Full Course Description

Putting Polyvagal Theory into Practice: Nervous-system based Exercises for Anxiety, Depression, Trauma and more

At the heart of our client’s symptoms – from anxiety and depression to traumatic stress and more – is a dysregulated nervous system.

Polyvagal theory finally presents a clear roadmap of our nervous system that can guide both therapists and clients to the source of their most troubling symptoms.

And Polyvagal-informed treatments provide interventions that not only empower clients to understand how their nervous system shapes their experiences, but also gives them powerful methods to re-shape those experiences in therapy.

Watch Deb Dana, the world’s foremost translator of Polyvagal theory into clinical practice, in this all-new training based on her best-selling book Polyvagal Exercises for Safety & Connection as she shows you, step-by-step to:

  • Track a client’s experience through their autonomic nervous system and uncover the specific places that keep them stuck
  • Interrupt and re-shape habitual autonomic patterns that cause their emotional suffering, maladaptive thoughts, and un-helpful or impulsive behaviors
  • Learn how to introduce Polyvagal practices in session
  • See and experience real demonstrations

With Deb Dana’s practical guidance, it’s now possible to get beneath symptoms and show clients how to safely listen to the “story” of their autonomic nervous system and to re-shape their experience toward safety and connection.

Understanding the human nervous system through a Polyvagal lens has been a game-changer for therapists across modalities. There is no better way to learn it than through experiencing it yourself in this highly practical, intervention-rich training.

Program Information


  1. Propose language to successfully introduce nervous system-based interventions with clients.
  2. Evaluate the five phases of the BASIC approach to polyvagal-informed treatments.
  3. Apply one exercise from each phase of the BASIC approach.
  4. Assess timing of moving between phases with clients.
  5. Construct practices between sessions to successfully shape new autonomic patterns.
  6. Utilize personal progress trackers to assess client progress.


How Polyvagal Theory Provides a Foundation for Lasting Therapeutic Change

  • The BASIC approach to Polyvagalinformed treatment
  • Trauma healing from a Polyvagal theory perspective
  • Learning to stretch, but not stress, a client’s nervous system
  • Co-regulation: An imperative in psychotherapy
Introducing Nervous System-Based Interventions to Clients
  • The three-part hierarchy of the autonomic response
  • Neuroception: our internal surveillance system
  • How early experiences and trauma shape our nervous system
Befriending Practices: Building Awareness & A Map of the Nervous System
  • Exploring Hierarchies
  • Identifying landmark moments in our nervous system
  • Recognizing ventral vagal “anchors”
  • Utilizing the social engagement scale
  • Creating a neuroception notebook
Attending Practices: Creating Stability in the Nervous System
  • Building attention through naming autonomic states
  • Daily tracking practices
  • Attending over time
  • Savoring practices
Shaping Practices: Creating New Patterns & Pathways in the Nervous System
  • Moving out of dorsal vagal collapse and sympathetic activation
  • Neural exercises for creating resilience and psychological flexibility
  • The power of utilizing autonomic imagery
Integration Practices: Writing a New Story in the Nervous System
  • Establishing new autonomic patterns and behaviors in life
  • Moving from intention to action
  • Learning to engage the vagal brake
Connection Practices: Finding Safety in Connection Through the Nervous System
  • Exercising and strengthening the social engagement system
  • Learning to feel safety in connection
  • The reciprocity equation
  • Creating a personal connection plan
Using Personal Progress Trackers That Can Improve Outcomes
  • Tracking the flow of a Polyvagalguided session
  • Polyvagal-guided assessment and treatment planning

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Case Managers
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Physicians
  • Therapists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 07/23/2021

Polyvagal Theory and the Neuroscience of Connection: How a Polyvagal Perspective Can Enhance the Treatment of Trauma and Anxiety

If you’re like most clinicians you’ve been hearing a lot about Polyvagal Theory lately.

But the complicated theory that’s changed our understanding of the nervous system’s response to stress and danger can be difficult for non-scientists to grasp. And even if you can wrap your head around the complex research, you’re still left trying to figure out how to make the knowledge useable in real life.

Without the right guide, one who can simplify the science and show you how to operationalize it, you’ll be left unable to bring this important information to your practice.

Dr. Sherrie All is a licensed psychologist specializing in neuropsychology whose trainings have made complicated research and scientific concepts accessible and useable for mental health professionals across the country.

Watch Dr. All for this live one-day training as she unpacks the science behind the Polyvagal Theory and shows you how you can immediately put it to use in your clinical work!

In just one day you’ll get:

  • An accessible and user-friendly explanation of Polyvagal Theory
  • Guidance on recognizing and responding to clients’ autonomic states in therapy
  • Ways to create a space of safety and co-regulation using body, face, and tone
  • Movement, breath and grounding practices as applied through a Polyvagal lens

Don’t miss this chance to understand Polyvagal Theory better than ever before and enhance your therapeutic work!

Program Information


  1. Investigate the clinical implications of the Polyvagal Theory’s explanation of how the nervous system reacts to social factors.
  2. Analyze the concept of neuroception and how it can impact autonomic states in clients.
  3. Assess how psychoeducation with clients about the nervous system can help generate buy-in for interventions designed to impact the nervous system’s reactions to stress, trauma and anxiety.
  4. Analyze the treatment implications of hyperarousal and hypoarousal on a client’s window of tolerance.
  5. Analyze therapeutic presence through the lens of Polyvagal Theory to help explain the mechanisms of change that presence evokes.
  6. Evaluate the current state of research on the application of a Polyvagal perspective to mental health treatment.


Polyvagal Theory:
User-Friendly and Accessible Explanations for Non-Scientists

  • Understanding the autonomic nervous system
  • The vagus nerve and how your nervous system reacts to social factors
  • The complexities of fight/flight/freeze response
  • Neuroception and co-regulation
  • Rest and digest – the state of social engagement
Neuroplasticity Simplified:
Nervous System Change and Balance Explained
  • Learn how neurologically-based conditions are treatable
  • Foundations for using “neurorehabilitation”
  • Train the nervous system for better coping
  • Review the science, research and limitations behind neuroplasticity
Incorporate a Polyvagal Perspective into Your Daily Clinical Practice
  • Why is this relevant to your clinical practice?
  • Help clients cope using Dan Siegel’s
  • Window of Tolerance
  • Recognize autonomic states of clients
  • Hyper-arousal and hypo-arousal
  • How overlooking hypo-arousal in clients impacts treatment
  • Therapeutic presence
Sensory Interventions to Increase Felt Safety
  • Create a space of co-regulation - body, face, tone, and breath
  • Visual interventions: Scanning for safety
  • Auditory interventions: Safe & Sound protocol
  • Tactile interventions
Apply a Polyvagal Lens to Movement, Breath and Grounding Practices
  • Movement to put stress to the use nature intended
  • Imagined movement: Running Faster than the Tiger
  • Diaphragmatic breathing and the vagus nerve
  • Non-threatening breath exercises to control hyperventilation
  • Muscle tension and the vagus nerve
  • Research, treatment risks and limitations

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Case Managers
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 05/19/2021

Creating a Story of Safety: A Polyvagal Guide to Managing Anxiety

When daily life feels overwhelming and cues of danger trigger survival responses, clients struggle to hold on to hope. The world feels unsafe and they are pulled out of balance into a persistent state of worry. Working with a Polyvagal perspective we can engage the body’s regulating circuits to help clients regain a sense of safety. In this workshop, you’ll learn ways to use the resources of the nervous system to help your clients manage anxiety and create a pathway back to calm.

Program Information


  1. Categorize the ways the nervous system responds to cues of danger.
  2. Utilize clinical skills to engage the nervous system’s natural pathways to regulation.
  3. Utilize The Polyvagal Theory as a model for case conceptualization of clients' presenting problem and/or symptoms.


The Polyvagal Theory of the Nervous System 


How our nervous systems shape our reaction to stress and trauma 


Resourcing and helping clients self-regulate  during times of distress and social distance 

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Case Managers
  • Nurses

Copyright : 06/04/2020

IFS & Polyvagal Theory

Despite the diversity of content that brings clients to therapy, difficulty regulating their emotional experience is at the heart of their struggles. Clients can feel hijacked by extreme emotional states, uncomfortable in their own skin, and think or behave in ways they wish they wouldn’t. Polyvagal Theory helps us understand what’s happening on a biological level when our clients are emotionally dysregulated. And IFS therapy offers a compassionate, non-shaming approach to healing the wounded, burdened, and traumatized parts of clients’ systems and increasing internal harmony and connection. In this session, you’ll:

  • Discover how IFS therapy allows us to work in a Polyvagal-informed way to help clients heal
  • Learn IFS strategies to shift your clients’ nervous systems towards regulation and help them access their own capacity for healing
  • Explore how to help your clients develop attuned, trusting relationships with their hyperaroused and hypoaroused parts
  • Discuss real video examples of how to seamlessly integrate IFS therapy and PVT in treatment

This product is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or affiliated with the IFS Institute and does not qualify for IFS Institute credits or certification. 

Program Information


  1. Develop skills to help clients foster attuned, trusting relationships with their hyperaroused and hypoaroused parts, as well as parts that strategically utilize adaptive survival responses, such as fight, flight, freezing, and numbing, for protection.
  2. Theorize how Polyvagal Theory can help therapists implement IFS more safely and effectively, especially in the systems of clients with complex trauma.
  3. Assess the impact of the therapist’s internal state on clinical work and how clinicians can use this awareness to facilitate client regulation and healing.
  4. Analyze, through observation and discussion of real video examples, how to integrate IFS and PVT in treatment.


  • How Polyvagal Theory can help therapists implement IFS more safely and effectively, especially in the systems of clients with complex trauma.
  • Helping clients develop attuned, trusting relationships with their hyperaroused and hypoaroused parts, as well as parts that strategically utilize adaptive survival responses.
  • Recognizing the impact of the therapist’s internal state on clinical work and how clinicians can use this awareness to facilitate client regulation and healing.
  • Case studies
  • Discussion

Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Physicians
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Other Behavioral Health Professionals

Copyright : 02/02/2022

Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory with Stephen Porges, PhD: Trauma, Attachment, Self-Regulation & Emotions

Discover how powerful insight from the Polyvagal Theory can help you tap into your clients’ nervous system and accelerate treatment outcomes.

Polyvagal Theory has revolutionized our understanding of both how the body’s autonomic nervous system responds to fear and trauma and how therapists can work with it to create safety, connection and lasting healing.

Now you can watch Stephen Porges, PhD, creator of the evidence-based Polyvagal Theory to learn how the Polyvagal Theory leverages neurobiology and psychophysiological cues to enhance your ability to treat trauma, anxiety, ADHD, addiction, depression – and a host of other mental health conditions.

Get practical guidance into the therapeutic power of facial expression, eye contact, voice modulation, and listening to help your clients overcome traumatic experiences, attachment wounds, and self-regulation problems – insight that can enhance any therapeutic approach and help you achieve lasting clinical outcomes. Through interactive demonstrations, videos, and engaging discussions, you’ll learn practical methods of applying Polyvagal Theory within the clinical setting to help clients of all ages.

You’ll walk away with effective interventions that build client safety and connectedness.

Don’t miss this opportunity to discover how the nervous system holds the key to improving treatment outcomes, even with your most challenging cases.

Program Information


  1. Characterize the principle features and foundation of the Polyvagal Theory.
  2. Articulate how the Polyvagal Theory may explain behavioral features related to psychiatric disorders and other behavioral problems.
  3. Determine how maladaptive behaviors, which may accompany several psychiatric disorders, may reflect adaptive responses triggered by survival mechanisms.
  4. Communicate how the neural process (neuroception) evaluates risk in the environment and triggers adaptive neural circuits promoting either social interactions or defensive behaviors.
  5. Appraise the definition of the features of the Social Engagement System to include the neural pathways that connect the brain, face, and heart.
  6. Illustrate how deficits in the regulation of the Social Engagement System are expressed as core features of several psychiatric disorders.
  7. Specify how therapeutic presence is based on the interaction between the Social Engagement Systems of client and therapist.
  8. Evaluate how the Social Engagement System is involved in optimizing therapeutic outcomes.
  9. Ascertain which features of the Social Engagement System are compromised by stress and trauma.
  10. Determine how acoustic stimulation, via the Safe and Sound Protocol, may function as an acoustic vagal nerve stimulator to shift autonomic state and facilitate spontaneous social engagement behaviors.


The Polyvagal Theory

  • The biology of safety and danger
  • The principles and features of the Polyvagal Theory and how to apply it in a clinical setting
  • How the Polyvagal Theory can explain several features related to stress-related illnesses and psychiatric disorders such as PTSD, autism, depression, and anxiety
  • The Social Engagement System and how it compromised by stress and trauma
  • Resetting our Social Engagement System
  • Evolutionary changes and adaptive functions in the autonomic nervous system
  • Humans response hierarchy to challenges
  • Three neural platforms that provide the neurophysiological bases for social engagement, fight/flight, and shutdown behaviors
Social Engagement System and Psychiatric and Behavioral Disorders
  • A description of the “face-heart” connection that forms a functional social engagement system
  • How our facial expressions, vocalizations, and gestures are regulated by neural mechanisms that are involved in regulating our autonomic nervous system
Neuroception: Detecting and Evaluating Risk
  • How our social and physical environment triggers changes in physiological state
  • Understanding that adaptive physiological reactions may result in maladaptive behaviors
  • Immobilization without fear
  • Play as a neural exercise
  • Listening as a neural exercise
“Demystifying” Common Biobehavioral Responses to Trauma and Abuse
  • Fight/flight and immobilization defense strategies
  • Adaptive function of immobilization and the associated clinical difficulties
  • How the stresses and challenges of life distort social awareness and displace spontaneous social engagement behaviors with defensive reactions
Polyvagal informed therapy: Applying the Polyvagal Theory in Clinical Settings to Improve Treatment Outcome
  • Understanding the principles underlying Polyvagal Informed Therapy
  • Learn about the Safe and Sound Protocol as a Polyvagal Informed Therapy that may be useful in understanding and treating auditory hypersensitivities and other features of a dampened social engagement system
  • Emotional state regulation as a core feature of psychiatric disorders
  • Deconstructing features of autism and PTSD
  • Strategies to explain disruption and repair of symbiotic regulation
  • Identifying social cues that disrupt or repair defensive reaction
  • Risks & limitations of the theory & clinical practice

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Case Managers
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Therapists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 01/21/2022

Q&A Call with Deb Dana

Copyright : 08/15/2022

Q&A Call with Sherrie All

Program Information


  1. Construct a case conceptualized based Polyvagal Theory as applied to real-world client case studies.
  2. Demonstrate how individual differences in neuroception lead to differing conditions, symptoms and diagnoses. 
  3. Design a treatment intervention that increases a client’s window of tolerance.


  • Polyvagal Theory & Neuroscience
    • Understand case conceptualization from polyvagal theory perspective
    • Identify neuroscience-related factors
    • Explore strategies for trauma healing specific to polyvagal theory
  • How Neuroception Works & Why it Matters
    • Uniqueness of neuroception patterns to individual
    • How neuroception relates to development of mental health disorders
    • What factors neuro factors led toward a given disorder
  • Navigating the Window of Tolerance
    • Review hyper and hypo arousal
    • Techniques for increasing window of tolerance
    • Explore broader framework for designing individualized interventions

Copyright : 09/12/2022