For more information about Deb and her work, visit:

Deb Dana, LCSW is a clinician, consultant, author and speaker specializing in working with complex trauma.  Her work is focused on using the lens of Polyvagal Theory to understand and resolve the impact of trauma.

Deb has a busy career training therapists around the world in how to bring a Polyvagal approach into their clinical practice, and also works with agencies and larger systems to explore how to incorporate a Polyvagal perspective. She is widely credited with adapting Polyvagal Theory to trauma treatment. She is founding member of The Polyvagal Institute, a consultant to Khiron Clinics, and an advisor to Unyte.

Deb is the author of
The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation, Polyvagal Exercises for Safety and Connection, creator of the Polyvagal Flip Chart, and co-edited, with Stephen Porges, Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies

About the Presenters

Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D. is Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium in the Kinsey Institute. He is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and Professor Emeritus at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. 

Stephen is the originator of the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral, mental, and health problems related to traumatic experiences. The theory is leading to innovative treatments based on insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders.

Stephen is the author and co-author of several books related to Polyvagal Theory. He co-edited, with Deb Dana,
Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies. He has also published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers across several disciplines.

Workshop Description

​In order for therapy to work, clients need to trust and feel safe with their therapist.  

Unfortunately, many of our clients have nervous systems that have been programmed – via traumatic events – to be in a constant physiological state of fear and defense, always scanning for threat.  This interferes with the therapeutic relationship and the outcome of therapy itself unless we are able to address it first. Otherwise, helpers may give off subtle non-verbal cues that lead to a feeling of threat in the nervous system of their clients, without even knowing it. 

Polyvagal Theory, developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, provides helpers with tools and insights they can use to help clients experience safety at a neurophysiological level. It explains how social behaviour turns off defences and promotes opportunities to feel safe. It provides an innovative model to understand bodily responses to trauma and stress and the importance of the client’s physiological state in mediating the effectiveness of clinical treatments. It also gives helping professionals a guide to becoming a regulated and co-regulating resource for clients by leveraging neurobiology and psychophysiological cues of safety. This, in turn, provides the conditions for therapy to be effective so you can truly help your clients overcome the impact of trauma, anxiety, addiction, depression and other mental health conditions.

In this 3-hour workshop, you will be introduced to the principles and practical applications of Polyvagal Theory by the most qualified experts on the topic: Dr. Stephen Porges and Deb Dana.

You will learn: 

  • The fundamental principles of Polyvagal Theory
  • How the autonomic nervous system responds to cues of safety and risk
  • Simple, concrete ways to incorporate Polyvagal Theory into your existing practice including:
    • ​​How to create a map of the autonomic hierarchy 
    • How to work with neuroceptive cues of safety and danger
    • How to engage the pathways of the Social Engagement System to create an environment of safety and foster co-regulation 

Who should attend?

Any helping professional who provides some form of counselling including (but not limited to), therapists, social workers, psychologists, and other mental health and/or health-care professionals.

​You will receive:

  • Login details and instructions emailed in advance of the workshop
  • Downloadable handouts
  • Certificate of Attendance 
  • Access to a recording of the workshop for a limited period of time after the workshop - so if you can’t join live, or need to miss part of the live workshop and want to view it afterwards, we’ve got you covered!

For more information about Dr. Porges and his work, visit

​​Certificates of Attendance / CEU's / CE Information 

For those requiring a Certificate of Attendance, certificates will be issued upon either:

1. Verification of 100% attendance during the live broadcast OR
2. Successful completion of a post-training quiz with a minimum score of 75% (multiple attempts allowed). This          option is for those who do not attend the full workshop “live”.

Certificates will indicate the number of direct education hours (3), not including breaks. Certificates may be used to qualify for eligibility for Continuing Education Credits from licensing boards and professional colleges; it is the participant’s responsibility to contact their college or association to confirm its requirements and the workshop's eligibility for CEU's / CE’s. This workshop has been pre-approved for 3 continuing education hours by the CACCF.  

Cancellation Policy

​​An administrative fee of $50 will be charged for all cancellations. Cancellation 14 or more days prior to the workshop date – receive a refund, less $50 administration fee. Cancellation less than 14 days prior to the workshop date – receive a credit, less $50 administration fee, to be applied to a future workshop. No credit or refund will be issued if you do not notify us in advance of the workshop date. You may transfer your registration to another individual at no extra cost. In this case, please notify Mission: Empowerment of the name of the alternate person. The organizers reserve the right to cancel the event due to instructor illness, extreme weather, under-enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. If a workshop is cancelled, any registration payment will be returned in full. Liability is limited to a refund of workshop/live-stream fees only. 

Refunds will not be issued in cases where a registrant did not receive the workshop login instruction email due to email issues.  It is the registrant’s responsibility to contact us if they don’t receive the required login information at least 24 hours prior to the start time of the workshop.

​​​​​Instructor: Stephen Porges, PhD, and Deb Dana, LCSW ​
Location: Online Live Stream Event

Early Bird Cost: $99 CAD + GST/HST (if applicable) by Sept. 19, 2022
Regular Cost: $125 CAD + GST/HST (if applicable) after Sept. 19, 2022
​**All prices are in CAD$. American Patrons - your dollar goes further! $1 CAD = $0.77 USD (as of June 14, 2022 - check online for current exchange rate) 

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: October 20, 2022 at 9 am ET

* Group Rates/Discounts are not available for this workshop

Clinical Applications of Polyvagal Theory

with Stephen Porges, PhD, and Deb Dana, LCSW 


October 20, 2022, 1:00pm – 4:15pm ET *
*Convert to your Time Zone