The Polyvagal Theory

chart from

The Polyvagal theory as described by Dr. Stephen Porges helps us to understand our physiological responses to stress. Knowing why our bodies do what they do can be SUCH A RELIEF for our minds, which love to find meaning for the states we find ourselves in, even when those states don’t match the current environment. This is particularly useful information for people with trauma histories, whose bodies might be telling stories from times past that make the present difficult to fully enjoy. The chart at the right is one we used a lot in Somatic Experiencing training to understand what might be happening for people at any given moment and how to shepherd them through the whole arc if they get stuck. Below, an interview with Stephen Porges himself.