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CE Workshop: Psychotherapy as a Neural Exercise; A Polyvagal Theory Perspective
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When: Friday, September 21, 2018
Where: GPA Office
13 Corporate Blvd. NE
Suite 220
Atlanta, Georgia  30329
United States
Presenter: Philip J. Flores, PhD
Contact: Staci Bratcher, Director of Operations
404-634-6272, ext. 208

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Workshop Title: Psychotherapy as a Neural Exercise; A Polyvagal Theory Perspective

Workshop Description: 

An understanding of the bidirectional relationship between our physiology(i.e., body) and our brain (i.e., mind) led to the development of Polyvagal Theory -- a theory that not only provides an understanding of brain-body interactions, but also incorporates a explanation of how reciprocal and synchronized social interactions are absolutely necessary for both physical and mental health. Polyvagal Theory offers convincing evidence confirming the crucial importance of recurring, reciprocal face-to-face social interactions have on strengthening the functioning of the vagus system, thus improving emotional communication, the accuracy of neuroception (knowledge without awareness), and the dampening of unnecessary fight/flight defensive reactions that distort psychological experience. At the core of Polyvagal Theory is the concept of how individuals co-regulate each other’s respective biobehavioral and emotional states. Our body and our brain are constantly picking up cues and signals (neuroception) that lead to unknown, but painfully experienced micro-violations of neural expectancies. These micro violations are not related to a cognitive process or conscious reaction. It is a physiological response that involves our nervous system, which cannot just be easily turned off once it is ignited. Polyvagal Theory explains how our feelings are the product of these physiological events triggered by specific neural circuits and outlines new strategies for recruiting and strengthening the neural circuits responsible for the restorative process by replenishing feelings of safety, serenity and calmness.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the foundation of the Polyvagal Theory.
  2. Define the features of the Social Engagement System, which include neural pathways of the vagus system connecting brain, face, and heart.
  3. Define the concept of neuroception and the biophysical functions it provides in guiding interventions that promote learning, behavioral change and affect regulation.

CE Hours: 3 

Level: Introductory

About the Presenters:

Dr. Flores has published numerous articles and book chapters on addiction, group psychotherapy and Interpersonal Neurobiology. In addition to his two books, Group Psychotherapy With Addiction Populations and Addiction as an Attachment Disorder, he has just published an article with Stephen Porges titled Group Therapy as a Neural Exercise: A Polyvagal Theory Perspective, which was published this spring of 2017 in the IJGP. He was Consensus Panel Chair for Substance Abuse Treatment: Group Therapy, A Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP #41) issued by the U. S. Department of Health & Human Services. Dr. Flores is a co-chair and contributing member of the Science to Service Task Force of AGPA that produced the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Group Psychotherapy. Dr. Flores’ book, Addiction as an Attachment Disorder was the 2005 Gradiva Award Winner issued by The National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. He has presented numerous workshops nationally and internationally on these subjects. He has served as Adjunct Faculty at the Georgia School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University and supervisor of group psychotherapy at Emory University

Registration Costs (per workshop):

Early Bird Registration (Must be postmarked on or before September 7, 2018 to receive this rate.)

  • $70: GPA Members
  • $105: Non-members
  • $20: *GPA Student Members

Registration (After September 7, 2018)

  • $80: GPA Members
  • $115: Non-members
  • $30: *GPA Student Members

Must be logged into member profile to receive member rate.

*If a GPA Student Member needs continuing education credits, he/she will need to pay the higher GPA Member fee regardless of status as a student.

Cancellation Policy:
All cancellations must be submitted in writing to Staci Bratcher via email ( A $35 cancellation fee will be charged for any cancellations prior to September 7, 2018. No refunds will be given after September 7, 2018.

The Georgia Psychological Association is proud to sponsor and support a wide variety of workshops throughout the year as an APA approved sponsor of Continuing Education.