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Digital Seminar

The Neuroscience of Safety: Polyvagal Theory on Supporting Children Across All Diagnostic Categories

Mona Delahooke, PhD
57 Minutes
Nov 05, 2021
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


This session will help clinicians understand that the behaviours they frequently observe are the tip of the iceberg. The session will help participants go below the waterline to reveal the most important treatment goal for all individuals: the neuroception of safety as evidenced by physiological state regulation.



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Mona Delahooke, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 30 years of experience caring for children and their families. She is a senior faculty member of the Profectum Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting families of neurodiverse children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Delahooke holds the highest level of endorsement in the field of infant and toddler mental health in California, as a Reflective Practice Mentor (RPM). She is a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant to parents, organizations, schools, and public agencies. Dr. Delahooke has dedicated her career to promoting compassionate, relationship-based neurodevelopmental interventions for children with developmental, behavioral, emotional, and learning differences. She is the author of the award-winning book, Beyond Behaviors: Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve Children's Behavioral Challenges (PESI, 2019), and the upcoming book, Brain-Body Parenting, now available for preorder. Her popular blog, at, covers a range of topics useful for caregivers and childhood providers.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Mona Delahooke maintains a private practice and has employment relationships with Los Angeles Department of Mental Health, Profectum Foundation, and Villa Esperanza Services. Dr. Delahooke receives royalties as a published author. She 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, Zero to Three Foundation, and the Partnership for Awareness.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


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  1. Apply the lens of the Polyvagal theory to distinguish 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. Evaluate how the process of neuroception can be utilized as a guiding principle for treatment planning and treatment techniques.


  • Understanding Behaviours as adaptations of the autonomic nervous system: A paradigm shift
  • Case Study that illustrates the Problems with Targeting Surface Behaviours: Know the Problem in order to shift the strategies
  • 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
  • Understanding Individual Differences and Tailoring our Support for Children and Families
  • The Developmental Iceberg: Categorizing Individual Differences in Tailoring Support for each child
  • Individual differences in sensory processing, and how the auditory system can trigger defence or receptivity. The difference between passive and active pathway interventions and the use of the Safe and Sound Protocol as an example of 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: Examples and principles of neural exercises and how they apply the ‘vagal brake’ to calm and promote resilience

Target Audience

  • Addiction Counselors
  • Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

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