By |Published On: February 17th, 2023|Categories: Alumni, Evidence Based Coaching, School of Leadership Studies|

Coaching in Context: How Polyvagal Theory Informs Coaching

This Session is Eligible for 1.0 Coach Continuing Education Units (1.0 Core Competency)

SPEAKER: Sandra Dunsmore, PCC, MA
Wed., March 1
11 a.m.-12 p.m. PT / 2-3 p.m ET

Neuroscience is catching up with what ancient traditions have known for thousands of years about the wisdom of the body.  Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory (PVT) is a transdisciplinary theory that provides a neuroanatomical foundation for the development of an integrated and expansive body/brain science.

Continuing Coach Education

Only when a person feels physiologically safe is it possible to be fully present and accessible to oneself and another (coaching core competency). PVT gives us insight into how, below the level of conscious thought, the autonomic nervous system (ANS) acts as personal surveillance mechanism constantly scanning for cues of safety and of danger. Through the lens of the theory, we see how the ANS is both shaped by daily experience and, in turn, shapes how we understand and experience life.

Join us to explore the biological foundation of coaching presence, and how understanding and befriending the ANS can be applied to our work with clients.

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Sandra Dunsmore, PCC, MA

  • Sandra Dunsmore, PCC, M.A.

    Sandra Dunsmore, PCC, M.A.

    Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and CORE Energy Leadership Specialist through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC).

  • Professional Certified Coach through the ICF.
  • MA in Anthropology, University of Manitoba.
  • Graduate Certificate in Conflict Analysis and Transformation, Eastern Mennonite University.
  • Member of the ICF and the Institute of Coaching.
  • After 25 years of senior leadership experience in the fields of peacebuilding and organizational development, Sandra became a coach. Learning to befriend and reshape her nervous system through the lens of Polyvagal Theory was a game changer for her and has become a cornerstone of Sandra’s life and coaching practice.

Sandra was a consultant on the inaugural offering of Deb Dana’s Foundations of Polyvagal-Informed Practice in 2020 and became a trainer for the course in 2021.  In 2022, at Deb Dana’s invitation, fellow-coach Kerry Cullen and Sandra designed and launched Polyvagal Theory and Practice for Coaches: The Fundamentals.

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