NICABM – The Polyvagal Theory for Treating Trauma

Jean just replied to my other post about Mos Def voluntarily undergoing a forced feeding procedure to display the practices of the US government at Guantanamo Bay. She found information on the Polyvagal Theory for treating trauma, autism, bipolar disorder and a range of other affect regulating disorders that all seem to involve the dorsal vagal and ventral vagal complex and how it responds to environmental cues and triggers. I had often wondered, how it is that “cognitive interception” as I call it failed to prevent the physical response to triggering experiences and cues from the environment. Lately, I had begun to understand that the brain circuits reponsible for accurately dealing with situations that might present a potentially lethal threat are distinct from “higher” brain processes, which involve cognition and processing of external stimuli. In other words: When reason and cognitive modulation set in, the “damage” has already happened, where “damage” means: The physical response is long over when the prefrontal cortex acts upon integrating it. In yet simpler words: Reason always arrives too late at the scene and is always second to the physical and largely automated response of the polyvagal complex. This theory lays it out verbatim as to why that is. Find a short spoken abstract in the video below as well as further info behind the linked words above.

 

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