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Befriending Your Nervous System—Sounds True Interview of Deb Dana (2020)

Everyone has a nervous system. One of the things that this nervous system does is it listens. And then it reflects, and then it responds.

A nervous system listens to internal and external environments. It takes in what it hears. It reflects: is this information a cue of safeness or threat? It responds: if it interprets what it hears as a cue of threat, it does certain things; if it interprets what it hears as a cue of safeness, it does others.

In the warm, informative interview I’ve linked to below, Tami Simon, founder of Sounds True, interviewed Deb Dana in June 2020 on what she means exactly by “befriending our nervous system“.

Interestingly, in the same way that our nervous systems listen, reflect, and respond, I might say that befriending our nervous systems involves, at least in part, the very same processes. We listen, we reflect, we respond – and we do this in a befriending kind of way.

In the interview, Deb Dana invites the listener to consider, “In this moment, what feels nourishing to my nervous system?” What state is my nervous system in right now? What might be helpful? What does it need?

In the interview, Deb also speaks to both the shared and unique/personal aspects of how our nervous systems respond to information. You can listen to the interview by clicking here.


Deb Dana works as a therapist and consultant specializing in complex trauma. I have had the pleasure and good fortune of Deb’s work (and that of many others) influencing my own. I have also had the good fortune to benefit from the work of Tami Simon. Thank you to both.