Foundations Curriculum

  • 2

    Welcome to Foundations!

    • Welcome to Foundations

    • Navigating the Learning Platform

  • 3

    Overview of the Foundations Training Series

    • Training Structure

    • Training Schedule

    • Trainers and Consultants List

    • January 2024 Cohort Roster

  • 4

    Pre-Series Survey [Required]

    • Survey Information

    • Pre-Series Survey

  • 5

    To Begin: Diversity Made Simple

    • Diversity Made Simple with Lambers Fisher, LMFT

  • 6

    Introduction and Orientation Live Session [January 5, 2024]

    • Live Session Zoom Link

  • 7

    Module 1: Getting to Know the Nervous System

    • Module 1 Roadmap

  • 8

    Module 1 Readings

    • Polyvagal Theory: A Primer

    • The Autonomic Hierarchy

    • Adversity History, Mental Health, and Covid-19

    • Finding Ventral in the Time of Covid-19

    • Beginners Guide

    • Polyvagal Theory: A Science of Safety

  • 9

    Module 1 Handouts

    • Module 1 PowerPoint Slides pt1

    • Module 1 PowerPoint Slides pt2

  • 10

    Module 1 Recordings

    • Becoming Polyvagal Informed

    • Why Study Polyvagal Theory

    • Getting to Know the Nervous System

    • From Safety to Survival

    • Vagal Brake

    • Vagal Brake Demo with Lacey

    • Vagal Brake Demo with Tina

    • Honoring the Vagal Brake Meditation

    • Ventral Vagal Anchors

    • Creating Ventral Vagal Anchors Demo

    • The Skill of Savoring

    • Savoring Demo

    • Why We Map

    • The Personal Profile Map

    • The Personal Profile Map Demo

    • Soup of the Day

    • An integrated System Meditation

  • 11

    Module 1 Exercise Directions

    • Engaging the Vagal Brake

    • The Skill of Savoring

    • Completing the Personal Profile Map

    • A Quick Guide to Ventral Vagal Anchors

    • Notice and Name: Becoming an Expert State Detector

    • The Soup of the Day

  • 12

    Module 1 Worksheets

    • Personal Profile Map

    • Personal Profile Map - Kids Version

    • Soup of the Day Worksheet

  • 13

    Module 1 Live Session [January 19, 2024]

    • Module 1 Live Session Zoom Link

  • 14

    Module 1 Post-Test and Homeplay

    • Module 1 Homeplay

    • Post-test Questions for Module 1

  • 15

    Module 2: Autonomic Protection and Connection

    • Module 2 Roadmap

  • 16

    Module 2 Readings

    • Neuroception (Stephen Porges)

    • Neuroception (Deb Dana)

    • Making the World Safe for our Children

    • Human Social Genomics

    • Reframing Resistance Using Polyvagal Theory

  • 17

    Module 2 Handouts

    • Module 2 PowerPoint Slides pt 1

    • Module 2 PowerPoint Slides pt2

    • Module 2 PowerPoint Slides pt3

  • 18

    Module 2 Recordings

    • Exploring a Polyvagal Approach Discussion

    • Neuroception

    • Co-Regulation/The Social Engagement System

    • Why We Track

    • The Triggers and Glimmers Map

    • Discussion of Foundations Demos

    • Triggers and Glimmers Map Demo with Pete

    • SIFTing Demo with Jen

    • SIFTing Demo with Pete

    • SIFTing Discussion

    • Art Mapping Discussion with Kelly

    • Four Map Tracking

    • Four Map Tracking Discussion with Cameron

    • Exploring the Social Engagement Scale

    • Feeling the Face Heart Connection Meditation

    • Exploring Regulated Pathways

  • 19

    Module 2 Exercise Directions

    • SIFTing to Resource and Regulate

    • Completing the Triggers and Glimmers Map

    • The Social Engagement Scale

  • 20

    Module 2 Worksheets

    • Triggers and Glimmers Map (Original Version)

    • Triggers and Glimmers Map (Alternate Version)

    • Four Map Tracking

  • 21

    Live Trainer Experiential #1 [February 2, 2024]

    • Live Trainer Experiential #1 Zoom Link

  • 22

    Module 2 Post-Test and Homeplay

    • Module 2 Homeplay

    • Module 2 Post Test

  • 23

    Participant Check-in Survey

    • Participant Check In

  • 24

    Live Q&A #1 with Deb Dana [March 8, 2024]

    • Live Q&A Zoom Link

    • Q& A Recording

  • 25

    Module 3: Resourcing Regulation

    • Module 3 Roadmap

  • 26

    Module 3 Readings

    • Wired to Connect

    • Therapeutic Presence

    • Play as a Neural Exercise

    • Appeasement

    • Interview with Tami Simon: Befriending Your Nervous System

  • 27

    Module 3 Handouts

    • Module 3 PowerPoint Slides

  • 28

    Module 3 Recordings

    • Emergent Properties

    • Pathways of Connection

    • Rupture and Repair

    • Safely Connected

    • Three Circuits, Six States

    • Playing with Proximity

    • Setting up a Session Demo

    • The Stretch to Stress Continuum

    • Self Compassion Practice

    • Regulating Resources Map

    • Regulating Resource Map Demo

    • Time and Tone Map

    • Time and Tone Map Demo with Tina

    • Creating a Personal Connection Plan

    • Introducing Polyvagal Theory Demo with Pete

    • Talking Polyvagal Theory with Jerry

    • Map, Track, Honor, Nourish Meditation

    • Safely Still Meditation

  • 29

    Module 3 Exercise Directions

    • Completing the Regulating Resources Map

    • Personal Connection Plan Directions

    • The Skill of Rupture and Repair

    • A Personal Look at Rupture and Repair

    • Invitation to Play

    • Attending to Stillness

  • 30

    Module 3 Worksheets

    • Regulating Resources Map

    • Regulating Resources Map (Alternate Version)

    • Time and Autonomic Tone Graph

    • Time and Autonomic Tone Graph (Alternate Version)

    • Personal Connection Plan Worksheet

  • 31

    Module 3 Live Session [April 5, 2024]

    • Live Session Recording

  • 32

    Module 3 Post-Test and Homeplay

    • Module 3 Homeplay

    • Module 3 Post-Test

  • 33

    Module 4: Navigating the Hierarchy

    • Module 4 Roadmap

  • 34

    Module 4 Readings

    • Ancient Rituals, Contemplative Practices, and Vagal Pathways

    • Stroke Reovery Through a Polyvagal Perspective

    • Trauma-informed care in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit

    • Chronic Pain and GI Disorders After Traumatic Stress

    • Autonomic Nervous System and Autoimmune Diseases

  • 35

    Module 4 Handouts

    • Module 4 PowerPoint Slides

  • 36

    Module 4 Recordings

    • The Autonomic Benefits of the Natural World

    • Beginning a Session

    • The Five Minute Check-In Demo

    • Creating Continuums

    • Continuum Demo with Tina

    • From Solitude to Social

    • Solitude to Social Revisited

    • Three New Ways

    • Shaping with Movement

    • Moving Through the Hierarchy Demo - No Sound

    • Mirrored Movement Demo - No Sound

    • Moving with a Couple Demo Tina and Pete

    • Energy and Actions

    • Breath

    • Vocalization

    • The Story of Three States

    • Exploring States Demo

    • Muscial Maps

    • Musical Maps Discussion with Carlie

    • Loving Kindness

    • Anchored in Ventral Meditation

  • 37

    Module 4 Full Session Demo

    • Demo Description

    • Shellie - Exploring with Safety

  • 38

    Module 4 Exercise Directions

    • Three Different Ways

    • Energy and Actions Map

    • The Continuum Between Survival and Social Engagement

    • Reflecting with Compassion

  • 39

    Module 4 Live Session [May 3, 2024]

    • Live Session Zoom Link

    • Live Session Recording

  • 40

    Module 4 Post-Test and Homeplay

    • Homeplay

    • Module 4 Post-Test

  • 41

    Live Q&A with Deb Dana #2 [May 10, 2024]

    • Live Q&A Zoom Link

    • Q&A Recording

  • 42

    Live Trainer Experiential #2 [May 31, 2024]

    • Live Trainer Experiential #2 Zoom Link

  • 43

    Module 5: Integration and Ending

    • Module 5 Roadmap

  • 44

    Module 5 Readings

    • Yoga Therapy and Polyvagal Theory

    • The Science of Awe

    • The Application of Polyvagal Theory to High Conflict Parenting

    • Heart Rate Variability: A Person Journey

    • The Touch Taboo

  • 45

    Module 5 Handouts

    • PowerPoint Slides Module 5

  • 46

    Module 5 Recordings

    • Autonomic Alphabets

    • Using Pie Charts

    • Exploring the Hierarchy Demo

    • Sending and Receiving Ventral Energy Demo

    • The Experience of Being Between

    • Engaging in Autonomic Change

    • Forgiveness

    • Transcendent Experiences

    • Safety is the Treatment

    • The Flow of Therapy

    • Polyvagal Guided Practice

    • Building a Micro-Community

    • Launch Plan

    • Benevolence Meditation

  • 47

    Module 5 Full Session Demo

    • Demo Description

    • Lisa - Beginning to Explore

  • 48

    Module 5 Exercise Directions

    • Tracing Autonomic Pathways

  • 49

    Module 5 Worksheets

    • Four Steps to Creating a Plan

  • 50

    Module 5 Live Session [June 28, 2024]

    • Live Session Recording

  • 51

    Module 5 Post-Test

    • Post Test Questions Module 5

  • 52

    End-of-Series Survey

    • End of Series Survey


Pay the full enrollment fee upfront or split the payments across four monthly installments. If choosing the monthly payment plan, $500.00 USD is due at the time of registration.

About Deb

Founder & Developer

Deb Dana, LCSW

Deb Dana, LCSW is a clinician, consultant, and author specializing in complex trauma. Her work is focused on using the lens of Polyvagal Theory to understand and resolve the impact of trauma and creating ways of working that honor the role of the autonomic nervous system. She is a founding member of the Polyvagal Institute, consultant to Khiron Clinics, and an advisor to Unyte. Deb is the developer of the signature Rhythm of Regulation Clinical Training Series and is well known for translating Polyvagal Theory into a language and application that is both understandable and accessible for clinicians and curious people alike. Deb’s clinical work published with W.W. Norton includes The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation, Polyvagal Exercises for Safety and Connection: 50 Client Centered Practices, the Polyvagal Flip Chart, the Polyvagal Card Deck, and Polyvagal Practices: Anchoring the Self in Safety. She partners with Sounds True to bring her polyvagal perspective to a general audience through the audio program Befriending Your Nervous System: Looking Through the Lens of Polyvagal Theory and her print book Anchored: How to Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory.

Meet Your Senior Trainers

Senior Trainer

Dara Denton, MA, LPCC

Dara is a licensed therapist in Minnesota and Illinois, experienced in treating adults and adolescents who have survived complex trauma. She has worked in both private practice and correctional settings, conducting individual, couples, and group counseling. Dara assists Deb Dana in her Rhythm of Regulation trainings in addition to maintaining a practice utilizing ACT, CBT, and mindfulness practices. Dara hopes to start a “polyvagal revolution” — helping as many people as possible learn about their nervous systems, identify ways to regulate, and connect safely with the world! “It’s such a ventral experience to see clients empowered with the knowledge that their nervous systems have kept them safe and as such, shame no longer needs to be part of the trauma experience.”

Senior Trainer

Shelly L Curran, PhD, LP

Shelly is a Clinical Health Psychologist licensed in the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and is also part of PSYPACT. Shelly has over 25 years of experience working in hospitals, outpatient pain clinics, and private practice helping adults with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and a variety of health issues such as chronic pain, fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, and various women’s health issues. Shelly uses Polyvagal Theory to guide her “bottom-up” approach which includes hypnosis, somatic experiencing exercises, and other self-regulation strategies. Shelly loves spending time with her husband and connecting with their adult children including their son and twin daughters. She enjoys yoga and her time with her beloved running group.

Meet Your Consultants


Liz Eanniello, LICSW

Liz Eanniello (she/her) is, among many things, a neurodivergent, cis-female, white-bodied human practicing somatic-based therapy in Greater Boston. Liz lives and works from a trauma-informed, social-justice, and liberatory lens and the belief that healing is possible if we have access to the containers and connections that allow us to feel safe enough to notice, name, and navigate our own internal experiences. Liz works with clients ranging from adolescents to those in late adulthood, most often with individuals from marginalized and oppressed communities. Her hope is to offer all clients a safe and supportive space for exploration and self-discovery, an opportunity to be fully seen and heard, to build new skills, grow, and reconnect with their most wise, easeful Self. Outside of work you can find Liz somewhere in nature with her dog, baking something delicious, or singing and dancing to live music.


Kristi Knight, LMHCA

Kristi is a licensed mental health counselor associate and certified health coach providing individual counseling and health coaching to clients at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Fishers, Indiana. Kristi has 10 years of experience as the owner and founder of Brain Fitness, which provides neurofeedback training to children, teenagers, and adults. Kristi also works part time with a functional medicine physician, where she provides consultation, education, and nutrition health coaching for clients and staff for a variety of physical and mental health conditions. Kristi utilizes an integrated approach in her clinical work, specializing in Neurocounseling, which incorporates neuroscience, biology/physiology, and psychology into her counseling approach. Kristi integrates attachment and brain-body based interventions such as Polyvagal Informed Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Brainspotting, Mindfulness and neurofeedback when working with individuals who experience anxiety, grief, ADHD, chronic illness, eating disorders, and trauma.


Abby Haile, PsyD

Abby is a clinical psychologist in private practice in the SF Bay Area. She completed her clinical training at Stanford, the Palo Alto VA, the National Center for PTSD, and UCSF. Abby practices using an integrative approach that is anchored in evidence-based treatments and incorporates mindfulness, attachment theory, and polyvagal theory into her clinical work. She has a keen attention to interpersonal process and leveraging the therapeutic relationship for healing. “The polyvagal framework has been pivotal in my practice. It gives us a map to understand and flexibly navigate the wisdom of our bodies to support deepening states of connection to ourselves and to others.”

For full details regarding the Foundations of Polyvagal Informed Practice clinical training series visit

Questions? Connect with us at:

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