FREE TO JOIN: ‘The Importance of Embodying Emotion in All Therapies’ with Raja Selvam.. Register here Dismiss
Jan Winhall logo icon

The Addicted Mind Podcast Episode 152

Podcast episode cover

Duane Osterlind of the Addicted Mind Podcast speaks with Jan Winhall about treating trauma and addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model™.

Jan explains how our nervous system influences our behavioral choices and how we perceive the world and our situations. She also teaches how we can use the felt sense with the help of others to create a sense of safety in our lives. With that sense of safety, we will be able to choose more strategic behaviors that lead us to become our best selves.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • How the dual system of the vagus nerve works

  • The Polyvagal model explained

  • What happens when the body gets stuck in freeze

  • Other blended states in the nervous system

  • How to develop felt sensing practices to heal from trauma

  • How the state we’re in determines how we experience the world


Key Quotes:

[03:52] – “It was shocking to see how these women that I viewed as being victims of violence were really being pathologized.”

[06:49] – “All of these behavioral addictions and substance abuse stuff were ways that we’re helping them to numb they kind of got that on some level.”

[09:05] – “Our autonomic nervous system is the part of us that watches to see if we’re safe. And if we don’t feel safe enough, then we move into that flight-fight place in the sympathetic branch.”

[09:24] – “The dorsal branch of the vagus nerve simultaneously helps you and kicks in when you’re in a big trouble by shutting everything down in the body.”

[10:42] – “Our bodies have this way of protecting us when we really need to shut down. The problem is that we get stuck there.”

[12:40] – “You can see when someone gets triggered, the traumatic experience becomes as fresh as if it was happening right now.”

[17:32] – “Through the practice of felt sensing, you’re learning slowly, over time, how to feel safe enough in your body to connect with your feelings and let go of dissociating, and numbing, and being more and more and more present with yourself.”

[21:32] – “To take responsibility, you have to be present and you have to be gentle with yourself.”

[24:53] – “How we feel, how we experience the world is determined by what state we’re in.”

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.

Join the conversation