate psychotherapy techniques to help clients access emotion to inform the clinician’s choice of treatment interventions.
- Determine the impact of early attachment and its clinical implications for purposes of client psychoeducation and symptom management.
- Evaluate the relationship between memory and trauma and communicate how this information can be utilized therapeutically to help clients cope with traumatic memories.
- Investigate how mindfulness and meditation impact the nervous system and articulate how mindfulness interventions can be used to improve clinical outcomes.
- Incorporate specific memory reconsolidation techniques to help clients change how they perceive and respond to memories of past traumatic events.
- Apply simple yet effective clinical interventions drawn from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy to alleviate symptoms in clients.