NARM for Complex Trauma
The NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM) is an advanced clinical treatment for those who have experienced complex trauma. Complex trauma can stem from childhood abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation, or chronic invalidation. NARM addresses this trauma by working with the attachment patterns that cause lifelong behavioral and psychological symptoms. These attachment patterns develop as coping mechanisms and can have a long-term negative effect on our identity, emotions, and behavior.
Unlike other trauma treatments that are either exposure-based or focused on childhood, NARM is an in-the-moment, non-regressive model. It does not believe that you need to relive your trauma to find healing. Instead, it addresses the survival strategies that one has used to adapt to complex trauma and reveals how they are at play in the present moment. Thus, the therapeutic process for the NARM model is the mindful awareness of self in the present moment. The client is invited into a process of curiosity about their own experience, asking and answering the question, “What are the patterns that are preventing me from being present to myself and others at this moment in my life?”
NARM helps clients establish a reconnection to the various parts of themselves that are organized, coherent and functional and introduces an awareness of those parts that are disorganized and dysfunctional without idealizing the traumatic events. It builds on strengths and enables clients to develop a sense of agency, control, and drive in the difficulties of their current life. Ultimately, the goal of NARM is to move complex trauma survivors to a place where they can access the richness of life and no longer feel defined by their traumatic experiences.