A Polyvagal Perspective on Emotional, Behavioral, and Psychiatric Crises

One-pager written by Dr. Andy Bell Lurking behind many psychiatric crises are ruptures in connectedness and safety, accompanied by a failure to repair these ruptured states. Restoring both the external conditions and internal capacity for safety and connectedness is a pathway to stabilizing crises. This document provides guidance on two primary pathways to restoring connectedness and safety. To summarize, crisis stabilization should first restore safety in the external environment, starting with actual dangers, and then address social-emotional threats and triggers. Once external conditions are stabilized, individual skills and strengths in self-regulation, wellness and empowerment can be developed to buffer against future crises.

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