Enhancing the power of your social engagement system-practices from the Polyvagal Theory

Course Description

Do you know therapists who seem to have “the magic touch” when it comes to getting clients to trust and connect with them? It appears that this quality is a result of some type of God-given talent combined with decades of experience in the battlefields of psychotherapy practice. But what if there are actual behaviors that you can learn and incorporate into your way of being with clients that can solicit openness, relaxation and trust?

In this workshop, you will learn the behaviors of the the Social Engagement System as delineated in The Polyvagal Theory.

The Social Engagement System is a brain state wherein our vocalization, facial expressions, and gestures promote an open, connected, collaborative state in the partner with whom we are communicating. Humans display these behaviors automatically when they sense they are in a safe, friendly environment, but these behaviors can also be brought to one’s awareness and displayed with intention. In this way, the therapist can send safety messages to the brains of mistrusting clients, thereby helping them become more open to new relational experiences.

Program Content

In this workshop you will learn to:

    • Use voice, rhythm, facial expressions and touch to elicit trust
    • Surprise the brain of a defensive client with novel responses that will grab their attention, interrupt their automatic defensiveness, and generating curiosity.
    • Learn exercises and activities to make shut down, guarded or angry clients feel more relaxed, open and read to connect.

Target Audience

This training is appropriate for social workers, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, teachers and case workers.

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