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Treating Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model: A Bottom-Up Approach
Ships from June 25, 2021
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In Treating Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model Jan Winhall introduces a new strategy to treat addiction that brilliantly integrates Gendlin’s classic concept of a felt sense with Polyvagal Theory. The author shares her intellectual journey in which unique insights transform two disparate perspectives into obvious complements leading to a powerful treatment model. As Polyvagal Theory gives the language of neuroscience to Gendlin’s felt sense, the phenomenological world of Gendlin becomes transformed by Polyvagal Theory into observable shifts in autonomic state. The product of this creative journey is an integrated therapeutic strategy with the potential to decode the wisdom of the body with its full repertoire of survival reactions into positive outcomes that promote optimal mental and physical health. These successes are highlighted by new abilities to co-regulate with others that lead to successful trusting relationships.
In this insightful volume Jan Winhall brings together the essence of groundbreaking modern therapeutic practices with her own decades of hard-won clinical experience to fashion a new, deeply humane and promising model of addiction treatment, illustrated by poignant clinical vignettes.
Reframing addiction and its treatment through the lens of Experiential Psychotherapy, Polyvagal Theory, Interpersonal Neurobiology and Imago Relationship Therapy, Jan Winhall has produced a brilliant synthesis and expansion of addiction theory and treatment that should be read by all therapists, not just addiction specialists.
Brave and revolutionary in her thinking, Jan Winhall has written a compelling book on addiction—a must-read for both clinicians and the general public alike. Compassionate, wise and profound, this book will leave its mark for years to come.
Jan Winhall has developed a powerful healing model that integrates polyvagal theory and felt sense experience. The model comes to life in this beautifully written book. It engages you in a process of discovery that helps you make it your own from the inside out.
This is an inspiring book that invites therapists to see addiction freshly, not as a disease but as a way of regulating the nervous system to adapt to the person’s social context. Jan combines Porges’ polyvagal theory with Gendlin’s Focusing-oriented therapy in a creative manner that embraces both theory and practice. Her models for understanding and working with addiction are brought to life with case examples, personal sharing, and invitations to the reader to explore their own experience and understanding of the subject.
Jan Winhall’s book is wise, emotionally compelling and hopeful. I highly recommend it to any clinician who wants to expand their therapeutic toolkit for addressing addictive behaviour.
Jan Winhall blends Gendlinian bottom-up process of felt sensing with Stephen Porges’ polyvagal theory. Her book is both broad and deep and a remarkable contribution to the Field of Addiction. Jan’s wise and heartfelt human presence is fully embodied throughout the book as she takes us on her own journey over 40 years as a psychotherapist. Clinicians will be able to easily take in these fresh clinical avenues, perspectives and practical clinical treatment methods. I will continue to savor this book as a theoretical resource and as a clinician’s handbook for treating Addictions.
This book is a powerful illustration of Eugene Gendlin’s ‘Thinking at the Edge’ methodology for working with the Felt Sense. The integration of Porges Polyvagal theory with the author’s bodily knowing creates a brilliant model for working with trauma and addiction. Her courage to challenge the disease model benefits all who are impacted by addiction. The writing is elegant, comprehensive, and touching in a transformative way.
Based on Porges' biologically-based theory of trauma, this book shows how addiction is a brilliantly adaptive way to ‘bear the unbearable’ rather than a sickness. Integrating this framework with her intuitive grasp of body-centered therapy, Winhall helps us both reinterpret and treat this most formidable of habits.
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