poly vagal theory

Hi there. I love this work but I do have a question that is confusing me.

Brooke’s approach is a top down approach and I was discussing it with a functional life coach and trauma expert. He explained that yes, there is a top down approach but that there are times when a bottom up approach is necessary and this is called polyvagal theory and it has been thoroughly researched.

Polyvagal theory says that feelings can be triggered subconsciously and that many of our emotions do come from the subconscious… so, there is not a thought that precedes the feeling. Like if you have ever seen a picture of an iceberg, there is a lot below the surface that we cannot see and are unaware of.

It seems as if Brooke allows for this when it comes to anxiety but not other emotions. She allows that her anxiety is there sometimes for no reason. She allows that she can wake up feeling anxiety with no thought to precede it, but when someone says that they have a feeling she says it always has to be preceded by a thought. So… to me that seems like a contradiction.

I want to understand this because if I have a client who has read The Body Keeps the Score, for example, and is versed in top down vs bottom approaches, I don’t want to seem uninformed and push a purely top down approach when there is science to support both. Especially when we deal with anxiety in a more bottom-up way…. sorry if this is a bit all over the place… I am pretty confused on this one.

Thank you.