Why is EMDR actually for everyone? How does polyvagal theory integrate into every stage of therapy? How is self-care an ethical obligation as well as a human necessity?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about the polyvagal theory as embodied self-care with Rebecca Kase.
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Meet Rebecca Kase
Rebecca Kase is a force of nature. Her warmth and authenticity make her a natural teacher and leader. She is an LCSW, yoga instructor, and EMDR trainer and consultant.
Rebecca owns Kase & CO, an EMDR training and consultation business. Her expertise is in EMDR & polyvagal theory and supporting therapists to become experts in EMDR therapy.
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In This Podcast
- EMDR is for everyone!
- What is the polyvagal theory?
- A polyvagal perspective on living well
- Rebecca’s advice to private practitioners
EMDR is for everyone!
There is a misconception about EMDR that it is only meant to be used for helping clients recover from trauma. Even though it is great for trauma recovery, it can be helpful for so many others things as well.
EMDR is based on the processes of neural biology and memory consolidation and how [that] when our memories consolidate maladaptively, that leads to clinical complaints like anxiety, depression, addiction, grief … chronic pain even! Those are all conditions and symptoms that EMDR is not necessarily evidence-based for, but studies … show that EMDR can [be effective] with those super common clinical presentations.Rebecca Kase
EMDR is a therapeutic approach and orientation, not just a tool in your toolbox. It can be used with everyone on your caseload because there is no client rule-out.
What is the polyvagal theory?
Polyvagal theory is a robust theoretical model based on decades of research, and it was a couple of components to it.
The polyvagal theory is also a great theoretical model to understand the functioning of the autonomic nervous system.
The autonomic nervous system is where the processes fight, flight, freeze, collapse, and the window of tolerance live … most psychotherapists are familiar with that language.Rebecca Kase
For example, the window of tolerance, which is one of the circuits of the autonomic nervous system, known as the ventral vagas, can be understood as the neuro-biological mechanism behind the window of tolerance.
If the autonomic nervous system, through a process called neuroception – perception without awareness – perceives a cue of danger, it will activate survival responses from the sympathetic nervous system.
[During a perceived cue of danger, you] feel like, “I can’t survive, I can’t run away, or fight or flee from this”, you go into the dorsal vagal circuit which is where collapse lives, an immobilization response.Rebecca Kase
Therefore, polyvagal theory explains the different circuits of the nervous system, from rest and digest to flight or fight to collapse, and that they are not our enemies but they are our instinctual attempts at survival.
A polyvagal perspective on living well
How can you increase your access to ventral or to the window of tolerance?
Your survival circuits are good but it is not healthy for the body or mind to be constantly living in those responses.
Those all become dangers to our nervous system. You know, the to-do list that won’t quit, “I’m behind on these notes”, and, “I need to catch up on these emails” … those [can] all be cues of danger to us when they become too much.Rebecca Kase
Strive to become mindful of what your specific cues of danger are, or your cues of discomfort first.
What sets you off to feel frustrated or anxious before you feel fully stressed? Can you take steps to address those minor stressors before they dysregulate you and your system?
Self-care, from a polyvagal theory lens, is about intentional self-regulation time, and can y’all imagine what a different world we’d be in if everybody practiced intentional self-regulation a couple of moments a day?Rebecca Kase
This is how you build resiliency in your nervous system, by taking some moments throughout the day to bring yourself back to baseline.
Rebecca’s advice to private practitioners
Learn about your nervous system. Realize that self-care or intentional self-regulation time is more of an ethical obligation and imperative than something that you do on the side, especially if you are a practicing therapist.
Sponsors mentioned in this episode:
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Useful links mentioned in this episode:
- Visit Kase & CO and connect on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
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- See pillarsofpractice.com to get loads of free resources and e-courses!
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Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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