Polyvagal theory - therapeutic presence and the relational space between us
City Coast Centre
Brighton & Hove
Polyvagal theory is possibly one of the most exciting and innovative developments to impact the therapy world in the past 30 years. It was Stephen Porges in 1994 who proposed the theory which linked existing knowledge about the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) to the emergence of social behaviour. This workshop is BEYOND neuroscience, for learning about the Polyvagal Theory and how to work with it, especially in relation to trauma and/or affect regulation, has the potential to change the way we work as therapists.
This is a training workshop designed especially for counsellors and therapists who would like to deepen their understanding and application of polyvagal theory within the therapeutic relationship.
In relation to the autonomic nervous system, polyvagal theory outlines three hierarchical subsystems which evolved to respond adaptively to environmental (including relational) stimuli indicating features of safety, danger, and life threat (Porges, 2011). Participants will also learn about peripersonal neurons (Graziano, 2018), which monitor the boundary spaces around us. We will explore how both client and therapist react non-consciously to a variety of implicit relational cues which can stimulate behavioural responses through neuroception. The workshop will invite exploration of concepts such as self /interactive, co-regulation, attunement, and therapeutic presence. Trainees can participate in a range of interactive exercises which closely examine the social engagement system but also interactive barriers which contribute to enactments and other ruptures within the relational field.
The overall emphasis will be on repair and the implicit establishment of greater levels of safety within the therapeutic relationship. Therapists will learn a range of practical skills for enhancing relationships with clients in the service of therapeutic goals.
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About The Palmeira Practice
Tony Buckley has extensive experience in the field of trauma, spanning over 25 years. He has a particular interest in somatic psychology, bodywork and the application of knowledge from the fields of neuroscience and psychobiology to trauma theory and treatment interventions.