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The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation
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The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  307 ratings  ·  28 reviews
This book offers therapists an integrated approach to adding a polyvagal foundation to their work with clients. With clear explanations of the organizing principles of Polyvagal Theory, this complex theory is translated into clinician and client-friendly language. Using a unique autonomic mapping process along with worksheets designed to effectively track autonomic respons ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 12th 2018 by W. W. Norton Company
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Average rating 4.46  · 
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 ·  307 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Michael Maloney
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can’t recommend this book enough for therapist that work with trauma But even for therapists who don’t this is a great addition to build your skills and bring some of the research of some of the experiential practices in therapy. Deb Dana brings a theory that was very jargon heavy in Stephen Prorges great works work and makes it client friendly and interactive. She goes into play, bodywork, processing different emotions, emotion tracking and so many other skills that will be helpful to any the ...more
Lance Hill
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has changed the way I help my clients. It’s a must read if you’re in the counseling field.
Lucia Gannon
A clear, well-researched and useful guide to Stephen Porges “polyvagal theory.” An expert translation of the theory into practice for both personal and professional use. Some prior knowledge of the theory is probably necessary as this book simplifies it so well that some of the complexity may be lost and some of the relevance of the proposed exercises missed. Very useful for therapists or anyone in the caring profession.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: work-reads
Love this book and it’s practical applications of a complex theory. Helps lay the foundation for therapy work and easily integrates into practice. Use of the maps is bringing another dimension of healing to my clients. Deb Dana is brilliant!
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was full of great information and completely changed how I think about our nervous system and its regulation. It is definitely written for therapists not parents of children who are dysregulated, but provides lots of good background. I have since found other resources for parents that build upon the polyvagal theory and I now have a strong foundation to fully understand them.
Barbara S.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Informative, easy-t0-understand, practical takeaways and worksheets that help the mental health clinician help their clients understand the autonomic nervous systems actions and reactions to the environment. Gives hope that while our nervous systems are wired to survive, with effort and compassion, we can rewire default responses to live more fully today.
Brian Post
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read if you work with clients that have trauma. Understanding the autonomic nervous system is key to helping your clients develop self-awareness. Once they master self-awareness, they can begin the work of self-regulation.
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I originally bought Stephen Porges' book, but it was way too scientifically technical for me. At that point I could've bought his pocket guide, but this book appealed to me because I care more about the application of the theory than the theory itself. And oh boy is that application fantastic!

This review is going to be a long one, so let me tell you what to expect. I'm going to outline five things that I noticed as cool/helpful or that changed in me from having read about polyvagal theory. I'm n
Jules Morgan
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is fantastic. Polyvagal theory is hereby my new therapy baby. I love finding new language to describe internal processes and this book gave me a lot of it. I only wish she had gone into more detail about feelings that require overlapping polyvagal states! It’s absolutely fascinating to me. I also appreciate how I can weave this theory with Pat Ogden’s sensorimotor psychotherapy and Richard Schwartz’s internal family systems theory. I love it when all the pieces fit together. Would high ...more
Maria Ripoll Cera
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un libro "para terapeutas" que toda persona que desee conocerse haría bien en leer. Te enseña a crear tu propio mapa de detonantes que te provocan luchar, huir o congelar (a tu sistema nervioso autónomo). Cuanto más conozcas tus automatismos, más libre puedes ser de ellos. O prevenirlos para que no afecten tanto tu vida.

Un libro que explica sencillamente una teoría densa y que enseña a practicar ejercicios.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
i loved this book. it is probably the most useful therapy book i've read all year. i have been using it in groups and sessions and it has become a shared language among my clients. i have found this book especially helpful in working with clients who have trauma but are not ready to dive into the details of trauma yet. i would recommend this to every therapist.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: coach
Brilliant and practical book by how our bodies as an Autonomic Surveillance system and the impact on our Way of Being in the world.
The book is broadly divided into three parts Theory, (explained the model in a very practical way.), Exercises (On how to apply the work), some interesting items to spare.
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the greatest books I’ve ever read. This theory is, in my mind, unquestionably valuable in helping people to understand the different emotional states humans progress through at different times and how to work back and forth between them. I read this as an audio book and will now re read as a written one to take notes. Brilliant.
Kimia Jalili
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very practical, lots of exercises.
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t recommend this book enough. I knew about poly vagal theory but now I know it more in my bones. Thank you Deb Dana
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Difficult read but very worth the read lots to it!
Zen Lara
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: healing
This was a very accessible and actionable overview of how polyvagal theory can be used for therapeutic and personal intervention.
Aurora Knight
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2020
Excellent insight into how to use Polyvagal in a therapeutic setting
Tijana Coso
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you like brain science this is good.
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
I like the idea of this book more than I liked the actual delivery which was rubbish.
Mariglynn Edlins
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have definitely never read a more important book.
I suspect this will become subject to a landslide of research in years to come.
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Glad I have a physical copy to go with the audio through the library. A great book with loads of practical resources and tips. Works better with your eyeballs than with your ear holes.

Beatrix Fonay
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
Great introduction to polyvagal theory and applications. Will be so useful, and gave lots of food for thought.
Stephanie Goldsmith
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful description of the clinical applications of polyvagal theory. Dana gives practical interventions to use with client. I'm really glad I read this!
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, and very profound.
Shows how to apply the polyvagal theory to clinical practice. Excellent resource for experiential techniques.
Anne Acorn
rated it really liked it
Dec 31, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2020
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“The job of the autonomic nervous system is to ensure we survive in moments of danger and thrive in times of safety. Survival requires threat detection and the activation of a survival response. Thriving demands the opposite—the inhibition of a survival response so that social engagement can happen. Without the capacity for activation, inhibition, and flexibility of response, we suffer.” 2 likes
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