Stephen W. Porges, PhDhas published more than 300 peer reviewed articles in several disciplines including anesthesiology, biomedical engineering, cancer, critical care medicine, ergonomics, exercise physiology, gerontology, neurology, neuroscience, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, psychometrics, signal processing, space medicine, statistics, and substance abuse. These articleshave been cited in more than 30,000 profession publications (see Google Scholar). 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 research and treatments based on insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders. He is a co-editor of a classic textbook,Psychophysiology: Systems, Processes & Applications(Guilford, 1986). He is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation(Norton, 2011), The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe, (Norton, 2017) and co-editor of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies (Norton, 2018). He is the creator of a music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol™, which currently is used by more than 1200 therapists to improve spontaneous social engagement, to reduce hearing sensitivities, and to improve language processing, state regulation, and spontaneous social engagement. In addition he has been awarded several patents related to technologies involved in measuring physiological signals and in stimulating physiological systems. His lectures and interviews that are available on YouTube have been viewed by several hundred thousand.
Pocket Guide to Polyvagal Theory 2017
“For an introduction to the theory and to Stephen Porges. . . I encourage you to read this book. [A] remarkable book.” - Psych Central “Stephen Porges PhD has not only made one of the most profound and illuminating contributions to our understanding of nervous system in the last 50 years―he’s made one of the most useful ones. Anyone who works with people, or who seeks to heal others, can benefit from his insights. Porges has helped cracked the facial code, and deepened our understanding as to the relationships between our nervous system, our facial expressions and bodily sensations. There has been brilliant work on the relationship between facial expressions and the emotions by Darwin and Ekman. Porges extends these discoveries inward, relating them to the nervous system. What is so special about his contribution, is that it is of immediate clinical import. His principles and discoveries guide us as to how, and when, to intervene in some of the most challenging clinical conditions, and opens up new kinds of treatment possibilities. For decades he’s written as a scientist for scientists. Now, in this clear, accessible book, which is an ideal introduction to his ideas, we see what it is like to be in conversation with this brilliant man. This is ideal for clinicians of any kind, but also for anyone who wants to better understand their own nervous system, and that of those they care about. ” - Norman Doidge, MD, author, The Brain That Changes Itself, and The Brain’s Way of Healing “The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theoryoffers clinicians in-depth practical insights of Stephen Porges’ important Polyvagal framework that illuminate the nature of how our lives are shaped by the intricate structures of the brain in interaction with the social world surrounding us. In this helpful volume are words of wisdom from a caring and brilliant scientist who brings to our work powerful new applications based on careful research and conceptualizations that can transform how we carry out the practice of psychotherapy with a wide range of individuals. ” - Daniel J. Siegel, MD, Executive Director, Mindsight Institute, author of: Brainstorm,Mindsight, and Mind “The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory is a landmark work, a lucid scientific explanation of how nurture is the very foundation of our nature. Porges explains how safety and reciprocity are biologically encoded, defining the quality of our lives. Basic safety is essential not only for having satisfying relationships, but also for optimally activating the higher brain structures responsible for creativity and generativity. By the defining the core features of “safety” as consisting of internal visceral sensitivities that define how we deal with threat and approach our surroundings, Porges invites us to revise our focus on safety from fences, metal detectors, and surveillance monitoring, to using the fundamental wiring of our brains, including our voices and our faces, to organize our lives, our families and our institutions. This book shows how most psychiatric problems are expressed in failures of attunement and reciprocity, and, by explaining the biological foundations of reciprocity, provides a guide to innovative methods to gain a sense of safety, mutuality and belonging.” - Bessel van der Kolk, MD, Medical Director Trauma Center at JRI, Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, author of NYT bestseller The Body Keeps the Score “In The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory, Stephen Porges succeeds, as few researchers do, in the art of deconstructing dense scientific concepts to render them wonderfully accessible to clients, clinicians, and the lay person alike. As the subtleties of the Polyvagal Theory are brought to life through the friendly voice of an innovative genius, a new understanding about the influence of the autonomic nervous system on human behavior emerges, along with neurobiological explanations for a variety of difficulties. You will find that many of the perplexing issues that bring clients to therapy suddenly make biological sense, as well as discover the seeds of bottom-up roadmaps for healing them. Read this book, and be inspired by a revolutionary perspective on the human condition that will have a far-reaching positive impact on your life, your relationships, and your clinical practice.” - Pat Ogden Ph.D., Founder/Educational Director, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, Boulder, Colorado USA “The Polyvagal Theory is among the most important and comprehensive maps informing clinical trauma therapy. Students of traumatology will be greatly enriched by this recent work. What makes this deep exploration even more engaging are the lively dialogues in which Porges's great body of wisdom becomes even more accessible to all those interested in the search for safety, in the face of threat and trauma.” - Peter A Levine, PhD, author of Trauma and Memory, Brain and Body in the Search for the Living Past, and In an Unspoken Voice
Polyvagal Theory, 2011
“[C]hallenges professionals who interact therapeutically, educationally, clinically or even socially with vulnerable populations to share knowledge and work across our specific disciplines, to prevent, identify and treat mental illness.” - Journal of Unified Psychotherapy and Clinical Science “Stephen Porges has been at the forefront of the investigation of the interplay between neurophysiological processes and developmental status.... It is with The Polyvagal Theorythat Porges now presents, in a well-delineated and articulated volume, a highly testable set of hypotheses regarding how the human (and more broadly, mammalian) nervous system has evolved to promote affective regulation and social interaction.... I commend Porges on this effort. Substantial research across a significant career has been well considered and integrated into a quite engaging and stimulating model regarding the relationship between the heart and the brain.” - PsycCritiques “[O]ne of the most important books written on the nervous system in the last fifty years. Porges’s ambitious, meticulous, synthetic theory provides a missing link between mind and the nervous system. It also helps explain, in fine detail, how our individual nervous systems influence, and are influenced by, our interactions with others. Suddenly we understand things novelists have described for centuries: how it is that a facial expression, a gesture, a certain tone of voice, can trigger a radical mental reorganization, and lead to engagment, and how our mental and nervous system states shift. Porges’s studies and his theory of the social vagus represents a major advance in human knowledge, and is already improving the practice psychotherapy and mind-body medicine.” - Norman Doidge, MD, author, The Brain That Changes Itself “A truly revolutionary perspective on human nature, Porges challenges current theory, illuminates old findings so that we see them differently, and raises dozens of questions for new scientific research. The reach is broad, the depth astounding.” - Paul Ekman, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of California at San Francisco, and President & Founder, Paul Ekman Group, LLC “The Polyvagal Theoryis at the leading edge of psychosomatic medicine and body-mind therapies. It is a vital contribution to scientifically-informed clinical practice. Psychologists, analysts, physicians, bodyworkers, and educators are provided with an essential map to help guide them in tracking the psychophysiological states of their clients, discern where they are ‘stuck,’ and help them to heal and move forward in life. Dr. Porges’s great contribution is now compiled in this one astounding comprehensive volume. It is a must-read for clinicians and psychobiological researchers.” - Peter A. Levine, PhD, author of In Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness