As a group therapist I witness member-to-member and member-to-leader interactions promote not only group cohesion but also psychosocial/emotional growth. By explaining how authentic face-to-face social interactions strengthen the functioning of the vagus system, improves social experience and tamps down sympathetic tone, the Polyvagal theory offers a glimpse into the somatic healing power of group dynamics.
When her father was diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer in 1994, Helayne Waldman knew it was lethal. She researched ways to support his health and did the best she could considering she was a layperson, not a practicing nutritionist. A single mom at the time, Waldman worked as a trainer in field-readiness and marketing for a database firm. Her father died in four months, planting a seed that Waldman later nurtured into a healing profession for people living with and dying from cancer.