The Polyvagal Theory – Part II:
Clinical implications into the role neural regulation of the heart plays in mediating vulnerability, resilience, and recovery
The Polyvagal Theory is a study of the evolution of the human nervous system and the origins of brain structures, and it assumes that more of our social behavious and emotional disorders and biological – that is, they are ‘hard wired’ into us – than we usually think. Based on this theory, Dr. Porges and his colleagues have developed treatment techniques that can help people communicate better and relate beter to others.
What if many of your troubles could be explained by an automatic reaction in your body to what's happening around you? what if an understanding of several mental and emotional disorders, ranging from autism to panic attacks, lay in a new theoretical approach of how the nervous system integrates and regulates bodily and psychological processes? Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D., thinks it could be so. Dr. Porges, professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and director for that institution's Brain-Body Center, has spent much of his life searching for clues to the way the brain operates, and has developed what he has termed Polyvagal Theory.
Movement is a way of organising experience and a way of facilitating healing in traumatised individuals and communities. Amber Gray is a dance/movement therapist, working with the ways that trauma invades the body and our capacity to move in our worlds.
Refugee women and their dependent children account for 80 per cent of the world’s refugees. Refugee women are arrested, abducted, imprisoned, persecuted, tortured, raped, sexually abused and sold for prostitution. Rape and sexual abuse is the most common form of systematized torture used against women, which are used as weapons of war.
Although modern psychiatry, based on the science of the western world, has many universal values, serious gaps and problems can arise when practised in situations where helpers and victims are of different cultural backgrounds.
Dr Dinka Corkalo Biruski discusses a capacity building program that aimed to empower key community figures to become leaders of change. The approach was based on community psychosocial work, conflict management and social action in post-conflict divided communities.