Agents of Hope

'Resilience is a well regulated nervous system': Hope through the lens of Polyvagal Theory with Dr Amelia Taylor

April 30, 2020 Season 1 Episode 4
Agents of Hope
'Resilience is a well regulated nervous system': Hope through the lens of Polyvagal Theory with Dr Amelia Taylor
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Welcome to episode 4 of my new podcast 'Agents of Hope'. 

My name is Tim Cox. I am a trainee Educational Psychologist and I am passionate about psychology, hope and society.  This podcast aims to promote hopeful thinking and conversation about positive change in the field of applied educational psychology, education and wider society. If you are interested in the podcast you can subscribe on your podcast streaming platform, follow the Agents of Hope Facebook page or follow me on twitter @timceducation.

Episode #4
In this episode, I speak to my colleague and deskmate, Dr Amelia Taylor. Amelia talks about her journey from her upbringing in rural Somerset, chancing upon Educational Psychology and a bike ride that changed everything. Amelia sees her role as Educational Psychology through the lens of Polyvagal theory and has recently become a trainer in Theraplay.  If you are interested in Amelia's ideas you can follow her on twitter @lifecyclespsych.

During our discussion, Amelia helps me to understand the principles and theory of Polyvagal theory and how that relates to resilience, Theraplay, Amelia's love of mountain biking and my love of music. Our discussion helps me to understand how the nervous system can be integrated into an ecological understanding of resilience and how the idea maps to other neuroscientific ideas.  Amelia also talks about her new intervention for teenagers combining mountain biking and we discuss how the theory that underpins Theraplay could be applied to other outdoor pursuits and sports. We conclude by trying to tackle a tough question from the TEP Facebook community about therapeutic approaches, evidence-based practice and ecological psychology. This discussion was a real learning experience for me, so many ping moments. I hope that you enjoy the episode as much I enjoyed recording it.

Suggested Reading

Dana, D. A. (2018). The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology). WW Norton & Company.

Kranowitz, C. (2006). The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, Revised Edition: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder. Penguin.

Lloyd, S. (2016). Improving Sensory Processing in Traumatized Children: Practical Ideas to Help Your Child's Movement, Coordination and Body Awareness. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Norris, V., & Lender, D. (2020). Theraplay®–The Practitioner’s Guide. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Rodwell, H., & Norris, V. (2017). Parenting with Theraplay®: Understanding Attachment and How to Nurture a Closer Relationship with Your Child. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Ungar, M. (Ed.). (2011). The social ecology of resilience: A handbook of theory and practice. Springer Science & Business Media.

Van der Kolk, B. (2014). The body keeps the score: Mind, brain and body in the transformation of trauma. Penguin UK.

Support the show
Introduction to Dr Amelia Taylor
What is Polyvagal theory? Hierarchy, Neuroception and Co-regulation
'Resilience is a well regulated nervous system' applications of Polyvagal Theory
Rhythm, movement and being with nature
What is Theraplay?
Mapping theraplay principles to understanding and applying ideas from neuroscience
Life Cycles -Mountain Biking and resilience
How polyvagal theory fits with an ecological understanding of resilience
Question 1: What is the role of therapeutic practice in ecological or interactionist work?
Question 2: Can we work with a wide range of therapeutic tools and still stay 'evidence based'?
Concluding remarks