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Stephen W. Porges - Interview on The Polyvagal Theory

Stephen W. Porges, PhD

Emanuele Rossi, PhD

Date Recorded

In this video Prof. Stephen W. Porges PhD is interviewed by Dr. Emanuele Rossi PhD on The Polyvagal Theory. Interview recorded in San Francisco on June 19, 2022.

Part 1

1:14 Could you please introduce us briefly to the Polyvagal Theory?
2:17 How can this be important for clinical practice and how can this be a game changer?
8:30 Human connection, trustworthy and safe contexts can be really something that can improve human lives?
11:46 There is a way to apply these findings and your research the therapeutic relationship in clinical practice?
15:25 How can Polyvagal Theory help us to better understand human suffering and trauma?
18:16 So the Polyvagal Theory can be an important turning point to help people living the lives they want and they desire and improving lives of people that we serve in our work and in clinical practice?

Part 2

0:17 In ACT we create a space with clients of openness, awareness, engagement, a space for values and willing and courageous vulnerability. I was wondering if Polyvagal Theory can be related in any way to creating this kind of space with clients?
1:25 What is the state of evidence of Polyvagal Theory?
8:45 Which are the values that led you to your work and to your theory?
18:07 Are you working on listening interventions too?
21:20 Is there something else you would like to add or share with someone who can look at you as a model to be inspired by?


Prof. Stephen W. Porges PhD is Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium. He is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and Professor Emeritus at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He served as president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences and is a former recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development Award. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers across several disciplines. He is the developer of The Polyvagal Theory, a theory that links the evolution of the mammalian autonomic nervous system to social behavior and emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders. The theory is leading to innovative treatments based on insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders. He is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation (Norton, 2011), The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe, (Norton, 2017), co-editor of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies (Norton, 2018) and author of Polyvagal Safety: Attachment, Communication, Self-Regulation (Norton 2021).

Dr. Emanuele Rossi PhD is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Licensed Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapist and he works in private practice in Italy. He’s a Peer-Reviewed ACT trainer. He’s a professional member of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS). He works as ACT/RFT/CBS trainer, supervisor and researcher in Italy and as process-based CBT trainer/supervisor in Clinical Schools of Psychotherapy APC-SPC Srl. He’s an Accredited Therapist by European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (EABCT), member of ACT Italia and trainer member of Società Italiana di Terapia Comportamentale e Cognitiva (SITCC). He edited the Italian translation of several ACT/CBS books as "Learning RFT" (ToĢˆrneke, 2010), "Learning ACT, 2nd Ed" (Luoma, Hayes, and Walser, 2017), "ACT for Adolescents" (Turrell, and Bell, 2016), "ACT Advanced" (Westrup, 2014), "Functional Analytic Psychotherapy made simple" (Holman, Kanter, Tsai, and Kohlenberg, 2017), "Process-Based CBT" (Hayes, and Hofmann, 2018). He’s the author of "La guida essenziale all'ACT" (Rossi, 2022).


Link to the website of Prof. Stephen W. Porges PhD.

Link to the Polyvagal Institute.

Link to the Google Scholar webpage of Prof. Stephen W. Porges PhD.

Link to the website of Dr. Emanuele Rossi PhD.

48 minutes