Polyvagal Theory for the Lay Person


Presented by Dr. Benjamin Shield


Stephen Porges’ “Polyvagal Theory” is a new understanding of the Autonomic Nervous System which has huge implications for trauma therapies. The articles detailing Porges’ theory, however, are quite technical. For those without an academic background in biology, physiology, or neuroscience, these articles may be difficult to read, understand, and interpret. So, Dr. Lori A. Parker asked her friend Dr. Benjamin Shield to teach a one-day workshop on the theory. She wondered if he could turn “Porges into English”. Dr. Shield agreed to develop this one-day course in order to help those without his scientific background to better understand the relevance and implications of Porges’ theory. This purchase will consist of 2 downloadable files with Dr. Benjamin Shield’s original presentation of Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory.

Dr. Benjamin Shield is a gifted teacher. He is great at plowing through volumes of technical, complex material and then making that material palatable, understandable, and applicable for those who do not have his technical background. In this class, he not only digested the Porges article, Orienting in a Defensive World: Mammalian Modifications of our Evolutionary Heritage, but a great deal of other literature on the Polyvagal Theory.

This class was held in July 2004. There were many requests from class participants to put the contents of this one-day course on CD, so the video of Dr. Shield’s very enlightening talk was edited and transferred to an Audio format.

Dr. Shield holds degrees in biochemistry and biology from the University of California, with graduate studies at the Boston University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Graduate Dentistry. He holds a doctoral degree is in the field of Health Sciences. Dr. Shield has been a Rolf Practitioner and Craniosacral Therapist for the past 20 years, and he is a founding Board Member of the American Craniosacral Therapy Association. He has taught Craniosacral Therapy in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and has taught classes focusing on the Polyvagal Theory in the United States, Switzerland, Denmark, and Germany.

These audio files will be of value to:

  • Anyone interested in the human stress response and how it affects that overall health of the individual
  • Anyone interested in the modification of behavior. Since it is a new approach to modifying behavior, it will be of value to all those who practice body-oriented psychotherapy and/or those who use the body as a vehicle for the modification of behavior.
  • Somatic Experiencing® students or practitioners
  • Those interested in having a deeper understanding of the neuro-anatomical aspects of Porges’ theory
  • Those seeking a more embodied understanding of Porges’ theory

Read testimonials about this workshop recording here.