Polyvagal Theory Delivered to Group Training Session

17th April 2024

Polyvagal Theory Delivered to Group Training Session

Ongoing professional learning at DRCS for (left to right) Alice Flint, Katie Allcock, Stacey Saul, Naomi Walker (SNR PWP) and Daiga Denton.

Derwent Rural Counselling Service continued its programme of in-house training with a group session on Polyvagal Theory.

The CPD training was delivered to 15 Counsellors and Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners by Daiga Denton, who has been a self employed counsellor at DRCS for the last eight years.

Daiga has had a special interest in Dr. Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory for a number of years, after it revolutionized the way some people view the body’s response to stress.

She said: "It looks at brain-body science and teaches you to engage your social nervous system to consciously inhibit your defensive system.

"Polyvagal work looks at three states: safe and social, fight/flight and shutdown. It is a way of tuning in to the changes in your body, thoughts when you feel safe or want to escape or shut down.

"It helps you notice what happens to your body when you feel like running away or withdrawing from others, which are natural physical responses that we all have.

"This is why anxiety can feel as though you are not in control. Your body acts to help you survive automatically. It’s not all in your head. Your body will always try to pick the best course of action to help you survive, using the resources you have."

Janette Smeeton, CEO at DRCS said: "This type of theory is currently not a modality offered as part of the NHS Talking Therapies for anxiety and depression service, but the training offered important insight into how this type of work has helped thousands of therapists worldwide make significant breakthroughs with clients suffering the impacts of trauma."

Over the last 30 years, DRCS has offered talking therapies for common mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress and long term conditions through pathways including counselling, CBT and guided self-help.

In the last nine years, DRCS has been in partnership with Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust to deliver the NHS Talking Therapies for anxiety and depression service, throughout Derbyshire.

For further advice on seeking mental health support or current staff vacancies at DRCS call 0800 047 6861.

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