Film THREE: The Science of Safety

(The Polyvagal Theory)

Film Two of the Restorative Practices Film Series
State of the Union (31 minutes)

Wherein we explore the mind/body connection, the ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences study), and the pioneering work of Dr. Nadine Burke Harris MP MPH FAAP.

In this film, we take a deep dive into the work of Dr. Nadine Burke Harris MD MPH FAAP, presently serving as First Surgeon General of California, and author of The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity, with whom we’ve been working for a decade. Dr. Burke Harris’ work is grounded in the ACES study, the largest epidemiological study of trauma ever conducted, by Dr. Vincent Felitti MD and Dr. Robert Anda. The ACES study reveals a graded-dose response relationship between early childhood exposures, and adverse health outcomes throughout the lifetime. It is more deeply a story of the relationship between the mind and the body, and how fundamental dysregulations of autonomic physiology transform biology in ways that devastate health long-term, and which, if unaddresssed, do not go away. Dr. Burke’s work identifies six basic requirements for healing from childhood adversity (which 80% of Americans have experienced.). These include healthy relationships, mental health, mindfulness, proper nutrition, sleep, and exercise. In this session, we’ll look at each of these recommendations through the lens of the Restorative Practices model.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants identify key findings and implications of the ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study
  2. Participants memorize Dr. Burke Harris’ 6 keys to remediating childhood adversity
  3. Participants conceptualize the mindbody connection through Dr. Paul Maclean’s triune brain model
  4. Participants engage in thoughtful reflective dialog and practice with one another to integrate the theory into their professional and personal lives and practices.
  5. Participants practice polyvagal mindfulness restorative practices

Take-Aways:

  1. Participants demonstrate a felt understanding of the mindbody connection
  2. Participants directly experience the present-moment relationship between thoughts, emotions, and bodily states.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION

  1. What is safety? What makes you feel safe- physically/ emotionally? When / where / with whom in your life do you feel safest? How do you know when you are feeling safe? What places do you feel most safe? Now, and in the past?
  2. When you reflect on this idea of safety, and of being aware of when you feel safe, and on cultivating safety, what do you want to make sure that you remember about this?

Supplementary Related Resources