My clinical work is based on the principles of Polyvagal Theory.  Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, Polyvagal Theory offers a way to understand the human autonomic nervous system and directly engage with our habitual patterns of response.  Through a polyvagal lens we learn to listen to our embodied stories.  Using a polyvagal perspective, we can let go of self criticism and bring an open heart to exploring the "ways and whys" of our daily we interact or isolate, join or judge, move toward or away, speak or stay silent.  Below you will find my Beginner's Guide to Polyvagal Theory offered to you for personal use and use in clinical practice.  If you are interested in deeper work with Polyvagal Theory please see the Workshops page for upcoming trainings or contact me to schedule a training or for individual work.

The Rhythm of Regulation: Building Safety From a Polyvagal Perspective

The Rhythm of Regulation series is based on the work of renowned neuroscience researcher Stephen Porges.  His development of Polyvagal Theory presents an expanded understanding of the ways the autonomic nervous system influences our experiences of safety and our ability for connection.  

Dr. Porges’ research offers a cutting edge framework for the treatment of trauma.  Polyvagal Theory provides a state of the art map outlining a new way of looking at habitual patterns of action, disconnection, and engagement.  

In this new workshop series, Deb Dana translates Dr. Porges’ theory into clinical application with the creation of her integrated approach to polyvagal intervention.  We begin with an examination of Polyvagal Theory and the science of the autonomic nervous system followed by comprehensive study of thephases of polyvagal intervention. 

The Rhythm of Regulation series includes:

One Day Introduction Workshop

Two Day Immersion Series

Intensive Training Program         

Rhythm of Regulation Intensive Training Program


My husband suffered a stroke recently and we are walking a polyvagal path through stroke recovery. I tend to push, my vagal brake releasing to give me maximum energy without metabolic activation, but too often bringing a bigger neural challenge for my husband than he is ready for.  His neuroception of safety has narrowed since his stroke.  He now experiences more cues of danger and fewer cues of safety and I struggle to remember, or perhaps accept, that change.  Looking inward and tracking the nuances of my own responses, I know mine too has shifted although I have more ability than my husband right now to bring the regulating influence of cortical pathways.  My fear is easily activated and can push me into a sympathetic storm as I start looking ahead at a life based on how my husband is in this moment not as I know he will be at the one year mark of stroke recovery.  Looking ahead is either joy filled or fear filled depending on where on the neuroceptive continuum I find myself.  As my husband and I move through this time of brain reorganization, I’ve taken on the work of holding down the safe end of the neuroceptive continuum as often and long and deeply as possible.  In this way I can invite him into that reciprocal flow where his natural biological defense systems will stay quiet and not create barriers to his rehabilitation and recovery.

A Story of Stroke Recovery Told through a Polyvagal Perspective to be published in Clinical Applications of The Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies (Norton, 2018)