Developmental Trauma / early ACEs – NARM

The challenge of early childhood adverse experiences/developmental trauma: 

 One thing you who had secure or happy childhoods should understand  about those of us who did not, we who control our feelings, who avoid  conflicts at all cost or seem to seek them, who are hypersensitive,
self-critical, compulsive, workaholic, and above all survivors.
We are not that way from perversity and we cannot just relax and let it go.
              We have learned to cope in ways you never had to.”
       People sneer at escapism. Well, there are those of us who need it.”
.                       — Piers Anthony on surviving unhappy childhoods,
Anthony is a science fiction/fantasy writer most famous for his long-running Xanth series. Many of his books have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list.  
Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence.                               — Peter Levine, PhD, In an Unspoken Voice
“We could say that somatic work intends to harness the plasticity of the brain and nervous system, that it seeks to stimulate dendritic growth and neural connectivity by supporting the biological completion of developmental tasks and disruptive traumatic events.”   – Aline LaPierre.
Solutions: NARM – NeuroAffective Relational Model (or, one of my client decided it should be called, Nurturing, Attuned Relationships Method
…. NARM is an extension of Somatic Experiencing (SE), helpful for working through the syndromal, long-term health consequences of adverse childhood experiences – LCC /. .. The Book of NARM:  Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship (second subtitle: Connection – Our Deepest Desire and Greatest Fear: The NeuroAffective Relational Model for Healing Developmental Trauma) by by Laurence Heller, Aline Lapierre – North Atlantic Books – (2012)   

Introduction to Healing Developmental Trauma with Dr. Laurence Heller.

Dr. Heller on NARM, describing his work for SE practitioners: Differences between Shock Trauma and Developmental Trauma As opposed to many shock traumas, there usually is no single traumatizing event in cases of developmental/relational trauma. When children experience ongoing misattunement (a lack of connection between caregiver and child), neglect, or abuse, they are trapped in an impossible situation. Caregivers are supposed to protect and keep children safe; children cannot run from, or fight, the parents upon whom they are completely dependent. . . .. To manage this bind, children develop survival strategies which I call adaptive survival styles (formerly known as character structures). When adaptive survival styles persist beyond their usefulness and are still active in adult life, they create significant psychobiological challenges that cannot be handled on a nervous system level alone. This is because they have permeated a person’s very sense of identity— typically in the form of chronic shame and low self esteem. While the physiological responses in developmental trauma are in many ways similar to those of shock trauma, SE therapists also need to understand how to address the complicating psychodynamic and relational elements of these survival strategies.