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Polyvagal Theory with Stephen Porges, Ph.D. Sept 23 & 24
Hotel Shattuck Plaza, Crystal Ballroom
Berkeley, CA
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Polyvagal Theory with Stephen Porges, Ph.D. Sept 23 & 24
Basic Principles, Experiential Learning, and Clinical Applications

September 23 & 24, 2017, 9AM-4:30PM

LOCATION: Hotel Shattuck Plaza, Crystal Ballroom, 2086 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

Stephen Porges is a behavioral neuroscience researcher whose investigations of the evolution and expression of human autonomic psychophysiology has become a wellspring advancing the theories and practices of multiple disciplines and human service fields of practice.

In this exciting two-day conference, Dr. Porges will present a basic outline of his Polyvagal Theory, lead attendees in experiential learning, and dialogue with professionals presenting cases from diverse practice arenas. Since 1994, when Dr. Porges announced the basic concepts, Polyvagal Theory has been adopted and used productively in a wide array of psychological and somatic clinical practices. The theory is bringing alive the profound significance of our evolutionary neural organization in daily psychological and relational processes.

Participants will learn about the evolutionary emergence of a set of nerves in the brain that control the heart and face. This connection provided the structures for the Social Engagement System, which links our bodily feelings and thought processes with facial expression, vocal intonation, and gesture. Workshop participants will learn about the relationship between neural regulation of the Social Engagement system and emergent properties, including the development of many forms of mental and physical illness. Additionally, Dr. Porges will speak to developing clinical strategies to rehabilitate the Social Engagement System as an important part of any treatment.

Please join us in this exciting and informative professional education experience. Stephen is an engaging, open, and vital thinker grounded in daily living and with a wide range of experiences and interests beyond the laboratory. For more information on Stephen and his work visit his website at:

Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D., is Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University, where he directs the Trauma Research Initiative within the Kinsey Institute. He holds the position of Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He served as president of both 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 250 peer reviewed scientific papers across several disciplines including anesthesiology, biomedical engineering, critical care medicine, ergonomics, exercise physiology, gerontology, neurology, neuroscience, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, psychometrics, space medicine, and substance abuse. In 1994 he proposed the Polyvagal Theory. The theory provides insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders including autism, anxiety, depression, ADD, PTSD, and schizophrenia. His research has led to the development of innovative interventions designed to stabilize behavioral and psychological states and to stimulate spontaneous social behavior that are being applied to autism and other clinical diagnoses.

Michael Changaris, Psy.D.: is a health psychologist with a specialty in the biological bases of behavior, stress physiology, and the neuroanatomy of PTSD. He has presented several papers with the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP) on Somatic Experience approaches with elders, family, and the neurobiology of touch.Michael authored the book, Touch: The neurobiology of health, healing and human connection (2015). He works with health care teams to develop integrated systems of disease management. Dr. Changaris is the training coordinator for an integrated health psychology program that works with underserved individuals in integrated care settings in Contra Costa County.

Anne Cooper, Psy.D.: is a psychologist and a faculty member of the Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) Institute. She leads workshops, teaches AEDP group supervision, and offers consultation to therapists and graduate students interested in developing skills in AEDP. Anne has a private practice in Los Altos where she sees individual clients. AEDP encourages the explicit use of the relationship between the clinician and patient not only to create trust and security of attachment but also as a vessel for transformation itself. Anne is interested to explore how this type of relational transformation might mitigate the negative impact of trauma. Other interests include cultural competency and AEDP. Lastly, Anne is excited to be a part of the first clinical outcome study currently underway for AEDP.

Laurie Phuong Ertley, MA, LMFT: As a refugee of the Vietnam War trauma, Laurie Phuong Ertley is witness and participant to the curative power of spiritual practice and community, the forces of family, and the enduring strength of the individual. Phuong specializes in the holistic treatment of trauma at her private practice in San Francisco and Palo Alto, California.She is a graduate of Naropa University (BA) and the Somatic Psychology (MA) program at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. Phuong has strong roots with family therapy, studying and now teaching at the Mental Research Institute since 2004.Shes also an adjunct assistant professor in the CIIS Somatic Psychology Program. Phuong is a Certified Advanced Practitioner of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy(R), Guild Certified Feldenkrais(R)practitioner, yoga teacher, artist, and Zen

Rita Montez, MS, OTR/L: is the founder of The Full Circle Development Center, a holistic pediatric occupational therapy clinic in Oakland, CA. Rita has studied the profound interplay between the sensory systems and somatic, cognitive and perceptual development. She sees the integrity of her clients ability to sort, filter and organize sensation as key to developing their ability to engage with ease, purpose, and efficacy in their world. She also has a strong interest in the impact of early trauma and its effect on development. Rita has extensive sensory integrative and motor development training, as well as, a trans-disciplinary training in areas including primitive reflex integration, cranio-sacral therapy, vision and perceptual development. She has also trained with leading specialists in the area of trauma and somatic therapeutic techniques. Rita was a national instructor for the Listening With The Whole body Course for Therapeutic Listening for 6 years.

Doug Moorhead, MD: is a board-certified psychiatrist and body oriented psychotherapist practicing in Berkeley, CA. He studied psychiatric, psychodynamic and body oriented therapies in the 1970s and 1980s, and has taught in several Bay Area graduate programs since then. His primary focus of teaching has been in the various practices of body oriented psychotherapy. Doug marvels at what a task it is, now, to keep up with and bring into practice the burgeoning fields and technologies of the neurosciences, attachment theories, trauma studies, addiction studies, and so many more, which influence this work.

Linda Perez, Ph.D.: Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Education at Mills College is co-director of the Mills Infant Mental Health Program and Clinical Director of the Epiphany Center Family Treatment Program. Her teaching and clinical practice is informed by 35 years of clinical, teaching, and research experience.Dr. Perez has a profound interest in serving low-income mothers with psychiatric and substance abuse problems and our growing population of infants and young children with a range of special needs enduring traumatic stress. Her scholarly pursuits include a series of peer review articles and book chapters that contributed theoretical and scientific knowledge to the field of infant mental health.She has participated in research projects that promote innovated clinical practice that treats early childhood trauma and has presented a series of her work at international, national, and local conferences.

California Institute of Integral Studies, Somatic Psychology Program
John F. Kennedy University, Somatic Psychology Program
Northern California Somatic Experiencing Professional Association
Pacifica Graduate Institute, Somatic Studies in Depth Psychology
The Wright Institute, Integrated Health Psychology Training Program

Continuing education credit for this event is co-sponsored by Somatic Psychology Associates and The Institute for Continuing Education. The program offers 6.00 contact hours per day, with full attendance required. The CE processing fee is $25.00 per person and is payable to The Institute for Continuing Education with completed CE paperwork. CE applications will be available onsite. CE verification will be mailed to workshop participants following the training. To receive continuing education credit, participants must complete CE paperwork, sign in/out daily, and complete an evaluation of the training. If you have questions regarding this training, continuing education, learning objectives, or grievance issues, contact The Institute at: e-mail:

PSYCHOLOGY: The Institute for Continuing Education is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Institute for Continuing Education maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

SOCIAL WORK: The Institute for Continuing Education, Provider 1007, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB),, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. The Institute for Continuing Education maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 04-13-2015  04-13-2018. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits.

COUNSELING / MARRIAGE-FAMILY THERAPY: The California Board Behavioral Sciences accepts programs sponsored by approved providers of the American Psychological Association (APA), and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).

Skill Level: Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced

Teaching Methodology may include: didactic, audio-visuals, demonstrations, role play, experiential exercises, large and small group discussions.

ADA: If you have special needs, please contact: or 510-387-5845

1. Describe the primary features of the Polyvagal Theory.
2. Explain how the autonomic nervous system is related to social and defensive behaviors.
3. Describe the three autonomic circuits that support and disrupt social behavior.
4. Explain how the neural process neuroception evaluates risk in the environment and triggers adaptive neural circuits promoting either social interactions or defensive behaviors.
5. Describe the clinical conditions necessary to promote feelings of safety in the client.
6. Identify cues of physiological state in the client's voice and facial expressions.
7. Explain why deficits in the Social Engagement System are core features of several psychiatric disorders.
8. Explain how trauma disrupts typical function of the autonomic nervous system.
9. Explain how maladaptive behaviors, including dissociation, may accompany several psychiatric disorders, and may reflect adaptive responses triggered by survival mechanisms.
10. Describe the mechanisms through which voice conveys physiological state and how listening to types of vocalizations and acoustic stimulation can aid in the regulation of biobehavioral states.
11. Describe a face-heart connection that defines a social engagement system that links our bodily feelings with facial expression, vocal intonation, and gesture.
12. Explain how trauma and chronic stresses can retune middle ear function and distort the ability to process human speech.

A Certificate of attendance will be available to all attendees.

REFUND POLICY: Full refunds less $25.00 administration fee available until September 1, 2017. No refunds will be issued after that date.

The Hotel Shattuck Plaza is conveniently located in downtown Berkeley, CA.

The Crystal Ballroom Conference Center has its own entrance on Allston Way, just down the street (west) from the main hotel entrance. Registration takes place at that door.

Take BART to the Downtown Berkeley BART Station
Walk 1 block south to the hotel on Allston Way

From SF:
101 S via the ramp to Oakland/San Jose/US-80
Take the left exit onto I-80 E toward Oakland/Bay Bridge
Exit onto University toward Berkeley
Turn right on Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Turn Left at Allston Way

From Oakland:
I-980 E signs Walnut Creek/I-980/CA-24
Continue on CA-24
Exit onto Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Slight right at Adeline St
Left at Martin Luther King Junior Way
Right on Allston

From the South Bay:
Take I-880 N toward Oakland
Slight right on to I-980 E signs Walnut Creek/I-980/CA-24
Continue on CA-24
Exit onto Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Slight right at Adeline St
Left at Martin Luther King Junior Way
Right on Allston

From Walnut Creek:
Take CA-24 W
Exit Telegraph Ave and turn right at
Telegraph Ave
Turn left at Ashby Ave/CA-13
Turn right at Shattuck Ave
Turn left at Allston way

- Allston St. Garage, 2061 Allston Way (across street from the hotel): $15 weekend all-day rate.
- Library Gardens Garage, 2020 Kittredge St (1 block from hotel): $10 weekend all-day rate.
- Street parking in Berkeley is free on Sundays.


Hotel Shattuck Plaza, Crystal Ballroom (View)
2086 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
United States


Education > Workshops

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Owner: Somatic Psychology Events
On BPT Since: Mar 02, 2017
Mark Ludwig

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