This Polyvagal Theory was developed by Dr. Stephen Porges. This is a neurobiological theory in which the vagus nerve plays an important role in regulating our physiological and emotional responses to stressful situations. The vagus nerve has two branches: the ventral vagal and dorsal vagal pathways.
The polyvagal theory suggests that mental health conditions like anxiety and trauma can cause dysregulated vagal responses. As such, clinicians use interventions that regulate the nervous system to promote safety, social connection and emotional regulation. Some exercises are: mindfulness, talk therapies, somatic practices, psychotherapy, etc.
This Nervous system poster can serve as a fantastic visual to understand that our Nervous System have different states. In therapy, the ideal would be to achieve a regulated system from a "bottom-to-top," somatic understanding, such as illustrated with this Ladder!
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