Stephen W. Porges, PhD, is Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University, where he directs the Trauma Research Center within the Kinsey Institute. He holds the position of Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He served as president of both the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences and is a former recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development Award. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific papers across several disciplines including anaesthesiology, biomedical engineering, critical care medicine, ergonomics, exercise physiology, gerontology, neurology, neuroscience, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, psychometrics, space medicine, and substance abuse. In 1994 he proposed the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that links the evolution of the mammalian autonomic nervous system to social behavior and emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders. The theory is leading to innovative treatments based on insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders.
Images and sounds of war, natural disasters, and human-made devastation explicitly surround us and implicitly leave their imprint in our muscles, our belly and heart, our nervous systems, and the brains in our skulls. We each experience more digital data than we are capable of processing in a day, and this is leading to a loss of empathy and human contact. This loss of leisurely, sustained, face-to-face connection is making true presence a rare experience for many of us, and is neurally ingraining fast pace and split attention as the norm.
Yet despite all of this, the ability to offer the safe sanctuary of presence is central to effective clinical treatment of trauma and indeed to all of therapeutic practice. It is our challenge to remain present within our culture, Badenoch argues, no matter how difficult this might be. She makes the case that we are built to seek out, enter, and sustain warm relationships, all this connection will allow us to support the emergence of a humane world.
In this book, Bonnie Badenoch, a gifted translator of neuroscientific concepts into human terms, offers readers brain- and body-based insights into how we can form deep relational encounters with our clients and our selves and how relational neuroscience can teach us about the astonishing ways we are interwoven with one another. How we walk about in our daily lives will touch everyone, often below the level of conscious awareness.
The first part of The Heart of Trauma provides readers with an extended understanding of the ways in which our physical bodies are implicated in our conscious and non-conscious experience. Badenoch then delves even deeper into the clinical implications of moving through the world. She presents a strong, scientifically grounded case for doing the work of opening to hemispheric balance and relational deepening.
This book presents recent knowledge, research, and theory about the earliest developmental period—from conception to birth—which holds even greater consequences for the health and development of the human organism than was previously understood. Theory and research in multiple disciplines provide the foundation for the exploration of how experiences during conception and time in the womb; during and after birth; and experiences with caregivers and the family system in the early postnatal period impact an individual physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially over their life span.
Knowledge drawn from numerous fields highlights the opportunity for parents-to-be and the practitioners who care for them to intentionally support the cultivation of nurturing internal and external environments during the preconception, prenatal, and early parenting periods. Theory and research from the fields of psychology, medicine, psychophysiology, epigenetics, and traumatology, among others, suggest that doing so will support lifelong multidimensional aspects of healthy development in children and adults and may also benefit future generations.
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.
What is neuroplasticity? Is it possible to change your brain? Norman Doidge’s inspiring guide to the new brain science explains all of this and more
An astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable, and proving that it is, in fact, possible to change your brain. Psychoanalyst, Norman Doidge, M.D., traveled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity, its healing powers, and the people whose lives they’ve transformed—people whose mental limitations, brain damage or brain trauma were seen as unalterable. We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, blind people who learn to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, stroke patients learning to speak, children with cerebral palsy learning to move with more grace, depression and anxiety disorders successfully treated, and lifelong character traits changed. Using these marvelous stories to probe mysteries of the body, emotion, love, sex, culture, and education, Dr. Doidge has written an immensely moving, inspiring book that will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential.