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Polyvagal Theory with Claire Wilson


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“Children behave their way to safety.”

Claire Wilson

This is episode 85 and today I’m here with Claire Wilson talking about Polyvagal Theory.This is episode 85 and today I’m here with Claire Wilson talking about Polyvagal Theory.


Claire has always had an ability to see things from a child’s perspective. ‘I get how they think, how the world makes sense to them. And I believe they want what we all want: To be safe. To be seen. To be wanted. To be respected, loved, nurtured and celebrated.

After many years as a class teacher in the UK, I spent time working with street kids in Brazil and India. When I came back to the UK I knew I was meant to do something else… I trained as a Play Therapist and after a few years I was working with children CAMHS were referring to me.

A car crash helped me understand everything I’d learnt about trauma in my head and made it real in my body. It also made me know I am still here… for a reason. I believe my reason is to continue advocating for children and empowering grown-ups to understand children better, to connect in deeper ways and know what to do to help them thrive.

So many of the children who are struggling have met trauma. Trauma is real, it changes lives but does not have to be a life sentence, for the child or those around them.

Claire is the author of the internationally acclaimed book GROUNDED – Discovering the Missing Piece in the Puzzle of Children’s Behaviour, and TEDx talk on our children’s mental health crisis. She is able to speak, inspire, train groups on tough subjects while keeping them emotionally safe. She is the Founder of GROUNDED GrownUps® and loves working closely with those who really want to change.


Autonomic Nervous System: We introduce the autonomic nervous system and walk through its hierarchy.

Grounded: We explain what it means to be grounded.

Neuroception: We go over neuroception.

Trauma: We share how trauma affects the nervous system.

Co-Regulation: We speak to the co-regulation, which is actually one of the most significant and invisible things I do as a mother.

Autonomic Flexibility: We offer some strategies we can use to move ourselves between states with autonomic flexibility and address how we can support our kids in moving up the ladder and what that might look like. 

Help with Polyvagal Theory

There is a whole lesson in the new Sage Mothering course on States to help us integrate an understanding of our nervous system into our parenting, an awareness of where we are on that ladder, and a practice of flexibility in moving between states. If you’re ready to foster a healthy relationship with your nervous system, take the Sage Mothering course at

Dive Deeper

Disclosure: When I recommend a product that I believe will add value for you, it may contain an affiliate link, and when you click the link to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Grounded ebook on Amazon

Grounded in paperback (worldwide shipping) and audio book

Polyvagal Theory in Therapy

Grounded Grown Ups

Claire’s Ted Talk

Grounded Grown Ups Conversations

Claire on FB

Claire on IG

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I work from an island in the Pacific Northwest, where I live wild and free in connection with my hilarious husband and three growing sailors in our fixer upper on the beach. I authentically live this healing work out loud raising my own neurodivergent family (inner child included) and draw on my decades of education and experience (I've done all the nerdy work so you don't have to) to guide a revolution of overwhelmed parents just like you to feeling at peace within yourself, consciously connected with your children, embraced by a supportive community, and enjoying a values-aligned life you love.

Gentle parenting, natural homeschooling, & simple living mentor

I'm Rachel Rainbolt

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