The problem with brain science being all the rage in psychotherapy is that most therapists find their eyes glaze over and their own brains go offline as soon as they go beyond the oversimplifications of pop neuroscience. And yet, if therapists are ever going to bring genuine insights—not just soundbites—from neuroscience into the practice of therapy, they need a much more nuanced and sophisticated understanding of how the brain actually works. How can they acquire this knowledge without becoming brain scientists themselves? Even more pressing, what real-life practical therapeutic implications, if any, can truly be drawn from neuroscience?
Enter Stephen Porges, whose Polyvagal Theory has been called “a truly revolutionary perspective on human nature.” In this video clip, he talks about what the Polyvagal Theory tells us about what makes a good psychotherapist. He goes on to explain how the Polyvagal Theory clarifies the fundamental task of psychotherapy.
Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day.