Conversations with Dr. Tony featuring Jan Winhall- Trauma and Addiction

When: Friday, March 18 - 11:00 AM

Duration: 1 hours

Location: Zoom

Event Details:

Addiction is often viewed as a disease that includes self-harming behavior.  However, addictive tendencies are often learned responses to escape trauma or emotional distress. 

In this “Conversations with Dr. Tony,” we spoke with Jan Winhall, a social worker and psychotherapist, about her many years of experience treating addiction with The Felt Sense Polyvagal Model™, which is a way of understanding addictions as state regulation strategies in the autonomic nervous system.  This conversation was also designed to invite attendees to ask questions as well as to share what they have done in their work treating individuals who have experienced addiction following trauma events. 

About the Presenter:

Jan Winhall, MSW, RSW, FOT

Jan Winhall, MSW, RSW, FOT, began her career as a social worker and psychotherapist 40 years ago. She is the director of Focusing on Borden, a psychotherapy and training center, where she creates spaces and relationships built on  focusing-oriented practices to offer healing experiences for her clients. In addition, Jan teaches as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Toronto in the Department of Social  Work. 

During her career, Jan has observed the ways in which individuals utilize self-harming behaviors to seemingly escape intolerable emotional states. As a clinician encountering clients with compulsive, self-harming, and addictive behaviors in increasing numbers, Jan has developed a depathologizing model for understanding and treating trauma and addiction.  This embodied approach integrates Gendlins’  ‘felt sense’  and Porges Polyvagal theory, providing the practitioner with a   paradigm shifting way of understanding addiction not a a disease, but as a  learned response.   In her book Treating Addiction with The Felt Sense Polyvagal Model: A Bottom Up Approach, Jan presents the model, and the Embodied Assessment and Treatment Tool™  to guide therapists in developing a detailed experiential assessment plan.  

Other events in this series:

Wed, Apr 20 2022

Trauma and Addiction with Jan Winhall

Location: Zoom


During this important training, we heard about The Felt Sense Polyvagal Modelâ„¢ (FSPM) and how it shifts the current pathologizing paradigm to a strength-based approach.