Philip Flores, Ph.D.

Polyvagal Theory: A Neuro-Scientific Explanation
of How Relationships Change Our Brain & Regulate Our Emotions

August 19, Saturday Lecture 7:30 pm
members: free; non-members $20; students $10

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 sychronized 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 their biobehavioral and emotional states. From a Polyvagal perspective, social relationships (both inside the psychotherapist’s office and outside of therapist’s office) provides “neural exercises” that promote the neural circuits involved in emotional, psychological and physical health.

The venerable notion of defining psychotherapy as a neural exercise carries with it an implied conviction that there are advantages associated with approaching treatment from a Polyvagal perspective that honors the importance of physiological mechanisms and visceral processes more than interpreting behavioral and emotional difficulties as purely psychological phenomenon. This shift in perspective prompts the asking of some important questions. What exactly are we trying to exercise during psychotherapy and what are the goals of these exercises? In what ways and why are we trying to make our clients more bio-physiologically and emotionally fit? These questions will be addressed during this presentation.

Phil FloresPhilip Flores, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who has worked extensively in the area of addictive disorders and group psychotherapy. He is a Fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association and is a Diplomate in Group Psychology, a certification issued by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Flores is the lead author on the American Group Psychotherapy Association’s treatment manual, Group Psychotherapy of Substance Abuse and Addiction. Dr. Flores is co-chair and contributing member of the Science to Service Task Force of American Group Psychotherapy Association that produced the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Group Psychotherapy. Dr. Flores’ latest book, Addiction as an Attachment Disorder was the 2005 Gradiva Award Winner issued by The National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. He has also presented numerous workshops nationally and internationally on these two subjects.


Upcoming Events

August 19
Phil Flores, Ph.D.
Polyvagal Theory: A Neuro-Scientific Explanation of How Relationships Change Our Brain & Regulate Our Emotions
Saturday 7:30 p.m.-10:00
more ...

September 15-16
Ashok Bedi, M.D.
Path to the Soul: The Eastern Path to Individuation
Friday 7:30 p.m.-10:00
Saturday 10:00 a.m.-5:00
more ...

October 14
Susan Olson
Reflections on my Journey: 25 years as a Jungian Analyst
Saturday 7:30 p.m.-10:00
more ...

November 11
John Gentile, Ph.D.
The Green Knight and Other Stories of Magic and Transformation: A Storytelling Program
Saturday 7:30 p.m.-10:00
more ...

December 1-2
James Hollis, Ph.D.
Living More Fully in the Shadow of Mortality
Friday 7:30 p.m.-10:00
Living the Examined Life: Steps to the Recovery of a Personal Journey
Saturday 9:00 a.m.-1:00
more ...


Sandy Springs Christian Church, 301 Johnson Ferry Rd NW, Sandy Springs, GA 30328
church's web page:

Coming from GA 400, take the Abernathy Rd, Exit 5, towards Sandy Springs. Go about 1.5 miles on Abernathy Rd and the church will be on the right, just past Brandon Mill Road. Proceed to the next light (River Valley) and make a right into the parking lot.