Online via Zoom

Event Date/Time
Date(s): 22/10/2020
9:00 am - 12:00 pm


Joanne McIntyre: Neurobiology of Safety

Clinical Applications of Porges’ Polyvagal Theory in Trauma Informed Practice


Online Workshop Outline

The Polyvagal Theory, developed by Dr Porges, has been embraced by trauma therapists worldwide. The theory is groundbreaking in that it provides a biobehavioural explanation for fight, flight and freeze or dissociation. Polyvagal Theory provides a framework connecting physiological state to psychology and behaviour and reframes behaviours as adaptive, survival-driven responses based on individual perceptions of threat or safety.

This practical 3-hour training provides participants with a deeper understanding of the Polyvagal Theory and approaches to use with clients to help them link behavior with autonomic state and strategies to self-regulate. Participants will also be introduced to two evidence-based neurotechnologies aimed to improve vagal regulation for calm physiological states facilitating the processing of trauma.

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is an evidence-based intervention that emerged from Porges groundbreaking Polyvagal Theory. The SSP diverges from traditional therapeutic approaches by targeting underlying systems and structures that support nervous system integration. The protocol is non-invasive, simply administered, and involves listening to specifically filtered music over 5 hours to stimulate the auditory system and improve middle ear function. Through stimulating the auditory portal, increased attunement to frequencies of the human voice is enabled and dampening of lower frequency background noise (perceived as threat) occurs. State regulation and pro-social behaviours emerge due to the neural circuitry of the social engagement system being employed.



Joanne McIntyre

Joanne McIntyre

OTR, MS(Psych), BCN, Phd Candidate

Joanne moved to the United States after graduating from LaTrobe University in 1991 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Occupational Therapy. She later completed a Master’s of Science majoring in Psychology at California Southern University. While residing in the U.S.A for 23 years, Joanne founded a therapy practice including Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Psychologists. Joanne pursued specialty training in various clinical interventions and treatment programs that identify and address the underlying neurological causes of state regulation, learning and behavior issues versus symptomology.

Joanne’s training included Advanced Integrated Listening Systems, Safe and Sound Protocol, Neurodevelopmental Treatment, Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT), Neurofeedback including EEG brain mapping, Temporal motor processing program (IM), and Heart Rate Variability bio-feedback training. Travelling throughout Canada and the United States, Joanne worked as an instructor for Integrated Listening Systems (iLS). Joanne returned to Australia 2015 and is Clinical Director of Integrated Listening Australia providing practitioner training and clinical support to clinicians and families. Joanne is currently a PhD Candidate at La Trobe University within the School of Psychology and Public Health investigating the Neurobehavioral underpinnings of the Safe & Sound Protocol Intervention supported by the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC). This study will expand our biobehavioural understanding of the intervention. Joanne presented at the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) Conference in 2015 about integrating iLs with Neurofeedback.

Learning Objectives

Who should attend

This workshop is suitable for all professionals working with trauma and looking to understand the Polyvagal Theory in therapy.

Reading materials

Workshop materials will be provided within the registration portal 1 week prior to commencement of the workshop. Materials include: 

1. An overview of Polyvagal Theory for your reading (Accessible immediately)

2. Question guide to assist you to listen for key information

3. Slide deck for printing and note-taking at the workshop

Technologies demonstrated

Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)

IOM2 –  interactive biofeedback and meditation program

Workshop Fee


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