Speaker Bio & Presentations

Deb Dana

Special Speaker

Deb Dana

Deb Dana, LCSW is a clinician, consultant and author specializing in working with complex trauma. Her work is focused on using the lens of Polyvagal Theory to understand and resolve the impact of trauma, and creating ways of working that honor the role of the autonomic nervous system. Deb is the developer of the Rhythm of Regulation training series and is well known for translating Polyvagal Theory into a language and application that is both understandable and accessible - for clinicians and curious people alike. Deb’s clinical work published with W.W. Norton includes The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation, Polyvagal Exercises for Safety and Connection: 50 Client Centered Practices, and the Polyvagal Flip Chart, and she is co-editor of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies She partners with Sounds True to bring her polyvagal perspective to a general audience through the audio program Befriending Your Nervous System: Looking Through the Lens of Polyvagal Theory and her print book Anchored: How to Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory.

Presentations & Workshops

Navigating Challenging Times: A Polyvagal Theory Perspective

The autonomic nervous system is at the heart of daily living powerfully shaping our experiences of safety and influencing our capacity for connection. What begins with our biology becomes the story that shapes our days. Polyvagal Theory provides a guide to the autonomic circuits that underlie behaviors and beliefs and an understanding of the body to brain pathways that give birth to stories of safety and survival. Through this science of connection, we have a new understanding of the ways experience shapes the nervous system and the pathways that lead to healing.In this time of deep disruptions to everyday life, we are confronted with experiences that challenge our ability to feel safe and find ways to connect. Polyvagal Theory offers us a roadmap to navigate this unfamiliar territory. Anchored in the safety of a regulated nervous system, pathways of connection come alive and we can travel those pathways in service of healing. In this presentation we will use the organizing principles of hierarchy, neuroception, and co-regulation to guide our exploration and answer the essential question, “What does the nervous system need in this moment to find safety in connection?”

Learning Objectives

  1. Analyze three organizing principles of Polyvagal Theory
  2. Develop an understanding of how the autonomic nervous system shapes behaviors and beliefs
  3. Summarize the emergent properties of autonomic states
  4. Categorize the distinct stories that emerge from autonomic states

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