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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Magic of Polyvagal Theory: Inviting Vulnerability and Facilitating Safety through Coregulation, Touch, and Micro Interactions
by Madden Procyk, Stacey, M.A., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2020, 59; 27744078
Abstract (Summary)

The Magic of Polyvagal Theory:

Inviting Vulnerability and Facilitating Safety

Through Coregulation, Touch, and Micro Interactions

by Stacey Madden Procyk

This thesis discusses the function of the vagal nerve and explores through hermeneutic

and heuristic research how application of the polyvagal theory can serve to foster a

stronger therapeutic rapport with couples. Particular attention is paid to the role of

neuroception and coregulation in therapy and their effect on establishing trust and rapport

within the therapeutic container. The research explores how clients in couple’s therapy,

as well as the client–therapist relationship, are affected by micro interactions, voice

prosody, spatial proximity, and touch. The thesis demonstrates how by working

therapeutically through a polyvagal lens, the therapist is equipped to act as a grounded,

organized other and assist clients through coregulation. This skill can be shared with

couples who struggle to effectively communicate because one or both are stuck in a

sympathetic or dorsal vagal state of fear and reactivity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Boyd, Barbara, Altman, Avrom
Commitee: Boyd, Barbara, Altman, Avrom, Jacobson, Gioia, Steffora, Tom
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Counseling Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 81/9(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Therapy, Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Coregulation, Microinteractions, Neuroception, Polyvagal, Polyvagal informed psychotherapy, Touch
Publication Number: 27744078
ISBN: 9781658496711
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