Cover art for podcast Stuck Not Broken

Stuck Not Broken

182 EpisodesProduced by Justin SunseriWebsite

Justin is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist that is obsessed with the Polyvagal Theory and applying it to everyday life - mental health, trauma, education, parenting and more.(Justin Sunseri, LMFT99147; Mercedes Corona, LMFT47786)

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Parenting Without Models of Good Enough Parents

November 30th, 2021


My thoughts on a fellow Stucknaut's question about parenting without having gotten good enough parenting as a kid.

Building Safety Anchors -

Your Stories Keep You Stuck

November 29th, 2021


Changing your thoughts is often the focus of mental health, but it's not the core problem. The problem is the autonomic state that your thoughts are …

Bad Therapy - "Get Over It" and Absolutely Awful Advice

November 23rd, 2021


Heidi Rogers join Justin Sunseri to discuss more Bad Therapy examples. Listen to the prior episode for the entire 2 parter.

Our episode on her …

Bad Therapy: "I Really Needed Help!", Client Quote Book & more!

November 16th, 2021

Part 1 of 2, talking with Heidi Rogers about some bad therapy!

Our episode on her podcast -

A Husband's Defensive State or Autism?

October 26th, 2021

I tackle a question from a listener about her husband and his defensive state... or is it autism?

Building Safety Anchors  - 

Become a $5 Patron -

Can I Co-Regulate With Someone That Traumatized Me?

October 19th, 2021


This is originally an answer to a Patron on my Patreon.

Building Safety Anchors - 

Polyvagal 101 Webinar -


October 5th, 2021

The "Grammer Trilogy" wraps up with an episode on the importance of having accurate definitions and shared vocabulary in the process of getting …

Behavior vs Biology / Polyvagal Misconceptions 3of3

October 1st, 2021


I have a Polyvagal101 course coming up! Sign up here - 

If you like what I'm doing here on the podcast, I think …


September 28th, 2021


The role of similes in getting unstuck, noticing what's happening within you and communicating it to the self or someone else. (I recommend you …

Co-Regulation is not Just Support / Polyvagal Misconceptions 2of3

September 24th, 2021


I have a Polyvagal101 course coming up! Sign up here - 

If you like what I'm doing here on the podcast, I think …


September 21st, 2021


Metaphors absolutely have a place in therapy, but they can also be a hinderance.

Building Safety Anchors - 

Polyvagal …

Freeze & Shutdown are Not the Same Thing / Polyvagal Misconceptions 1of3

September 17th, 2021


I have a Polyvagal101 course coming up! Sign up here - 

If you like what I'm doing here on the podcast, I think …

Fierce Compassion from Parents

September 14th, 2021


My thoughts on a Patron's/listener's question about their adult grandchild living in the home.

Building Safety Anchors -

Don't Get Lost in the Biology

August 31st, 2021


A segment from a long, long chat I did with Kola Adetu. Don't get lost in the biology! Learning this stuff is fun, but you're a real person with a …

the Equipment of a Stucknaut

August 24th, 2021


Part 3 of 3 of my Stucknaut series.  Listen to the first two to catch up!

Building Safety Anchors -

Patreon -

the Adventures & the Treasure of a Stucknaut

August 17th, 2021


Building on last week's episode - what are the adventures and the treasure of a Stucknaut?

"Trauma and Memory" book - (link takes you to Amazon where I get a portion of the sale at no extra cost …

the Beliefs of a Stucknaut

August 10th, 2021


Welcome fellow Stucknaut!  Listen to find out what the heck that is and what some core beliefs are of a Stucknaut.

Building Safety Anchors -

A Moment That Changed Me as a Therapist

August 3rd, 2021


Originally from my Patreon exclusive podcast -

I discuss a time when I learned a valuable lesson about having healthy boundaries and positive expectations for therapy clients.

Bad Therapy - Vulgar Comment, Diabetes and Mentorship Offering

July 27th, 2021

Mercedes Corona joins me to break down three short bad therapy stories.  One dealing with a vulgar piece of advice from a therapist, one dealing with …

Unfocused Rambling & Dismissing Trauma - Feedback Friday

July 23rd, 2021


A handful of entries for this FF.  I'd love to get your feedback on the podcast - what's going well and what needs work? Email

"Butter" by BTS / Pop Culture Polyvagal

July 20th, 2021


Mercedes joins me in discussing the #1 song on the Billboard top 100 currently - "Butter" by BTS.

Building Safety Anchors -

This week’s …

"Trauma Through a Child's Eyes" Book Review

July 16th, 2021


Is it worth buying? Absolutely. This is a great reference book to own physically. Lots of large ideas and specific interventions for parents, …

Why is Coming Out of Shutdown So Difficult?

July 13th, 2021


Justin answers a questions from a Patron about the difficulties in coming out of shutdown, including some pieces that might be helpful.

Building …

Step-Parenting & Parenting - Control, Expectations, Connection

July 6th, 2021


Originally from a Patreon video, answering questions from a Patron about step-parenting, but I think this is applicable to any parent.

Building Safety Anchors -

Emotion, Feeling and Sensation

June 29th, 2021


I discuss the difference among emotion, feeling and sensation and how they relate to each other.

Building Safety Anchors -

This week’s …

Self-Regulation & Co-Regulation

June 22nd, 2021


The final part of the Polyvagal 101 series!  I hope you've benefited from this series and gotten all your Polyvagal curiosities fulfilled.  The only …


June 15th, 2021


I put together all of the pieces of the Polyvagal Theory so far from the Polyvagal 101 series. How do all of these pieces relate to trauma?

Building …


June 1st, 2021


Welcome to part 7 of the Polyvagal 101 series - stillness, the mixed state of shutdown and safety.  I'm covering some foundational elements of …

Who My Listeners Are and Might Be - Feedback Friday

May 28th, 2021


I read a handful of messages I got recently from listeners to the podcast.  One of them makes the astute observation that something is off with the …


May 25th, 2021


Welcome to part 6 of the Polyvagal 101 series.  I'm covering some foundational elements of Stephen Porges' Polyvagal Theory.  This one goes into the …


May 18th, 2021


Welcome to part 5 of the Polyvagal 101 series.  I'm covering some foundational elements of Stephen Porges' Polyvagal Theory.  This episode looks at …

Swearing & Not Knowing My Audience - Feedback Friday

May 14th, 2021


I give my thoughts on a couple pieces of feedback I got recently re: censorship of swearing on the podcast and discussing whether or not I know my audience.

I'd love to get your feedback as well.  Email


May 11th, 2021


Welcome to part 4 of the Polyvagal 101 series.  This episode is all about the dorsal vagal conservation state of shutdown.  I'm covering some …

Flight & Fight

May 4th, 2021


Welcome to part 3 of the Polyvagal 101 series.  I'm covering some foundational elements of Stephen Porges' Polyvagal Theory.  You are now part of an …

Safety & Social Engagement

April 27th, 2021


Welcome to part 2 of the Polyvagal 101 series.  This episode is all about the ventral vagal state of safety and social engagement.

Building Safety …

Polyvagal 101 - Neuroception, Autonomic Nervous System, Story Follows State (101)

April 20th, 2021


Welcome to part 1 of the Polyvagal 101 series.  I'm covering some foundational elements of Stephen Porges' Polyvagal Theory.  You are now part of an …

10 Ways You Can Support the Podcast

April 9th, 2021


This episode is for you if you want to know how you can support the work that I have been putting into the podcast.  I've got 10 ways, 7 of them free …

Boundaries, Support and Co-regulation in Relationships

March 30th, 2021


My thoughts on a listener's question about relationships and supporting someone who is stuck in a severe defensive state.

Building Safety Anchors -

Bad Therapy - Mentor Mother Therapist

March 23rd, 2021


Mercedes graces our ears once again to discuss another "Bad Therapy" story.  This one goes into role clarification and is a good example of how power …

Simplifying to Reduce Self-Care Resistance

March 16th, 2021


I answer a listener question about using multitasking as a way to cope with being overwhelmed with wellness demands.

Building Safety Anchors -

Unstucking Through Creativity

March 9th, 2021


If you're a creative person, you've got a great opportunity to get unstuck.  And imo, everyone is a creative person.

Building Safety Anchors -

Healing in the Traumatizing Environment Listener Question

March 2nd, 2021


I answer a listener question - "How to heal as an adult in the same environment and relationship that you became broken in?"  I honestly don't think …

My Self-Regulation Through Anchoring Example

February 23rd, 2021


I share a personal example of when I was dysregulated for an entire week and how I was able to re-regulate myself using some safety anchors.  This is …

5 Things Humans do to Keep Themselves Stuck

February 9th, 2021


This is a short list of how we keep ourselves stuck.

Building Safety Anchors -

This week’s Patreon episode - One New Stress on Top of the …

Traumatized Without a Traumatizing Event?

February 2nd, 2021


Is it possible to be in a traumatic state without there being a traumatizing event? 

Building Safety Anchors -

This week’s Patreon episode …

5 Tips for Journaling

January 26th, 2021

  1. alternate your speed
  2. journal from your feelings
  3. alternate among mindful experiences
  4. process over outcome
  5. don't use a journal

Building Safety …

Process > Result

January 21st, 2021


We focus on the end result of what we think life is going to be like once we make the change we want to.  And that's important.  But we miss out on …

5 Tips to Improve Your Mindfulness Practice

January 19th, 2021


5 thoughts on how you might be able to improve your mindfulness practice. 

Building Safety Anchors -

Pixar's Soul and How We Connect

January 12th, 2021


One of the opening scenes of "Soul" from Pixar has a lot of polyvagal implications to it: self-regulation, co-regulation, energy discharge and using …

Bad Therapy - Summer Friends

January 5th, 2021


This is an in-depth reaction and discussion about a real life Bad Therapy story from two licensed psychotherapists.  Mercedes Corona and Justin Sunseri are both Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists in the state of …

Pets as Co-Regulators

December 29th, 2020


Pets can make fantastic co-regulators.  But before you go and adopt 20 of them, give this episode a listen!

Building Safety Anchors -

Why Your Vagal Brake Strength is Important

December 22nd, 2020


The vagal brake is a little more difficult of a concept from the Polyvagal Theory.  I describe what it is and why it's important.

Based on this blog …

Autonomic Responses vs Behavioral Adaptations

December 15th, 2020


A return to some polyvagal fundamentals in this episode, discussing the difference between autonomic responses and behavioral adaptations.

My course, …

Finding Purpose in a Career

December 8th, 2020


Taking on a larger theme of stuckness in this one as well.  Still pertains to the individual, but more on the level of a career and "purpose."  I discuss what purpose is on a much larger level, then drill down to the …

Echo Chambers and Belief

December 1st, 2020


Something different, delving into a mechanism that keeps us stuck on a more social level - echo chambers.  Specifically, the function of belief within an echo chamber and the impact on the individual.

Building Safety …

"Mood" by 24kGoldn - Polyvagal Pop Culture

November 24th, 2020


What polyvagal, mental health and relationship themes are there in "Mood" by 24kGoldn?  Mercedes joins me to discuss!

Building Safety Anchors -

Letting Go

November 17th, 2020


Building Safety Anchors -

This week’s Patreon episode - Washing Machine of Life - 

Intro/Outro music …

Why Your Feelings are Gone

November 5th, 2020


When we shift up and down the polyvagal ladder, we lose or gain access to different feelings...

Building Safety Anchors -


October 27th, 2020


Anger isn't just something we feel.  There's a psychophysiology to it.

Building Safety Anchors -

Pop Culture Polyvagal - the Weeknd Blinding Lights

October 22nd, 2020


Mercedes joins me to discuss the number 2 song at the time we recorded this episode - "Blinding Lights" by the Weeknd.  We look for some polyvagal …

Behavior Adaptations

October 13th, 2020


Porges' concept of "behavioral adaptations" and what they have to do with the polyvagal theory

Building Safety Anchors -

Treat Yourself Like a New Friend

September 29th, 2020


This week’s Patreon episode - Open Letter 4 - You Are Not Who You Think You Are - 

Building Safety Anchors -

Intro/Outro music & Transition …

Single Parenting and Grief Podcast Interview

September 22nd, 2020


An interview that Mercedes and I did on a short-lived podcast called "Single Parenting - Staying Sane" from Carla-Jo Geraghty.  She was kind enough to donate this audio to us.

This week's Patreon episode - I Am Allowed …

Learning is the First Step

September 17th, 2020


Learning is great, but we have to put it into practice also!

Building Safety Anchors -

New this week on Patreon - I Am Allowed to Have Boundaries -

Building Safety Anchors lesson 1

September 15th, 2020


I have a new course called "Building Safety Anchors" and this is the first lesson.  The course is 30 days of learning and practicing about your personal safety anchors - things that keep you anchored in the present …

Bad Therapy - Honey

September 10th, 2020


A response to a Bad Therapy story from a listener.  Yeah, this is a bad one.  

Become a $5 Patreon member -


When Parents Are Not Supportive

September 8th, 2020


Natasha asks how to work with kids when their parents are not supportive.  This is a huge question and I contribute my initial thoughts.  I work with kids from pretty extreme situations where "not supportive" can be …

Big T Little T Labels Do Not Matter

September 1st, 2020


A response to an email which is in response to this episode -

This week’s Patreon episode - Panic Attacks and Not Thinking Clearly (17min)

Essence of Everything, Happiness and Pain

August 18th, 2020


Way off of our normal path here, but I wanted to try a new direction.  Hope you don't mind something very different for this week's episode.

Lots more stuff on my Patreon -

SnB Merch -

Race Stories

August 11th, 2020


Podcast friends Karena Heyward and Mercedes Corona return to do an exercise on our stories around race.  And a lot more.  A lot.

Polyvagal Patrons …

Compassion Message from Bethany

August 6th, 2020


I put out an invitation for messages of compassion to the people that disagree with you.  Bethany took me up on the offer.

Polyvagal Patrons access …

Overwhelmed With Wellness

August 4th, 2020


A response to a listener question about possible mixed messages in the wellness arena of ideas.

Polyvagal Patrons access for $5/mo -

Bad Therapy - Pearls of Wisdom

July 31st, 2020


Not as egregious as the other bad therapy examples, but worth going into.  More Bad Therapy on my Patreon podcast!

Polyvagal Patrons access for $5/mo …

Are We Expecting Too Much re: Listening to Each Other

July 30th, 2020


My response to a listener question, delving deeper into whether or not we can listen to one another.

Polyvagal Patrons access for $5/mo -

Introversion vs Shutdown Revisited

July 28th, 2020


Mercedes and I return to an old topic - introversion vs shutdown. 

Polyvagal Patrons access for $5/mo - 

Stuck Not …

Stuck in Rumination... as a Man

July 23rd, 2020


An old IG Livestream where Mercedes and I discuss rumination in general, but also through the lens of being a man.  I keep coming up with Mercedes …

Use Your Eyes - Present Moment Present 1

July 21st, 2020


My Present Moment Present to you, a guided open-eyed meditation for you to ground yourself in the present moment.  Big thanks to my Patrons for giving me feedback as I worked to refine and improve this Present Moment …

Does Restraining a Child Cause Trauma

July 14th, 2020


A reply to a Listener voice message.  This is my opinion on the question based on my understandings and experience.  I've got a companion episode to this on my Patreon where I discuss a recent dental visit for my son, …

Shyla Cash - An Imperfect Discussion on Race

July 7th, 2020


A discussion that was originally constrained to Rage vs Anger and quickly became something else.  We go into many things around race.

Shyla Instagram -

Shyla Website -

Podcast Name Change - Stuck Not Broken

June 26th, 2020


There's nothing you need to do differently.  If you're subscribed to the podcast, it'll update automatically and the next episode should download as …

Why Would I Listen When Someone...?

June 25th, 2020


2 responses to listener questions.  This episode is challenging.  I highly recommend you be in a state of being able to hold two conflicting …

We Do Not Have Leaders

June 23rd, 2020


We choose who to give our attention to.  

Polyvagal Patrons access for $5/mo - 

Mugs & more from Justin -

Listening When You Don't Agree

June 16th, 2020


We don't do a very good job of listening to each other.  This episode applies to a wide range of situations, including very divisive issues such as …

Our Dividing Line / an Open Letter to You

June 8th, 2020


An Open Letter and an invitation to you.  Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts with me.  I would like to share the thoughts of my listeners …

Eating Disorders p2 / Rachel Lewis-Marlow and Dr Laura Oyer

May 28th, 2020


I'm joined by Dr Laura Oyer and Rachel Lewis-Marlow to discuss eating disorders and the PVT plus a lot of somatic stuff around ED.  Must listen.

Eating Disorders p1 / Rachel Lewis-Marlow and Dr Laura Oyer

May 26th, 2020


I'm joined by Dr Laura Oyer and Rachel Lewis-Marlow to discuss eating disorders and the PVT plus a lot of somatic stuff around ED.  Must listen.

What Makes a Good Therapy Client?

May 19th, 2020


Listen to "What Makes a Good Therapist?" on Patreon - 

Mugs & more from Justin -

Recommended reading -

Why Do We Try To Change Other People?

May 14th, 2020


Another episode I found with Mercedes!  I swear I'm running out of these, though there's a lot more of her and I on Patreon.  She and I look into why we try to change other people instead of ourselves based on a …

PVT in Online Psych Class and Therapy / Karena Heyward

May 5th, 2020


Karena Heyward is a therapist and teacher, both using online platforms and integrating the Polyvagal Theory.

Karena Heyward, PhD., LPC, ACS, NCC

Find …

Is Telling the Trauma Story Necessary for Treatment / TCE1

April 30th, 2020


Read the original blog entry here, with links to sources cited -

Links to all TCE1 entries here -

How to Feel Your Feelings

April 28th, 2020


I asked my followers what they're stuck on and this is one of the responses - "How do I feel my feelings?"

Polyvagal Patrons access for $5/mo -

Deb Dana - Book 2 and COVID-19

April 20th, 2020


(some links will take you to Amazon where I get a portion of the sale at no extra cost to you)

The Polyvagal Wonder Woman (see interview 1) comes …

Were Your Parents Capable of Doing Better?

April 16th, 2020


Content/trigger warning - this is a heavy episode.  Do not listen if you don't want this question answered.  I appreciate you being a listener and …

First Anniversary Reflections

April 14th, 2020


Mercedes comes back for episode 53!  She was such a big part of the podcast for so long, it just wouldn't be an anniversary episode without her.  She …

Complex PTSD and the Polyvagal Theory

April 7th, 2020


My thoughts on the intersection of PTSD and the Polyvagal Theory.  There's a lot of polyvagal implications with this one.

Polyvagal Patrons access …

Tune Up Fitness Interview for Jill Miller's Epic Vagus Nerve Blog

April 2nd, 2020


Honored to have been asked to provide my input into Jill Miller's incredible blog article, written by Suzanne Krowiak.  They allowed me to record and publish the conversation Suzanne and I had; I think it goes some …

Narcissistic Personality Disorder and the PVT

March 31st, 2020


The most requested DSM diagnosis!  Please, when you listen, come from curiosity and learning, not from attempting to diagnose yourself or another.

Bad Therapy 4

March 26th, 2020


3 examples of Bad Therapy from listeners/followers.  

If you're in California and interested in working with me as your therapist, you can find out …

Borderline Personality Disorder and the Polyvagal Theory

March 24th, 2020


Is the mixed Freeze state underlying the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder?  There are polyvagal implications aplenty in this one!

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and the Polyvagal Theory

March 17th, 2020


I think that OCD has an underlying high flight energy or freeze energy to it.  I go in depth into how the polyvagal theory might apply to the …

Coronavirus, Panic and Grounding Yourself

March 16th, 2020


Some polyvagal thoughts about the coronavirus panic that we've all seen probably.  I'm hoping this helps you to ground yourself.  I highly recommend …

Change Sucks and Mercedes' Final Episode

March 10th, 2020


Join Mercedes and I in our final episode together.  Her path of self growth is simply taking her in a different direction.

More Polyvagal Podcast …

Helping a Psychology Student With a Class Assignment About MFTs

March 5th, 2020


I chat with a psychology undergrad from Dixie State University about what got me into being a therapist, the polyvagal theory paradigm shift and …

ADHD and the Polyvagal Theory

March 3rd, 2020


Looking at AD/HD in comparison to the Polyvagal Theory. 

Connect on LinkedIn -

More Polyvagal Podcast content …

PTSD and the Polyvagal Theory

February 25th, 2020


A solo episode from Justin.  He examines the DSM5 diagnostic criteria for PTSD in comparison to the polyvagal theory.  

More Polyvagal Podcast …

Dreams and the Polyvagal Theory / Wonderings

February 18th, 2020


No definitive statements being made here.  These are things that Justin is wondering about, putting some potential puzzle pieces together.  And some insight into the way he works with clients around dreams.

More …

Bipolar Disorder and the Polyvagal Theory

February 12th, 2020


Compared to the anxiety and depression diagnoses, bipolar disorder was more difficult to break down into polyvagal terms.  Seems like the issue is …

Traumas After the Trauma(s)

February 4th, 2020


Definitely a content warning on this one.  Don't listen if you're not ready.  No specific details of traumatic events, but definitely an emotionally triggering episode.

Often a client will tell me that the moment their …

Generalized Anxiety Disorder and the Polyvagal Theory

January 28th, 2020


Mercedes and I share our thoughts on GAD, discussing each criteria of the DSM diagnosis.  This episode is not meant to diagnose!  We aren't your therapist and we aren't diagnosing you.  We're comparing the PVT to the …

Interruptions and Tension Between Mercedes and Justin?

January 21st, 2020


Mercedes and Justin address a topic that has been brought up a few times: Justin's tendency to interrupt and the "tension" between the two.  This is …

Depression as Shutdown of the Polyvagal Theory

January 14th, 2020


A solo episode from Justin looking at the criteria to diagnose Major Depressive Disorder and comparing it to the shutdown autonomic state of the …

That's Not Strength / Open Letter 06

January 7th, 2020


You can hear and download all 10 Open Letters for $20 when you purchase Stack 1.  You will also receive a downloadable PDF of each letter that you can print out and read whenever you like.  

Buy Stack 1 here -

Big T vs Little t Trauma

December 31st, 2019


Phrasing we use a lot, but what does it mean exactly? This is originally from an Instagram Livestream.

More Polyvagal Podcast content -

How to Know if You Have Released a Trauma

December 20th, 2019


It will feel different day to day, including more capacity to handle your typical triggers.  And it might be a noticeable discharge of energy.

Hear …

The Pressure on Parents / No Consequences at All?

December 19th, 2019


This topic has me genuinely upset and concerned about my fellow parents.  There is an incredible amount of pressure on parents to basically be …

Co-Regulating Our Partners

December 16th, 2019


We answer a listener question on how to better co-regulate a partner.

Get  more Polyvagal Podcast content on -

Happy Holidays Week from Justin & Mercedes

December 16th, 2019


Our week-long gift as a thank you to you.  You and your fellow #traumanerds have been instrumental in the success of this podcast.  And as a result, …

Is That Self Care?

December 5th, 2019


Prompted by a question about parenting from a listener.  Turned into an interesting question about self care - what it is and what it isn't.  Does it have to be alone?  Does it have to be without your kids present?

More …

Safety vs Protection

December 3rd, 2019


Protection is something we settle for.  Safety is something we deserve.  And more! 

Open Letters / Stack 1 -

Intro/Outro music & Transition Sounds by Benjo Beats -

Empathy vs Compassion

November 26th, 2019


In episode 15, Dr Porges himself differentiated between empathy and compassion.  We've mentioned this numerous times since then.  We examine the …

Polyvagal Ladder Audio Guide

November 21st, 2019


An audio clip originally from an Instagram Live we did.  Join us every Sunday at 915pm PST on Instagram Live!

Download the Polyvagal Ladder guide …

Curiosity vs Evaluation

November 19th, 2019


We've mentioned the difference between curiosity and evaluation a few times on the podcast before.  In this episode, we drill down further than ever in search of a deeper understanding.  Mercedes opens with curiosity …

Irene Lyon Interview p1

November 5th, 2019


Show notes are available at

Links are to Amazon, where I get a portion of the sale at no extra cost to you.

Gabor Mate, When The Body Says No  -

Peter …

Are You an Introvert... or in Shutdown?

October 31st, 2019


Another excellent question from a fellow Trauma Nerd - are shutdown and introversion the same thing?  We don't have a crystal clear answer on that, but we've got an interesting discussion on it.  We'd love to hear what …

Jealousy vs Insecurity - Same Thing?

October 29th, 2019


We look at jealousy and insecurity - how are they connected?  Are they actually the same thing?  And how do they tie into the Polyvagal Theory?  Our …

Stuck in Shutdown - Stop Fighting It!

October 24th, 2019


If you're stuck in shutdown, you're definitely not alone.  Getting out of shut down and back up the polyvagal ladder might require less fighting than …

Workplace Environment, Culture & the Polyvagal Theory

October 22nd, 2019


We already know that the environments we spend time in are filled with cues of danger and safety.  The workplace is no different.  But what about how …

Take Ownership Over Your State

October 17th, 2019


The work isn't done FOR us or TO us.  It's on us though.

Get even more Polyvagal Podcast content, including the rest of this livestream, for $5 a …

Jill Miller: Yoga & the Polyvagal Theory part 2

October 15th, 2019


More in depth show notes are available here -

Check out the Coregous Ball for yourself here -

Jill Miller: Yoga & the Polyvagal Theory part 1

October 8th, 2019


More in depth show notes are available here -

Check out the Coregous Ball for yourself here -

Stop Asking "Why?" & What Your Eyebrows Are Saying

October 1st, 2019


We talk in depth about why it's not necessarily helpful to ask "why" to someone you're listening to.  We also talk about eyes and eyebrows when it …

Trauma Bonding & the Polyvagal Theory

September 26th, 2019


If you need even more Polyvagal Podcast content, we got it for you!

Contact either of us at -

9 Ways You ARE Listening

September 24th, 2019

  1. You really try to understand me, even if I’m not making much sense.
  2. You grasp my point of view, even when it’s against your own sincere convictions.

The 4 Parenting Love Tips Apply to Teens Too

September 19th, 2019


We look back on the 4 ways to express love that your child will experience as love and apply it to teens. Yes, they need your love too!

the 4 Ways to Express Love episode -

More …

7 Ways You Are NOT Listening

September 17th, 2019


7 ways that you are not listening:

  1. You say you understand.
  2. You say you have an answer before you've heard the problem.
  3. You cut someone off before …

Consequence Fundamentals for Parents

September 3rd, 2019


All about consequences in this episode:

  1. Why they are important
  2. When they mean nothing
  3. Positive consequences vs gift/reward/bribe
  4. Natural consequences

Deb Dana Interview: Story Follows State, Climbing the Ladder and Diagnosing

August 27th, 2019


Deb Dana - one third of my Polyvagal Trinity.  Deb Dana is called "the Pied Piper of the Polyvagal Theory," and honestly someone I want to be like …

You Are Not Your Diagnosis

August 22nd, 2019


You're not you're diagnosis.  It's a label - a shorthand system for professionals to use - to collect "symptoms" that typically occur together.  It …

4 Ways to Express Love That Your Kids will Experience as Love

August 20th, 2019


We go in depth into each of these four ways to express love.  It's not enough to just love your kiddos, you also need to express it.  And express it in ways they will be able to get.

1. Say it out loud

2. Write it down

Parental Anxiety About Kids' Trauma and Kids' Anxiety About School

August 15th, 2019


We answer two questions from our amazing Listeners.  We originally answered these on our weekly Instagram Live segment, which you can be a part of every Sunday at 915pm PST.

Consider supporting the podcast - $5/mo will …

Applying Parental Co-Regulation

August 13th, 2019


Lots of co-regulation ground covered in this episode:

  1. Kids neurocepting danger cues
  2. your state vs your empathy
  3. your empathy vs your compassion
  4. face …

Avoiding Creating a Trauma in Your Kids & Approaching a Parent who is Stuck

August 9th, 2019


We answer two more questions from our Dear Listeners about parenting - 

1. "How can parents avoid creating a trauma with their kids?"

2."How do you approach a parent who is stuck?"

Support the podcast here - …

Understanding Parental Co-Regulation Before Kids' Self-Regulation

August 6th, 2019


Self-regulation is built upon co-regulation.  Kids aren't born able to self-regulate, but they are born ready to receive a parent's co-regulation.

Parental and Toddler Polyvagal State Shifts

August 2nd, 2019


We answer two questions submitted by two of our amazing listeners:

1. How to best overcome a parental state shift?

2. Do toddlers experience …

We Don't Control Our Kids and How to Strengthen Their Vagal Brake

July 30th, 2019


Two big ideas discussed in this episode: 1. Strengthening the vagal brake as a fundamental purpose of parenting and why. 2. You don't control your …

The Role of Narratives in Surviving a Sexual Assault

July 29th, 2019


Taken from an Instagram Live on July 21, 2019.  we discuss the function of "Stories" or "Narratives" that a survivor of sexual assault may be living …

Therapy and the Polyvagal Theory

July 16th, 2019


We apply the polyvagal theory to the process of psychotherapy.



Bad Therapy 3

July 9th, 2019


Mercedes and I break down some real life examples of #badtherapy for the final time!  Plus we share our own bad therapy and a couple of good therapy examples too. more detailed show notes on …

Bad Therapy 2

July 2nd, 2019


We look at more listener submissions of their #badtherapy experiences.  And believe it or not, there's many more we haven't gotten to. More detailed show notes on JOIN THE TRAUMA NERDS …

Bad Therapy 1

June 25th, 2019


We continue the Bad Therapy series, this time with real examples submitted to us by listeners and Instagram followers.  We dissect the therapeutic …

Basic Therapy

June 18th, 2019


Welcome to the first installment of the Bad Therapy series.  We need to first understand some basics of what therapy is and how it works.  Clients are walking into sessions with a combination of hope and desperation - …

Top-Down Thoughts to Climb the Polyvagal Ladder

June 11th, 2019


We tackle the issue directly - you're normal, you survived, your body is awesome and is probably working fine.  Plus a whole lot more.  

More …

Bottom-Up & Outside-In Ways to Change Your Polyvagal State

June 4th, 2019


Mercedes & I discuss how we personally use different bottom-up techniques to climb the polyvagal ladder and reach a more safe & social state …

Climbing the Ladder with Listener Submissions!

May 28th, 2019


Full show notes are available on

We got some Listener submissions for how they use the polyvagal theory to …

Dr Stephen Porges Interview: Mental Disorders, Substance Use, Psychiatry & the Polyvagal Theory

May 21st, 2019


Full show notes are available on

I had the distinct pleasure of being able to talk in-depth with Dr Porges about the …

Teacher Self-Care & Being Ready to Teach

May 14th, 2019


This is part 5 of 5 of the Polyvagal Schools series. Full show notes are on   We hear about students being "ready to learn," but …

Relationships Over Academics

May 7th, 2019



This is the Polyvagal Schools series,  part 4 of 5 -  A slew of trauma-informed ways for educators to improve relationships with their students. …

Classroom Structure - Consequences, Fidgets & Flexibility

April 30th, 2019


Polyvagal Schools episode part 3 of 5 - The Polyvagal Theory applied to the classroom structure.  We look at suspensions, fidgets, quiet zones in the …

Classroom Danger Cues & What to Do About Them

April 23rd, 2019


Part 2 of 5 of the Polyvagal School series - Danger cues in the classroom: the environment, the teacher and peers!  And we give you some unique ways …

Path of Transition & Cues of Danger in School

April 16th, 2019


Mercedes Corona, LMFT joins me to talk in depth about what the Path of Transition is and how it applies to the school environment.  Part 1 of our …

Attachment, Generational Trauma & the Polyvagal Theory

April 9th, 2019


Attachment is integral to the mechanics of how generational trauma is actually passed on.  I take a look at this through the lens of the amazing …

Mixed States & the Polyvagal Theory

April 2nd, 2019


I cover the other Fs that I've been seeing, like "flop," "friend" and "fawn."  Plus an in depth look into why I don't think these are primary autonomic responses to danger or life threat.  And more, much  more.

Twitter …

Play, Stillness & the Polyvagal Theory

March 26th, 2019


We've covered the primary states (Safe, Flight, Fight & Freeze), now let's look at a couple of state combos: play & stillness.

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Pinterest -

Vagal Brake, Co-Regulation & the Polyvagal Theory

March 19th, 2019


A look at the vagus, the vagal brake, the window of tolerance AND co-regulation.  It's a jam-packed episode from your host, Justin Sunseri, LMFT99147.

Trauma, Shame & the Polyvagal Theory

March 12th, 2019


A way way in-depth look into how trauma works plus what shame and disgust have to do with it.  From Justin Sunseri, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist 99147.


    -Website -

Freeze & the Polyvagal Theory

March 5th, 2019


Justin goes in depth into the Freeze response - the bottom of the polyvagal ladder!


     -Website -

Flight, Fight & the Polyvagal Theory

February 26th, 2019


I dive into the sympathetic autonomic nervous system and how flight/fight arousal can become chronic and affect our day to day lives.

Justin Sunseri, LMFT 99147

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Pinterest -

Safety, Social Engagement & the Polyvagal Theory

February 19th, 2019


We start at the top of the Polyvagal Ladder with the Safety & Social Engagement autonomic nervous system, the face to heart connection!

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Intro to the Polyvagal Theory

February 9th, 2019


An intro to the Polyvagal Theory from Dr Stephen Porges.  Autonomic state shifts, creating narratives, neuroception and more!

More Polyvagal Podcast …

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