BOOKS BY DR. STEPHEN PORGES, PHD

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This book compiles, for the first time, Stephen W. Porges’s decades of research. A leading expert in developmental psychophysiology and developmental behavioral neuroscience, Porges is the mind behind the groundbreaking Polyvagal Theory, which has startling implications for the treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma, and autism. Adopted by clinicians around the world, the Polyvagal Theory has provided exciting new insights into the way our autonomic nervous system unconsciously mediates social engagement, trust, and intimacy.

Bridging the gap between research, science, and the therapy room.

When The Polyvagal Theory was published in 2011, it took the therapeutic world by storm, bringing Stephen Porges’s insights about the autonomic nervous system to a clinical audience interested in understanding trauma, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. The book made accessible to clinicians and other professionals a polyvagal perspective that provided new concepts and insights for understanding human behavior. The perspective placed an emphasis on the important link between psychological experiences and physical manifestations in the body. That book was brilliant but also quite challenging to read for some.

Since publication of that book, Stephen Porges has been urged to make these ideas more accessible and The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory is the result. Constructs and concepts embedded in polyvagal theory are explained conversationally in The Pocket Guide and there is an introductory chapter which discusses the science and the scientific culture in which polyvagal theory was originally developed. Publication of this work enables Stephen Porges to expand the meaning and clinical relevance of this groundbreaking theory.

Innovative clinicians share their experiences integrating Polyvagal Theory into their treatment models.

Clinicians who have dedicated their work to bringing the benefits of the Polyvagal Theory to a range of clients have come together to present Polyvagal Theory in a creative and personal way.

Chapters on a range of topics from compassionate medical care to optimized therapeutic relationships to clinician's experiences as parents extract from the theory the powerful influence and importance of cases and feelings of safety in the clinical setting.

Additionally, there are chapters which:

  • elaborate on the principle of safety in clinical practice with children with abuse histories

  • explain the restorative consequences of movement, rhythm, and dance in promoting social connectedness and resilience in trauma survivors

  • explains how Polyvagal Theory can be used to understand the neurophysiological processes in various therapies

  • discuss dissociative processes and treatments designed to experience bodily feelings of safety and trust

  • examine fear of flying and how using positive memories as an active "bottom up" neuroceptive process may effectively down-regulate defense

  • shed light on the poorly understood experience of grief

Through the insights of innovative and benevolent clinicians, whose treatment models are Polyvagal informed, this book provides an accessible way for clinicians to embrace this groundbreaking theory in their own work.