The NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM) is an effective model for addressing complex, developmental, cultural, and intergenerational trauma. This model is neurobiologically-informed and integrates previous theoretical traditions, including (but not limited to) Attachment Theory, Gestalt, Object Relations, and Somatic Experiencing. NARM provides a powerful method for identifying and disentangling the psychobiological symptoms of anxiety, depression, addiction, guilt, shame, and self-hatred with the possibility of discovering a more fulfilling relationship with oneself and others. NARM’s approach is respectful, experiential and present-focused.
Somatic Experiencing, developed by Peter Levine, PhD, is a naturalistic approach to understanding and treating trauma. Levine developed this approach after observing how prey animals routinely recover from being threatened in the wild. Unike animals in the wild, human “animals” often, due to socialization, learn to override these natural ways of regulating the nervous system with incessant thought, judgment, feelings of shame, avoidance, addiction, depression, anxiety—or just a sense of stuckness in everyday life.
Somatic Experiencing meets trauma on the level of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system(ANS) is responsible keeping us alive by regulating the automatic functions of the body such as heart rate, digestion, and respiration. The ANS governs the fight, flight, freeze response. According to current brain research, the symptoms commonly associated with trauma—such as fear, flashbacks, and a heightened startle reflex—are the result of trauma-induced disruptions in the autonomic nervous system. The goal of Somatic Experiencing is to restore the body’s capacity to regulate itself in order to recover a sense of balance and vitality. As a client learns to track their own autonomic nervous system, they will also learn how to self-regulate and respond more effectively in their everyday life beyond trauma.
Lifespan Integration, developed by Peggy Pace, LMFT, is a highly-structured, yet creative, body-based therapy model that works on a neural level to create integration and coherent sense of self. The method bypasses the cognitive left brain and engages directly with the visual right brain—creating a time-space map through the client’s neurobiology can repair, reorganize and reconstruct resulting with a more accurate and whole sense of self. This method is based on the most current research of the neurobiology of attachment.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), developed by Francine Shapiro, PhD, is an information processing model that works to reduce physiological arousal and negative beliefs associated with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
EMDR works by accessing traumatic memory in a way that allows new neural associations. These new associations are thought to result in complete information processing, new learning, elimination of emotional distress, and development of cognitive insights.