Stephen Porges
“The Science of Therapeutic Attunement”

Porges, Stephen 2016

Saturday Luncheon Address

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, Porges transformed therapists’ understanding of the underlying mechanisms of traumatic response and the how safety, caring and trustworthiness is conveyed unconsciously in our body language, voice tonality, facial expression, and eye contact. Ever since he had become an indispensable guide for therapists who want to understand, from the inside out, how the therapy works at the level of the nervous system.

In his lunchtime address, Porges 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 will show how understanding neurobiology and psychophysiological cues can enhance therapists’ capacity to create these conditions in the consulting room.

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