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The Neurobiology of Feeling Safe

Working with Boundaries Inside and Out

April 13, 2021

Online - Still Available



If we trust polyvagal theory, we see that a felt sense of safety is key to being able to play, connect, rest and feel free to live a whole-hearted life. I know that's what so many of my clients are really seeking: freedom to engage with the world with vulnerability, strength and authenticity. Once I got clear on this, it also felt clear that feeling in danger a lot of the time was leading the people I work with to protect themselves in ways that had high cost or lead them to not protect themselves much at all, in which case they felt so deeply hurt all the time.


I knew how to help people feel safe in my office, but I wanted them to feel out in the world the same way they could feel when they had the freedom to be themselves in our therapeutic space. It slowly clicked for me that our brain processes boundaries in more than one way. When people say boundaries, they often mean the executed kind, in which we set limits with another person. But as I started to research how the brain is processing this broad word we are calling boundaries, it turns out there are many different networks involved. What if we could separate those out, break down practices that could change these networks and help our clients feel empowered to create their own safety no matter where they are? I sure have tried. I'm thrilled to share with you my thoughts about working with boundaries inside and out with your clients.