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NeuroAffective Relational Model™ ( NARM™) / Therapy of Developmental Trauma

The NeuroAffective Relational Model (briefly NARM™), has been developed and founded by the clinical psychologist and trauma-therapist Dr. L. Heller, and is an integrative, psychodynamic-oriented body-therapeutic approach focused on the treatment of developmental trauma. In this approach, in which Somatic Experiencing® method is incorporated, the physical sense (somatic mindfulness) is used therapeutically for the nervous system re-regulation, along with the psychodynamic processing of the distortions of the sense of self, such as low self-esteem, shame and constant self-blame, caused by developmental and relational trauma. The healing process is simultaneously focused on the neurophysiological and psychological (intrapsychic and interpersonal) level, and aims to support and encourage the client to (re)connect with the parts of the self, that are organized, cohesive and functional, while self-awareness and the organism’s capacity for connection and self-regulation are promoted.

“The spontaneous movement in all of us is toward connection, health, and aliveness. No matter how withdrawn and isolated we have become or how serious the trauma we have experienced, on the deepest level, just as a plant spontaneously moves toward sunlight, there is in each of us an impulse moving toward connection and healing. This organismic impulse is the fuel of the NARM approach”. (5)

NARM integrates both psychological and esoteric traditions and adds a biologically based approach that at times helps to solidify a person’s sense of identity and at other times supports the exploration of the fluid nature of identity. The NARM approach holds that the most immediate access to spiritual dimensions is through a regulated physiology. Whereas for hun¬dreds of years, the body, particularly in Western traditions, was seen as an impediment to spirituality, it is a NARM premise that a coherent biological/ psychological self is a springboard to the higher Self. It is only when indi¬viduals have a solid sense of who they are that they can open to the fluid nature of Self. (5)

Laurence Heller Ph.D., Aline Lapierre Psy.D.
Healing Developmental Trauma:
How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image,
and the Capacity for Relationship
North Atlantic Books 2012 

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