Polyvagal Theory and Reverse Engineering Therapy

The Polyvagal Theory allows us to Reverse Engineer Therapy in new and more accurate ways

Inside the Polyvagal Theory is the recognition that by knowing how the autonomic nervous system organizes itself when it’s working well we can adjust our therapeutic interventions to work with, rather than against, our nature.

By recognizing the signals that help our client’s nervous system’s recognize safety, danger and life threat, we can ask our questions, direct our interventions and fine tune our voice pacing and tone so as to facilitate more access to the sense of safety as well as provide correct accompaniment from within the sense of danger.

One of the bigger aides in this comes from recognizing the general pattern of the stress response and the various subsystem’s rolls in enacting defensive strategies. Being able to see where a person is at in the stress response gives important information for what their nervous system is trying to accomplish and what will come next if they are able to do it.

From there we can:

  • Ask questions that trend things in the right direction.
  • Start our sessions in a more effective manner.
  • Recognize when our interventions are helping or not.
  • Create new therapies that account for autonomic nervous system dynamics.

What a fantastically helpful bit of knowledge. 

Other Resources on the Polyvagal Theory from Twig