YOUR THINKING AROUND
A NEW THERAPY PARADIGM
Holly Bridges’ A.R.T. (Anxiety Reframe Technique)
Gentle, physical exercises that improve wellbeing, confidence and sense of self within an holistic, neurodivergent and developmental framework
Working with Autism / ADHD / ID
Practical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory
6 Week Course
FOLLOW OUR JOURNEY
Polyvagal Theory & Autism
The Polyvagal Theory is based on the work of Stephen W. Porges PhD. This theory is based on the vagus nerve and the way that it works within the body to help us interact with our world.
In a nutshell The Polyvagal Theory suggests that we have three main ways of operating: we can be in an open state where we can be calm and our social faculties (eyes, ears, face, voice, connection to heart), digestive and cognitive faculties, like executive functioning and working memory, are all online and available for us to use.
Brain Plasticity & Autism
We used to think that the brain was fixed and not capable of change, but it’s not true. The brain is capable of changing – at any age – and when we work with the body as well as the mind, we have an even greater capacity to make positive changes.
People on the autism spectrum, whether they can speak; whether they are hypo or hyper reactive; whether they are five, fifteen or fifty are all intelligent and all have highly sophisticated nervous systems that are capable of learning.
When we are stuck in an immobilised (hypo) state it can be hard to feel what is going on in your body because our interoceptive capacity has been turned off. When we are in a hyper- alert state, we can feel too much, or nothing. This skill of interoception is something that comes on and offline depending on what state we are in.
It’s not much use teaching people stuck in an immobilised state to cognitively try and work out what’s happening in their body – because they can’t! They can’t because the body and nervous system are not in the right physical state. We literally can’t feel things or ‘know’ things about our internal state when we are in shut-down. If we’ve always been in shut-down, we’ve probably never learnt to do this.
Working with Holly Bridges
Professor of Psychiatry.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“I became acquainted with Holly in 2014, when she contacted me to evaluate a prepublication copy of her book, Reframe Your Thinking Around Autism: How the Polyvagal Theory and Brain Plasticity Help Us Make Sense of Autism.
Since I developed Polyvagal Theory, I was curious how she would distill the concepts of theory into an accessible volume that would be helpful to those on the autism spectrum, their families, and the therapists and educators who support them. In reading her book, I realized that Holly had a gifted presentation style that enabled her to communicate the optimistic and important principles of the Polyvagal Theory.
Holly continues to refine her clinical style, embodying aspects of Polyvagal Theory, that enable her to support her clients’ journey to have richer lives and to experience the benefits being safe enough to co-regulate with others.
Focusing on witnessing the client’s biobehavioral state and providing cues of safety through own presence and accessibility, she has successfully expanded the range of the social behavior and resilience”.
DR. GERARD COSTA
Former Director, Centre for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health.
Montclair State University, New Jersey
“Holly is an incredible thinker and a sought-after consultant and interventionist with neurodiverse children and families. However her skills as a writer and presenter are extraordinary.
She is warm, engaging and energetic with the capacity to teach about very complex topics in very understandable ways.
One of her special gifts as a presenter is her use of simple line drawings of human and brain/nervous system structures and functions, making the complex interactions come alive, making incredible sense to participants with varying levels of knowledge.
Holly is one of those rare “translators” of science into application and practice. She teaches professionals and families and supports those with developmental difficulties with deep understanding, passion and care.
She is a gift to our work.”