Episode 238: Jan Winhall | Treating Trauma and Addiction With The Felt Sense Polyvagal Model

Jan Winhall is a Clinical Social Worker and Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Toronto in the Department of Social Work. She is also the author of Treating Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model: A Bottom-Up Approach. In this episode, Jan explains how and why addiction becomes a way of coping with trauma and bridges the worlds of trauma treatment and addiction.

Topics Discussed

  • Jan’s early work with a group of women who survived incest.
  • How trauma enacts a process in the autonomic nervous system.
  • Polyvagal Model and Felt Sense
  • The need for safety and how we react when we don’t feel safe.
  • The collective trauma of the pandemic and how people are reacting.


Jan’s website: janwinhall.com