Developing a Neuroception of Safety Scale

  • Morton, Liza (Principal Investigator)
  • Cogan, Nicola (Research Co-investigator)

Project: Research - no external funding

Project Details


The aim of this study is to develop a standardised measure of Neuroception of Safety, grounded in The Polyvagal Theory to enhance clinical and academic work. The PVT offers a ‘Science of Safety’ which revolutionises our understanding of trauma. Viewed through a Polyvagal lens we can better understand why people do or do not feel safe whilst informing clinical practice and strategies to mitigate against exposure to traumatic experiences and promote wellbeing, resilience and post-traumatic growth. To assess the impact of any PVT informed interventions it would be useful to have a standardised measure of feeling safe grounded in this framework. Existing measures consider safety-seeking behaviour following a traumatic event from a cognitive theoretical framework whilst those developed from a PVT framework consider only bodily symptoms. A standardised measure of safety grounded in the PVT which would enhance clinical and academic work in this growing field.

This survey has been developed with consultancy from Dr Stephen Porges, world leader in Polyvagal Theory, Dr Jacek Kolacz, international leader in psychometric scale development (both Kinsey Institute Traumatic Stress Research Consortium, Indiana University), Deb Dana, Psychotherapist and leader in the Clinical Applications of The Polyvagal Theory, USA and leading psychologists working in clinical practice with people who have experienced trauma including Dr Thomas Bacon, Clinical Psychologist, NHS Fife and Dr Emily Pathe, Counselling Psychologist, NHS Lanarkshire.
Effective start/end date31/10/1930/11/21


  • trauma
  • psychologically informed medicine
  • safety
  • polyvagal theory
  • psychometric


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