Polyvagal Theory

Establishing and supporting a Polyvagal Society in Germany


The theory describes and explores the influence of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) on the regulation of affective states and social behavior.

Polyvagal theory was first advanced in 1995 by Prof. Stephen Porges, Ph.D., a researcher at the Kinsey Institute (Indiana University) and professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, whose research focuses on the autonomic nervous system’s influence in regulating affective states and social behavior. Polyvagal theory provides an understanding of the biological systems that form the basis for making us feel safe and socially included. In particular, it explains the unconscious relationship between the autonomic nervous system and social behavior, allowing us to understand why a healthy, caring community requires a regulated autonomic nervous system.


We consider the polyvagal theory to be an important component of salutogenesis. By promoting the expansion of a Polyvagal Society in Germany, we help enable the development of health through self-efficacy.


An explanation of Polyvagal Theory and the functioning of the autonomic nervous system using trauma as an example.
In this short explanatory video on trauma, the Polyvagal Institute in the US and the Trauma Foundation explain very clearly how our autonomic nervous system (ANS) functions.