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April 2022 Newsletter

Some hyperlinks in our newsletter were broken, including one to our Ukrainian fundraising page. Please find a corrected version below, and do consider supporting the cause to help therapists working with Ukrainian refugees.

Greetings Friends,

Spring is here and we’d all be celebrating the warmer weather and relaxed restrictions around Covid if it weren’t for Vladimir Putin, whose excessive fear and militaristic hypervigilance is creating yet another global crisis.  To our friends in Ukraine, and to those therapists around the world trying to help you, we’re doing what we can to chip in.  PVI is creating therapy-related content for translation and distribution by our international partners, and we’ve developed a fundraising platform to raise funds to support therapists working with Ukrainian refugees.  What’s happening is unspeakable, and we’re feeling highly motivated to help in any way possible. I encourage you all to do the same by contributing what you can to the cause (see below).  In addition, take a few minutes to enjoy this March/April newsletter and see how PVT is contributing in the areas of education, therapy,  communication, and our ability to understand each other. Thank you for being part of our community!

Sincerely, Randall Redfield, Executive Director

Support Therapists Working with Ukrainian Refugees

PVI has created a fundraising platform to help therapists working with millions of displaced and traumatized Ukrainian refugees. Learn more about the campaign, how funds are being used, and how you can help. 

Polyvagal-Informed Certificate for Wellness and Performance:  Regaining control of our physiology to optimize the human experience. This live, virtual course will help fitness and wellness coaches, sports coaches, performing artists and other body-based professionals develop a new perspective on their work through its Polyvagal Theory approach.  Regain control of your physiology to optimize performance, and lead your clients to do the same. Course starts May 4th, 2022. Taught by Michael Allison and Dr. Stephen Porges

Dogs Connect - Connection, Regulation and Empathy This on-demand 4-hour course explores how an authentic connection with a school well-being dog can improve the teaching and learning experience by impacting the neural state of both students and teachers. Led by trainers Grant Shannon and Amanda Leonard of Dogs Connect. Dr. Stephen Porges joins the conversation to comment on how dogs facilitate co-regulation.
Polyvagal Theory in Architecture This free 1.5-hour course is part lecture, part conversation but wholly relevant to everyone looking at and spending time in buildings. Led by architect Ann Sussman and Dr. Stephen Porges, this fascinating presentation will transform the way you see the world.

PVI is pleased to announce the International Partner page on our website, where we will have links leading to our partners’ websites.  Four international partners are currently listed - Germany, Poland, Spain, and Korea - with more coming in the next few months. 
Polyvagal Books for Children and Their Parents

The Fairytale, by Christine Summerfield, Ana do Valle, Tom Altgelt, and Kathleen Thompson Inspired by a dream following the Boulder County fires in December of 2021, Dancing with Dragons is a children’s book that is offered as a gift to the community. This therapeutic tale of nature and healing includes embodiment exercises that help release and transform feelings into new feelings of love, joy, and freedom. The e-book is available as a free download, as is the video narration with demonstrations of the included exercises.
“I recommend this book to all children who have experienced fires, anywhere in the world.” Dr. Peter Levine

Body Wisdom and the Polyvagal Theory, by Autum Romano In Body Wisdom and the Polyvagal Theory, Autum Romano and her son, Foster, bring the essence of Polyvagal Theory to young children in an intuitive and engaging graphic presentation. Polyvagal Theory is about feelings and how we, as responsible parents, teachers, and clinicians, need to be accessible to our children, to witness their feelings, and to reassure them that they are safe by being with us. This little book illustrates that capacity to acknowledge our bodily feelings and to respect our need to connect.  In Autum’s words ‘our ticket back to feeling safe, happy, and curious is always inside a hug, a smile, or the hand of a loved one.'

Dan Harris, author of the bestseller, 10% Happier, interviews Deb Dana in a podcast entitled, Become an Active Operator of Your Nervous System.  This engaging interview is a pleasure to listen to, and is rich with Deb Dana’s inimitable language around PVT and the nervous system.

Chirocast: Chiropractor Drew Rubin interviews Dr. Stephen Porges
Dr. Rubin specializes in polyvagal-informed chiropractic treatment for children with learning and developmental differences.  His podcast interview with Dr. Porges on April 12th is an unusual and highly informative look at a clinical practice which employs a polyvagal-sensitive approach.  Dr. Rubin also has a new course being offered through PVI which can be seen on the PVI Course page.

Podcast Interview with Professor Nina Kraus
In her Safe & Sound Protocol Podcast, Joanne McIntyre, OTR/L, MS,  interviews Dr. Nina Kraus of Northwestern University about her work investigating sound processing in the brain and her new book "Of Sound Mind."  Nina Kraus is Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences, Neurobiology, and Otolaryngology at Northwestern University.


What Putin’s Physiological State Tells Us, written by Robert Legvold , Nancy Rubbico, and Stephen Porges, published in Psychology Today, April 4, 2022.  This insightful and entertaining article explores Putin’s state as he exhibits incomprehensible behavior in Ukraine.  Most recent articles about Putin look at his motives from a historical and/or psychological perspective.  This one takes a different approach by observing his physiological state, which appears to be an ‘adaptive survival response’ to perceived threat.  Can someone forward this to the State Department?

USA Today interviews Deb Dana The article, 'Glimmers' are the opposite of triggers. Here's how to embrace them’ by Sara M Moniuszko, appeared in USA Today on March 23, 2022.  Deb’s phrase ‘glimmers’, is discussed in this positive, mainstream media article.  "You feel something happen inside," Dana says. "There's an energy that happens around a glimmer, and then your brain then marks it as well."  Indeed, in this day and age, glimmers can’t be celebrated enough!  

Unlocking the Love Code, an article written by Kari Anderson DBH, LPC, CEDS-S, and author of the book, Food, Body, Love, was published in February in Psychology Today. This is a lay-friendly look at the neurobiology of relationships, through the lens of Dr. Sue Carter’s work in the field of neuropeptides and Dr. Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory.


Breastfeeding is related to atypical autonomic and behavior regulation in infants with a history of excessive crying, by Keri J. Heilman, Danielle M. Zageris, Danielle Keir, Stephanie A. Aylward, Tiffany Burkhardt, Linda Gilkerson, ZackBoukydis, Larry Gray, Stephen W. Porges; published by International Journal of Psychophysiology, Volume 176, June 2022 Feeding strategy (bottle/breast) has been reported to influence development (e.g. self-regulation, cognitive and physical development), and maturation influences the efficiency and effectiveness of ingestion strategies (i.e., the coordination of sucking-swallowing-breathing). It is therefore plausible that feeding strategy will also affect the efficiency of the vagal brake during ingestion. Infants who breastfeed for the first 3 months of life have better self-regulation.  Results from the current study supported the hypothesis that infants with a history of EC (excessive crying) would express atypical autonomic regulation during feeding at 6-months of age and would have greater difficulties with social-emotional behaviors at 12 and 24 months.

Exploratory Study of Polyvagal Theory and Underlying Stress and Trauma That Influence Major Leadership Approaches, published in Journal of Applied Business and Economics Vol. 24(1) 2022 229 Randy Brazie, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Resilient Health in Phoenix, Arizona, and Geoffrey Vanderpal, PhD, explore how PVT can guide a more thorough understanding of leadership and management theory in the business world.  Excerpt: Leadership approaches have evolved to incorporate rational and non-rational processes. Traditional leadership research focused on internal and external organizational influences, but this paper underscores the need for adopting modern-day approaches for investigating leadership outcomes. Neuroscience can illuminate different cognitive effects that influence leadership. The research paper highlights the importance of attitudes towards leadership due to the complexity of modern organizational influences. The main forces highlighted are Polyvagal Theory, underlying stress, and trauma.


On April 30th, the Instituto Cuatro Ciclos, is hosting 'Working with Refugees in Therapy: learn the key interventions to therapeutic and compassionate care for refugees' with Dr. Omar Reda, board-certified psychiatrist, Harvard-trained trauma expert and Professor at Oregon Health & Science University. All the benefits are destined to UNHCR ACNUR, the UN Refugee Agency.  The workshop is being offered in English and Spanish. 

Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology May 27-30, 2022 This year’s conference topic is the Neurobiology of the Spirit:  Compassionate Witness and the Chemistry of Healing.  The plenary speakers are renowned scientists and Drs. Stephen Porges and Sue Carter.

Action Trauma Summit June 13-14, 2022
The Trauma Summit creates space for everyone to network either virtually or in-person, meet delegates from around the world, take part in live Q & A sessions and meet with both virtual and live exhibitors.

ACBS World Conference 2022 June 14-19, 2022 Join Dr. Stephen Porges and many other presenters in-person in San Francisco. The World Conference brings together clinicians and researchers to present cutting-edge research in many modalities. Join experiential workshops so that you can learn how to better serve your clients and your practice.


Australian Psychological Society June 17-18, 2022 Deb Dana is providing the keynote address as well as a workshop at the APS College of Counselling Psychologists Conference Her talk is titled: "Navigating the nervous system: A polyvagal guided  approach to practice." Join her and learn how to see the world through a lens of Polyvagal Theory.


German Polyvagal Congress June 22, 2022 You are invited to an exciting online congress with renowned practitioners and trainers from Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Poland, and South Africa, as well as Dr. Stephen Porges and Deb Dana to discuss PVT in therapeutic, clinical and educational work. Congress languages are German and English.


PVI Gathering & Unyte Summit
Oct 12th - 16th, 2022 - Registration Opening Soon


two hands giving/receiving heartPVI is a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding polyvagal-related education and community  here in the U.S. as well as internationally. Your donations help us create new courses and broaden our outreach. Studies show that giving to a good cause activates reward circuits in the brain. Go ahead, give yourself a boost, and support PVI at the same time!
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