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Digital Seminar

Treating Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model

Rates of addiction are soaring as the current brain disease model is failing. As clinicians we search for new ways to help our clients that reflect cutting edge, trauma informed practice. The Felt Sense Polyvagal Model (FSPM) provides a paradigm shift from the traditional disease approach to an embodied understanding of trauma and its underbelly, addiction, through the lens of our autonomic nervous system (ANS). Addictions are seen as the bodies' attempt to emotionally regulate by acting as propellors that facilitate shifts in our nervous system. From a polyvagal perspective, addictions are adaptive responses to maladaptive environments.  

Clinicians will learn how to use the graphic model (FSPM) to help clients recognize their ANS states. In addition, working with the Felt Sense, our bodies intuitive knowing, enables clients to integrate traumatic experiences and establish states of safety. Specific tools for developing harm reduction strategies will be presented. Case examples will be included.


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Jan Winhall, MSW, FOT
1 Hour
Oct 26, 2021
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Digital Seminar
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Continuing Professional Development Certificates - PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 1 hours CPD.



Jan Winhall, MSW, FOT's Profile

Jan Winhall, MSW, FOT Related seminars and products

Jan Winhall, MSW, FOT , is an author, teacher, and psychotherapist. She is an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Social Work, University of Toronto. She is director of Focusing on Borden, a psychotherapy and training center. Jan presents internationally on trauma and addiction.


Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Jan Winhall maintains a private practice. She is the Creator and Director of Focusing on Borden. She is a lecturer at the University of Toronto and Athabasca University. Ms. Winhall receives royalties as a published author. She is an internship supervisor at Smith College. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial: Jan Winhall is a member of The International Association of Focusing Oriented Psychotherapists, the Ontario Association of Social Workers, and the Planning Committee for The United States Association of Body Psychotherapies.

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  1. Apply the basic neurophysiological states of the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model for treating addiction. 
  2. Appraise addictive behaviours through the lens of Polyvagal theory. 
  3. Employ the Three Circle Tool with clients.


  • How to teach a Felt Sense Polyvagal model ventral practice to clients 
  • How to help clients track their neurophysiological states with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model 
  • How to help clients connect with their Felt Sense 

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


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