In this conversation TRIA Co-founder Forrest James talks with Founder of Polyvagal theory: Dr Stephen Porges.
Polyvagal theory has had a significant impact on the thinking and practice of psychotherapy in the last few decades. In this conversation Professor Stephen Porges discusses the specific connections of his polyvagal theory and gestalt therapy. Both share central constructs such as ‘the organism’ and ‘co-regulation’. Professor Porges illuminates these connections and provides an overview of our how our evolutionary heritage has resulted in humans becoming a quintessentially relational creature.
Professor Porges discusses the critical importance of the physiological state of safety for ‘health, growth and restoration’, the effect of music on the nervous system, and how the nervous system becomes ‘retuned’ due to trauma. He provides an overview how many ‘mental health problems’ are associated with chronic physiological states of threat, and how our culture of individualism is complicit in creating these problems by denying the reality of our relational neurobiology.
The discussion will be of interest to all gestalt therapists, and any therapists who focus on the relational nature of psychotherapy and the importance of the body in ‘psychological’ healing and growth.