Harnessing a Neuroception of Safety in a Fearful World

Lesson Description

Our nervous system evolved to evaluate risk in the environment and to rapidly detect features in others of safety, danger, and life threat. To cooperate with others and to develop intimate relationships, our nervous system had to identify both safe people and safe places. Through the neural mechanisms of a social engagement system, specific feature detectors in our brain dampen defensive strategies and we can relax in the arms of another without being vigilant or aggressive.

Instructor: Stephen Porges

Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D, is Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium and is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina.  He is the originator of the Polyvagal Theory, which emphasises the importance of physiological state in the behavioural, mental, and health problems related to traumatic experiences.

Dr. Porges is also the creator of a music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol , which is currently used by more than 1500 therapists to improve spontaneous social engagement, to reduce hearing sensitivities, and to improve language processing, state regulation, and spontaneous social engagement.