The Science of Therapeutic Attunement: Intersubjective Regulation from the Inside Out
Noted researcher Paul Ekman has called psychophysiologist Stephen Porges’ work “a truly revolutionary perspective on human nature.” In his groundbreaking book, The Polyvagal Theory, Stephen transformed therapists’ understanding of the underlying mechanisms of traumatic response and how safety, caring, and trustworthiness is conveyed unconsciously in our body language, voice tonality, facial expression, and eye contact.
Ever since, he’s become an indispensable guide for therapists who want to understand, from the inside out, how therapy works at the level of the nervous system.
In his lunchtime address, Stephen will explore what Polyvagal Theory tells us about the common element in good therapy, good teaching, and good social relations—turning off defensiveness and establishing a sense of safety. He’ll show how understanding neurobiology and psychophysiological cues can enhance therapists’ capacity to best create these conditions in the consulting room.
The Wisdom of Mad Men: Lessons for Therapists
Get ready for an exciting journey of clips and highlights from Mad Men as host William Doherty explores what the show’s view of the 1960s and ’70s culture and psychotherapy scene tells us about then—and also now.
Attachment and the Dance of Sex: Integrating Couples and Sex Therapy
Until relatively recently, the very notion that concepts like romantic love and the longing for emotional closeness had any scientific basis raised eyebrows among the academic research establishment. Susan Johnson, the developer of Emotionally Focused therapy (EFT), has not only been a clinical pioneer in demonstrating how to bring an immediate experience of deep intimacy into troubled relationships, but has brought the rigor of empirical science to bear in establishing EFT’s effectiveness. As both a clinician and researcher, she’s established that it’s not an oxymoron to speak of the “science of love.”
In her keynote, Susan will show how attachment science offers a new understanding of sexuality and how the emotional sanctuary of committed relationships can help partners discover their distinctive sexual signature and lead to optimal lovemaking.