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The Enchanted Loom reviews Deb Dana's book, The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy


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I've spent the last 12 years trying to understand Polyvagal Theory. I am admittedly a slow learner. Had this book been available 12 years ago, I have no doubt I would have cut my learning time by two-thirds.

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The Enchanted Loom reviews Deb Dana's book, The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy

  1. 1. The Enchanted Loom Teasing sturdy threads from brain-changing masterworks
  2. 2. Teasing 10 threads from Deb Dana’s …
  3. 3. Thread 1: Polyvagal Theory is about the science of safety – the science of feeling safe enough to fall in love with life and to take the risks of living. (pg. XVII)
  4. 4. Thread 2: Neuroception describes the way our autonomic nervous system responds to cues of safety, danger and life threat. Different from perception, this is “detection without aware- ness,” a subcortical ex- perience happening far below the realm of conscious thought. (pg. 4)
  5. 5. Thread 3: Polyvagal Theory introduces the concept of biological rudeness – the experience of mis- attunement that happens when social connec- tion is interrupted and neuroception changes from safety to danger. (pg. 39)
  6. 6. Thread 4: Two elements are needed to create a neuroception of safety: resolve the cues of danger and bring in the cues of safety. (pg. 42)
  7. 7. Thread 5: Trauma compromises our ability to engage with others by replac- ing patterns of con- nection with patterns of protection. (pg. XVIII)
  8. 8. Thread 6: The Dorsal Vagus (nerve) pathway responds to signals of extreme danger. When we feel frozen, numb, or “not here,” the Dorsal Vagus has taken control. The phrase “scared to death” fits the Dorsal Vagus experience. (pg. 23)
  9. 9. Thread 7: We live a story that originates in our (nervous system), is sent through pathways from the body to the brain, and is then translated by the brain into beliefs that guide our daily living. The mind narrates what the nervous system knows (state drives story). (pg. 35)
  10. 10. Thread 8: Trauma … makes co- regulation dangerous and interrupts the development of our co-regulatory skills. Clients will often say that they needed connection but there was no one in their life who was safe, so after a while they stopped looking. (pg. 45)
  11. 11. Thread 9: (From a Polyvagal perspective) “Face-to-face communication is the most human and humanizing thing we do.” (pg. 74)
  12. 12. Thread 10: “Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul’s weather to all who can read it.” (pg. 105)
  13. 13. Thread 11: To create a platform of safety, one nervous sys- tem enters into back-and-forth communication with another, creating a feedback loop. Safety, reciprocity and resonance lead to connection. If the cues are of danger the outcome is dysregu- lation and protection through disconnection. (pg. 123 )
  14. 14. Image Credits: Title Page: Slide 3 - Slide 12 - Slide 2 - Slide 6 - Slide 5 - Slide 11 - Slide 10 - Slide 15 - Slide 9 - Slide 8 - Slide 7 - Slide 4 - Slide 13 -
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