Prof. Dr. Stephen W. Porges

A short biography with the most relevant information

Stephen W.Porges, Ph.D. is a researcher at the University of Indiana, where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium. 

  • Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. 
  • President of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences
  • Former winner of the National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development Award. 
  • Published more than 300 scientific articles (peer reviewed) in various disciplines, including: anesthesiology, biomedical engineering, intensive care, ergonomics, exercise physiology, gerontology, neurology, neuroscience, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, psychometry, space medicine and drug abuse 
  • In 1994, he presented the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that links the development of the mammalian autonomic nervous system to social behavior and emphasizes the importance of the physiological state for behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders.
  • Polyvagal theory leads to innovative treatments based on knowledge of the mechanisms that mediate the symptoms observed in various behavioral, psychiatric and physical disorders.

Author of the following books published in English and German:

The Polyvagal Theory

Neurophysiological Foundations of Therapy. Emotions, attachment, communication & their origins.

The Polyvagal Theory and the Search for Safety

Trauma treatment, social engagement and bonding Conversations and reflections.

Clinical Applications of Polyvagal Theory

A new understanding of the Autonomic Nervous System and its application in therapeutic practice S.W.Porges and Deb Dana - Hrsg.

Additionally published only in English:

The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe, (Norton, 2017).


He has developed the Safe and Sound Protocol ™ (a music-based intervention), which is used to improve spontaneous social engagement, reduce acoustic hypersensitivity, and improve speech processing and self-regulation. Currently, more than 1400 therapists worldwide use the SSP, increasingly also in the European world.