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Digital Seminar

Down Regulating Threat and Defensive Reactions in Young Clients: Clinical Application of the Polyvagal Theory for Effective ODD, Trauma, & Attachment Treatment

Stephen Porges, PhD |  Mona M. Delahooke, PhD
1 Hour 30 Minutes
Aug 04, 2021
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Digital Seminar
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The challenging behaviours we frequently observe in youth with ODD, trauma, and attachment disorders are the tip of the iceberg. As helping professionals, we must go below the waterline to reveal the most important treatment goal for all individuals: the neuroception of safety as evidenced by physiological state regulation. 

Join Drs. Porges and Delahooke as they teach you how Polyvagal Theory helps us “look inside” the nervous system of individuals and parents who are dysregulated. Through this cutting-edge lens, you’ll learn the integration of neuroscience into clinical practice and the best strategies to regulate the child’s nervous system to create a state of calmness and perceived safety leading the way to improved communication, relational satisfaction, and joy!


- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 1.5 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Stephen Porges, PhD's Profile

Stephen Porges, PhD Related seminars and products

Kinsey Institute, Indiana University and Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill

Stephen W. Porges, PhD, is a distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University, where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium within the Kinsey Institute. He holds the position of Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland, and is a founder of the Polyvagal Institute. Dr. Porges served as president of both the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences and is a former recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development Award. He has published approximately 400 peer-reviewed scientific papers across several disciplines including anesthesiology, biomedical engineering, critical care medicine, ergonomics, exercise physiology, gerontology, neurology, neuroscience, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, psychometrics, space medicine, and substance abuse. His research has been cited in more than 50,000 peer-review publications. In 1994, Dr. Porges 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 treatments based on insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders.

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), Polyvagal Safety (Norton, 2021), co-author with Seth Porges of Our Body Polyvagal World (Norton, 2023), and co-editor with Deb Dana of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies (Norton, 2018). Dr. Porges is also the creator of a music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol™, which currently is used by approximately 3,000 therapists to improve spontaneous social engagement, to reduce hearing sensitivities, and to improve language processing, state regulation, and spontaneous social engagement.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Stephen Porges has employment relationships with Indiana University Bloomington and the University of North Carolina. He receives royalties as a published author. Dr. Porges receives a speaking honorarium, book royalties, and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He receives royalties from Integrated Learning Systems/Unyte. All relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations have been mitigated.
Non-financial: Dr. Stephen Porges is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Psychophysiological Research. He holds a patent on Televagal equipment. Dr. Porges is co-owner of Polyvagal Music, LLC launching in 2024.

Mona M. Delahooke, PhD's Profile

Mona M. Delahooke, PhD Related seminars and products

Mona M. Delahooke, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who’s worked with multi-disciplinary teams for over 30 years. A senior faculty member of the Profectum Foundation, she’s the author of the national bestseller Brain-Body Parenting, How to Stop Managing Behaviors and Start Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids, and the award-winning Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve Children’s Behavioral Challenges.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Mona Delahooke maintains a private practice and has employment relationships with the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health, the Profectum Foundation, and Villa Esperanza Services. She receives royalties as a published author. Dr. Delahooke receives a speaking honorarium, recording, and book royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Mona Delahooke is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Zero to Three Foundation, the Infant Development Association of California, and the Partnership for Awareness.


  1. Apply the lens of the Polyvagal theory in appreciating the adaptive nature of behaviours in children diagnosed with and without DSM diagnoses. 
  2. Differentiate between viewing and manipulating surface behaviours and addressing the upstream causes of behaviours across diagnostic categories of the DSM. 
  3. Determine how the process of neuroception is a guiding principle for treatment planning and treatment techniques. 


Understanding Behaviours as Adaptations of The Autonomic Nervous System: A Paradigm Shift 
  • The problem with targeting surface behaviours 
  • Why you need to know the problem in order to shift the strategies: Case study 
  • The Neuroscience of Safety   
  • How the PVT helps us “look inside” the nervous system 
  • The guiding principle of neuroception and how it can help clinicians 
Individual Differences and Tailoring our Support for Children and their Families 
  • Looking under the skin to understand that autonomic state influences reactivity and sociality.
  • Identifying strategies to retune autonomic state and shift hypersensitivity to social receptivity. 
  • Difference between passive and active pathway interventions 
  • Safe and Sound Protocol - a passive pathway intervention that harnesses the neuroception of safety   
Safety is Treatment and Treatment is Safety: Practical Tips 
  • How the neuroscience of safety helps us plan treatment goals 
  • Neural exercises and how they apply the ‘vagal brake’ to calm and promote resilience: Examples and principles 
  • How to use play to exercise the neural pathways of safety with activation in a safe way: Case studies and examples 
  • DIR play basics, and Beyond Behaviors model with state regulation as the organizing therapeutic guide in real time 
  • An update on the long-term outlooks of children treated through the neuroception of safety lens 

Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Counselors
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • School Administrators
  • Teachers/School-Based Personnel

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