Polyvagal Safety: Attachment, Communication, Self-Regulation (IPNB) (Hardcover)
The foundational role of safety in our lives.
Ever since publication of The Polyvagal Theory in 2011, demand for information about this innovative perspective has been constant. Here Stephen W. Porges brings together his most important writings since the publication of that seminal work. At its heart, polyvagal theory is about safety. It provides an understanding that feeling safe is dependent on autonomic states, and that our cognitive evaluations of risk in the environment, including identifying potentially dangerous relationships, play a secondary role to our visceral reactions to people and places.
Our reaction to the continuing global pandemic supports one of the central concepts of polyvagal theory: that a desire to connect safely with others is our biological imperative. Indeed, life may be seen as an inherent quest for safety. These ideas, and more, are outlined in chapters on therapeutic presence, group psychotherapy, yoga and music therapy, autism, trauma, date rape, medical trauma, and COVID-19.
About the Author
Stephen W. Porges, PhD, originator of polyvagal theory, is a Distinguished University Scientist and the founding director of the Kinsey Institute Traumatic Stress Research Consortium at Indiana University, and is also a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and a co-founder of the Polyvagal Institute. He lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida.
Stephen Porges's masterful theory of the nervous system is one of the most detailed, true to life portraits of the embodied nervous system—something of which we only had glimpses of, because of some huge blind spots that Porges has remediated. This new book of seminal papers extends the range of a theory so important that its is painful to think what our understanding of the nervous system was like without it.
— Norman Doidge, M.D., author of The Brain That Changes Itself and The Brain's Way of Healing
Based in deep science, this groundbreaking book is full of practical and powerful tools to help people feel calmer, stronger, more connected, and more confident.
— Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
Polyvagal Safety updates Dr. Porges's The Polyvagal Theory and elaborates its contributions to understanding the present moment. His transdisciplinary theory provides a brain-body neuroscience that emphasizes the embodied nature of the mind and underscores the fact that the body plays a central role in how people regulate. Polyvagal Safety explores the application of the theory and potential insights from the theory across a broad range of topics.
— Dr. Drew Pinsky, Addiction Medicine Specialist
This remarkable volume underscores the vast scope of Porges's Polyvagal Theory, interpreted and applied to a diversity of disciplines and conditions. Highlighting that our most basic human need—to feel safe— is conditional on our autonomic state, Polyvagal Safety is a deeply engaging, innovative, and satisfying read. Infused with both compassion and science, it offers unexpected insights relevant to daily life as well as to various therapeutic settings, leaving the reader with a profound sense of the overarching significance of safe human connectedness.
— Pat Ogden, Founder, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, author of The Pocket Guide to Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Trauma and the Body, & Sensorimotor Psychother
This indispensable volume presents the essentials of Stephen Porges's brilliant Polyvagal Theory as it applies to many clinical conditions as, indeed, to human life and development. Nuanced, richly detailed, and written with clarity, Polyvagal Safety is a matchless gift to physicians and therapists, and to all students of the body's inextricable unity with the psyche.
— Gabor Maté, M.D., author of When The Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection