Integrating Polyvagal Theory Into Practice: Clinical Strategies and Techniques

Integrating Polyvagal Theory Into Practice: Clinical Strategies and Techniques

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Polyvagal theory, developed by Stephen Porges, provides a framework to understand how activation of the vagus nerve serves to trigger the calming response of our nervous system in more nuanced ways than previously understood.


This calming response is crucial in balancing our sympathetic (i.e. active) response, which is often overactive in clients experiencing various forms of chronic psychological distress. Now, through Polyvagal theory, we are introduced to a third part of our nervous system (in addition to the classic “fight-or-flight” and “rest and digest” parts) Porges calls the “social engagement” system. The ventral branch of the vagus nerve operating above the diaphragm is thought to serve this “social engagement” system that essentially provides for nuanced modulation and activation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems through interaction with others (i.e. coregulation) in a way that cultivates a sense of safety and allows for more flexible coping styles and ultimately better relationship experiences.


Learn how these systems work and how to employ this cutting edge theory into practice. Help your most stuck or overactive clients feel safe, shift into their social engagement biology, and achieve nervous system regulation through embodiment and connection with others.

This training will provide participants clinical knowledge and tools to:

  • List three organizing principles of polyvagal theory.
  • Describe the autonomic hierarchy.
  • Explain at least two processes involved with co-regulation.
  • Identify treatment strategies that target presenting client concerns.
  • Apply and practice therapeutic techniques that foster safety and connection.

Dr. Brent Moore is the director of clinical mental health counseling and associate professor of counselor education at Indiana Wesleyan University (USA). He has taught graduate counseling in a full-time capacity for the past nine years.


Dr. Moore is a registered play therapist and founder of Neural Pathways Learning Center in Liberty, Missouri, which serves to assess and treat anxiety, attention, and focus issues related to academic performance. He is a licensed counselor and approved supervisor for the states of Kansas and Missouri. Dr. Moore is the former president of the American Counseling Association of Missouri.

This online workshop will give you instant access to video content, accessible via streaming on our website, as well as PowerPoint slides for the presentation. You can view the course content in your own time, there is no time limit on access.


The duration of this workshop is 2.5 learning hours.


A certificate of completion will be generated upon finishing the course and completing a multiple-choice evaluation quiz. Please consult your professional organisation/association to confirm whether you are able to claim any CPD points/hours for this online workshop.