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Embodied Dialogue Series

Marc Lewis

Why Addiction isn’t a Diseasewith Marc Lewis

Thursday 12pm-1pm ET on Aug 10, 2023

Free to join, all welcome.

Understanding addiction through a polyvagal lens led me to Marc Lewis and his wonderful book, The Biology of Desire. You’ll recognize his name in chapter 4 of my book. Marc’s learning model of addiction provides the much needed paradigm shift from the traditional medical model to a sophisticated neurophysiological model. Marc describes addictions as very bad habits, created by the brain’s capacity for neuroplasticity. In this interview, Marc will share his own journey of addiction and how he developed the learning model over many years of study. As Marc’s career has evolved over time, his new interest has brought him into the field of psychotherapy and Internal Family Systems (IFS). He is curious about a part of the self that is often present with those of us struggling with addiction. Together we will explore this question: Can we sense the part of us that repels self-compassion? He describes a client who calls this part of himself ‘the bouncer’, the part of himself that rejects self-love. Many of us notice, or partly notice, this rejection of self-compassion. But where does it come from? IFS alerts us to parts with opposing agendas. What does it feel like to reject self-love or self-acceptance? Together we will explore the roots of addiction and self-compassion with my friend and leading expert in the field. I hope you can join us.

About Marc

Marc Lewis is a neuroscientist and professor emeritus in developmental psychology. He is the author or co-author of over 75 journal articles and two books on addiction. In the first of these, Memoirs of an Addicted Brain (2011), he connects his own years of drug use with an account of how the brain responds to drugs and to trauma. In the second, The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease (2015), biographies of addicts are linked with neuropsychological findings to show how addiction develops and how it can be overcome. Lewis currently writes for the popular press, sees clients in psychotherapy, and speaks internationally. He and his family live in Toronto.

 / @marclewis4311  

Join Jan Winhall's group on the PVI (Polyvagal Institute) Community App for updates and discussion.

The Felt Sense Polyvagal Approach to Trauma & Addiction Group is a place for you to explore with others, through a polyvagal lens, the experiences of trauma and addiction. We are focusing on understanding addiction through the lens of the nervous system, as an adaptive response to maladaptive environments. Our group is growing in leaps and bounds indicating a hunger for change, for the kind of transformative change that polyvagal theory brings us. The group interacts  online as part of the PVI (Polyvagal Institute) Community App. Once a month the group meets live on Zoom for an hour of exploration and discussion with a guest presenter, in what we now call the Embodied Dialogue Series. 

Free to join the group, all welcome!

PVI Community Member Guidelines

  1. We are cultivating cues of safety, so please be supportive.
  2. Encourage and support your colleagues – Remember criticism, cynicism, advice, or judgment may be signs of threat.
  3. Be courteous and assume the best intentions – respect all opinions, no hate speech.
  4. Share generously – Your stories and experiences may be what another person needs to hear today to solve a problem or seize an opportunity.
  5. Be constructive – We’re here to push each other forward and lift each other.
  6. Find ways to help each other find and create cues of safety and co-regulation, reframe challenges, and stay curious.
  7. Advertising, solicitation, personal or company promotion is not permitted. Those who don’t comply with the guidelines will be requested to leave the app.

Click to read more about the PVI Community

Jan Winhall, M.S.W.  P.I.F.O.T. is an author, teacher and seasoned trauma and addiction psychotherapist. She is an Educational Partner and Course Developer with the Polyvagal Institute where she offers a training program based on her book Treating Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model, Routledge 2021. Completion of four levels leads students to become Felt Sense Polyvagal Model Facilitators. She is an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Toronto and a Certifying Co-Ordinator with the International Focusing Institute. Jan is Co-Director of the Borden Street Clinic where she supervises graduate students. She enjoys teaching all over the world.

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