Polyvagal Interventions to Reshape the Nervous System: Moving from Theory to Practice with Deb Dana - 12 CEUs


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When & Where:

  • Date: Friday, October 22 and November 19, 2021
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST each day
  • CEs Included: 12 Core Continuing Education Clock Hours (For Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists - please see below for details)
  • Location: Live Interactive Webinar ("Synchronous") on Zoom
  • Investment: $395 before Friday, October 8 by 5:00 p.m. EST, $415 after
  • Presented by: Deb Dana, LCSW (Internationally-renowned author and expert in applying Polyvagal Theory to Clinical Practice)
  • *Limited enrollment since this workshop will involve breakout rooms and experiential exercises with Deb Dana and her hand-picked assistants. Claim your spot now!
  • If you are not able to attend these dates, we will be making it available on-demand shortly after the live version! Follow this link to pre-register for the on-demand version: https://www.theknowledgetree.org/p/polyvagal-deb-dana-online/

Educational Objectives:

  • Review the three organizing principles of Polyvagal Theory:
    • Autonomic Hierarchy – Recognizing where on the hierarchy your clients’ autonomic nervous system has taken them as well as preventing or navigating dysregulated states is fundamental to the success of therapy. When the ventral vagal state is active, body and brain work together, which, in turn, allows processing and change to take place.
    • Neuroception – Most people are simply not aware of what is happening moment to moment with their nervous systems. A simple gesture can send off a chain reaction of neurochemicals and a surge of emotions. The ability to tune into the implicit autonomic conversations between you and your clients is an essential part of creating therapeutic presence and building trust in the therapy process.
    • The co-regulating pathways of the social engagement system – the human nervous system does not operate in a vacuum. It is social and requires social interaction for regulation and even survival. As a therapist, you are responsible for being regulated and a regulating presence for your clients. Without your predictable co-regulation in the therapy session, your clients will struggle to engage in the therapeutic process of change.
  • Discuss how early experiences and trauma shape our nervous system as well as the stress that COVID-19 has had on our ability (or lack thereof) to stay regulated.
  • Formulate language and illustrate tools (e.g., The Polyvagal Flip Chart) to successfully introduce nervous system-based interventions with clients.
  • Utilize exercises that have been specifically created to empower clients to attune to their nervous system and notice patterns, bringing explicit awareness to implicit experiences.
  • Discuss ways to interrupt old autonomic response patterns to engage the regulating capacities of the ventral vagal safety circuit and create resource anchors.
  • Differentiate the phases and applicable exercises for awareness and healing involved in Deb’s "BASIC" framework which involves these key skills:
    • Befriending is learning to tune in and turn toward autonomic state and story with curiosity and self-compassion.
    • Attending practices create the ability to name autonomic states, track the movement between states, and develop a moment-to-moment habit of noticing large shifts and nuanced changes.
    • Shaping the system away from habitual survival responses into patterns of connection involves bringing mindful attention to practices that increase the capacity for staying anchored in the ventral vagal system.
    • Integrating brings attention to the new autonomic patterns that are emerging and engages them to shape new, resilient pathways.
    • Connecting - with new abilities for nervous system regulation, creating safe connections is possible.
  • Apply several “BASIC” exercises to help your clients reshape their systems and rewrite their stories by observing Deb in a live demonstration and then practicing with one another in breakout rooms.
  • Create homework (or “home-play” as Deb refers to it) for clients between sessions to help them reshape their autonomic patterns and develop a rhythm of regulation.
  • Utilize personal progress trackers to assess client progress.
  • Assess the timing of moving between phases of the BASIC framework with clients.
  • Describe how to work with the body’s innate ability to pick up signals and cultivate “micro-moments” (“glimmers”) of ventral vagal experience in order to regulate automatic responses to stress, conflict, and hardship or to simply shift daily expectations.
  • Formulate regulated nervous system maps which go beyond survival maps through experiential exercises and explore Deb’s brand-new circle and star maps as well.
  • Illustrate how continuums help us understand the many flavors of a particular nervous system state as well as explore moments of change.
  • Create breath maps that will assist clients in a deeper understanding of how their breath may signify where they are on the autonomic hierarchy as well as develop resourcing breath for nervous system regulation.
  • Review a live demonstration with Deb illustrating how to help a client become unstuck in a particular state.
  • Explain how to use Polyvagal-informed interventions with couples, families, and other social systems and observe a demonstration of Deb working with a couple.
  • Describe specific practices that involve imagery, sound, art, play, nature, and ongoing self-inquiry for moving from a place of fear and panic into a grounded space of calm and balance.

Workshop Description:

Mental health professionals who have studied how to ‘Navigate the Nervous System’ with world-renowned expert, Deb Dana, consistently refer to it as a "game-changer!" This experiential course will take learning to the next level with multiple demonstrations and time to practice exercises with each other in Zoom breakout rooms. Additionally, Deb will present concepts from her brand-new book, "Anchored," which is scheduled to be released in November.

If you’re still not sure if this course is right for your practice, please consider the following questions:

  • Are your clients familiar with the cues and triggers which cause them to become more aggressive, panic, or shut down in a confrontational situation?
  • Are your clients able to read facial cues that signal fear, anger, or discomfort accurately in others? If so, do they know how to navigate these interactions with interpersonal effectiveness without becoming dysregulated?
  • Do your clients understand the ways in which their nervous system is in constant dialogue with other people’s nervous systems and the ways in which they can consciously influence that dialogue?

When cues of danger seem to be everywhere, the way we experience self, create relationships, and move through the world may result in dysregulated autonomic pathways. From a polyvagal perspective, a key goal of therapy is to help the client find ways to move out of a dysregulated state - either a numbed-out “dorsal vagal” state or a hyperaroused “sympathetic” one - and return to “ventral vagal,” the biological seat of safety and connectedness. And because we can change our dominant life story only from a place of ventral vagal, it is crucial for both therapist and client to be able to accurately identify the state of their own nervous systems at any point in time—both in the therapy session and out in the wider world. Only when individuals are able to recognize their location on the polyvagal map can they begin the journey back to calm and connection. Please join us for this amazing workshop!!

Presented by: Deb Dana, LCSW

Deb Dana, LCSW is an author, clinician, and consultant specializing in using the lens of Polyvagal Theory to understand and resolve the impact of trauma and create ways of working that honor the role of the autonomic nervous system. She developed the Rhythm of Regulation Clinical Training Series and lectures internationally on ways Polyvagal Theory informs work with trauma survivors. She is a founding member of the Polyvagal Institute, clinical advisor to Khiron Clinics, and an advisor to Unyte.
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. 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 forthcoming print book Anchored: How to Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory.
To learn more, visit rhythmofregulation.com

Agenda Each Day:

  • 8:30 - 9:00 Registration & Login Time
  • 9:00 - 10:30 Welcome and Morning Session
  • 10:30 - 10:45 Break
  • 10:45 - 12:15 Morning Session (Cont.)
  • 12:15 - 1:15 Lunch Break
  • 1:15 - 2:45 Afternoon Session
  • 2:45 - 3:00 Break
  • 3:00 - 4:30 Afternoon Session (Cont.)
  • 4:30 - 4:45 Continuing Education Certificates Distributed (2nd day)

12 Core CE Clock Hours:

  • Psychologists: The Knowledge Tree (TKT) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. TKT maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
    • For Georgia Psychologists, all online webinars (both live and on-demand) count the same as live for 2021 (including ethics). The Board states it will go back to the pre-COVID rules in 2022. You may complete all 40 CEUs this year while you have options.
    • Licensed in another state? The Knowledge Tree is a Continuing Education Sponsor Approved (CESA) by APA, so all of our workshops should satisfy your CE requirements, but please check your state rules regarding live webinars vs. live workshops.
  • Counselors: This workshop is approved for 12 core CE hours through the LPCA of Georgia, approval #2021-08-03-564LW. Now in Georgia, Live Webinars count the same as a Live In-Person Workshop.
    • Licensed in another state? Please see the highlighted section below.*
  • Social Workers: This workshop is approved for 12 core CE hours through GSCSW, approval #072021. Now in Georgia, Live Webinars count the same as a Live In-Person Workshop.
    • Licensed in another state? Please see the highlighted section below.*
  • Marriage & Family Therapists: This workshop is approved for 12 core CE hours through GAMFT, approval #108-2021. Now in Georgia, Live Webinars count the same as a Live In-Person Workshop.
    • Licensed in another state? Please see the highlighted section below.*
  • *Licensed in another state as a counselor, social worker, or marriage & family therapist? Many states will accept CEs for Counselors, Social Workers & MFTs if that workshop has approved status from another state. Additionally, we have national approval for all our courses through APA. Many states accept APA approved workshops, but please check your specific state rules & regulations.

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Workshop Coordinator at:

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