VIDEO: What Therapists Need to Know About Polyvagal Theory

...And How to Use Safe Touch in Therapy

Deb Dana

Although many therapists are wary of it, using touch in therapy can have a huge impact on your clients' healing processes. Here, Deb Dana, author of The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy, talks about the science behind the power of touch in sessions, what this healing looks like in session, and what types of touch elicit which emotional responses.

Deb Dana, LCSW, is a clinician, coordinator of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium in the Kinsey Institute, and developer of the Rhythm of Regulation training series. She’s currently writing Polyvagal Exercises for Therapists and Clients: Shaping Your System Toward Safety and Connection.

"Biology, it turns out, is the prime mover of our relationship stories, before emotion ever gets involved," Dana writes in her Networker article, The Touch Taboo. "With a more comprehensive understanding of the body’s role in creating connection and disconnection—and a precise language to describe it—we have a better map to help guide our clients back to safety."


Get the latest issue of Psychotherapy Networker

Subscribe for a full year of clinical insight and creative inspiration from the field’s innovators like Brené Brown, Bessel van der Kolk, Dan Siegel, Esther Perel, and many more. Plus, earn 2 CE hours every issue!

Topic: Anxiety/Depression | Trauma

Tags: Anxiety | anxiety and depression | autonomic nervous system | coping with depression | nervous system | polyvagal theory | Trauma | trauma and recovery

Comments - (existing users please login first)
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 Comment

Monday, March 16, 2020 2:12:06 PM | posted by John
How does therapeutic touch work when the therapist and client are of different genders, especially male therapists and female patient in our me too era?