334. Our Polyvagal World with Stephen & Seth Porges

Since we were introduced to Polyvagal Theory by Stephen Porges in the early nineties, the concept has revolutionized our understanding of the connection between safety and well-being and transformed trauma interventions and therapeutic interactions, inspiring researchers and clinicians to approach things in new ways. Here to enlighten us through real-world examples and themes from their book, Our Polyvagal World: How Safety and Trauma Change Us, are father and son, Stephen and Seth Porges. Tune in to gain a whole new outlook on what our body does based on how safe we feel and learn practical ways in which we can help one another feel safe.

Listen and Learn: 

  • What is polyvagal theory?
  • What effects does it have on our physical and mental well-being to live in a world where signals of threat are all around us?  
  • The science of safety 
  • What role does cognition play in polyvagal theory?
  • Clearing up misconceptions about our freeze response to life-threatening or traumatic events
  • Breath,  the vagus nerve, and feeling safe—and whether there’s even an ideal way to breathe to stimulate or activate those feelings of safety
  • Are hormonal changes impacting the vagus nerve, and is that why we experience mood changes during puberty and menopause?
  • What makes us seek out the thrill of being scared?


About Stephen and Seth Porges

Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D. is a Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium. He is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and Professor Emeritus at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida. 

Seth Porges is a journalist and filmmaker. He directed the critically acclaimed documentary Class Action Park (HBO Max). He lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida, and Brooklyn, New York. 

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Episode 334