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USABP Pioneer of Body Psychotherapy Award: An Interview with Stephen W. Porges

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Stephen W. Porges: An Interview

When asked how he felt initially learning of his award, Dr. Porges said it was a two-phase response. First, he said, he felt flattered, and then, second, came a state of humility—he didn’t quite understand how he fit in with the other pioneers in somatic therapies. “I’m not a therapist,” he said, “though I’ve been told I have the heart of a clinician and I’m proud to have that.”

“What the readers need to understand is that unlike awardees in the past—people who were instrumental in body psychotherapy, developing and branding an identity and professional connectedness to therapies that carry their name—I’m an academic, and I come from a different perspective, a different history than individuals whose works originated in somatic psychology. I’m motivated by curiosity to figure out how and why something works, to understand how the mind/brain/brain/body relationship works in terms of health.”

Porges felt that the real question should be: Why am I receiving this award?

When one reflects on Porges’ work, not only the Polyvagal Theory itself but also the immense impact his research has had on the fields of somatic psychology and body psychotherapy, as well on medical, social and educational fields, it’s easy to understand why he is receiving this award.

To read the complete interview, please CLICK HERE