THE NARM™ PRACTITIONER TRAINING PROGRAM CURRICULUM:
A PRACTITIONER TRAINING FOR HEALING DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA

Course Description

The NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM™) is an advanced clinical training for mental health and somatic practitioners who work with developmental trauma.  NARM addresses relational and attachment trauma by working with early, unconscious patterns of disconnection that deeply affect our identity, emotions, physiology, behavior and relationships.  Integrating a psychodynamic and body centered approach, NARM offers a comprehensive theoretical and clinical model for working with developmental trauma.

NARM draws on psychodynamic models such as attachment and object relations theory, somatic models and character structure approaches, in addressing the link between psychological issues and the body.  Working relationally in the present moment, and within a context of interpersonal neurobiology, NARM offers a new approach of working relationally that is a resource-oriented, non-regressive, non-cathartic, and ultimately non-pathologizing model.  Grounded in mindfulness and contemplative spiritual practices, NARM supports a non-western orientation to the nature of personality.  Learning how to work simultaneously with these diverse elements is a radical shift that has profound clinical implications for healing complex trauma and supporting personal and relational growth.

Course Objectives

In the NARM Practitioner Training you will learn:

  • The different skills needed to work with developmental versus shock trauma; when and why shock trauma interventions may be contraindicated in working with developmental trauma.
  • How to address the complex interplay between nervous system dysregulation and identity distortions, such as toxic shame and guilt, low self-esteem, chronic self-judgment, and other psychobiological symptoms.
  • How to work moment-by-moment with early adaptive survival styles that, while once life-saving, distort clients’ current life experience.
  • When to work ‘bottom-up’, when to work ‘top-down’, and how to work with both simultaneously to meet the special challenges of developmental trauma.
  • How to support clients with a mindful and progressive process of disidentification from identity distortions.
  • A new, coherent theory for working with affect and emotions, which aims to support their psychobiological completion.

Course Structure

The NARM Practitioner Training consists of 120 contact hours and is offered in four 4.5 day live modules (format may vary depending on training location).  The live modules will be held for a total of 18 days over the period of the training.  The training modules are typically spaced 3-4 months apart to allow time for continued study, practice, peer meetings, and training webinars in support of greater integration of the NARM clinical approach.

Supplementary learning opportunities include: study and practice groups, individual and group consultation, individual NARM sessions, access to library of demonstration videos, and other learning intensives.

Teaching Methods

All modules include a combination of 2 complementary instruction approaches:

  1. Didactic and theoretical learning: including lecture, question and answer periods, class-wide discussion, case consultation, and deconstruction of live NARM demonstration sessions and demonstration videos.
  2. Experiential learning: including self-inquiry exercises, small group activities, role-plays, guided skill practice and active coaching on NARM clinical skills and full clinical sessions.


NARM Practitioner Training Curriculum Topic Overview

topics and schedule subject to change by instructor

Module 1

  • NARM Organizing Principles
  • NARM Theoretical Orientation
  • Differentiating Interventions for working with Shock vs. Developmental Trauma
  • Working Top-Down and Bottom-Up
  • Tracking Connection & Disconnection
  • Developmental Process: Attachment & Separation-Individuation
  • Reframing Attachment and Attachment Loss
  • The Distortion of the Life Force Model
  • Distress and Healing Cycles
  • 5 Adaptive Survival Styles
  • Pride and Shame-Based Identifications
  • Connection Survival Style
  • Attunement Survival Style
  • NARM 4 Pillars: Clinical Model
  • NARM Pillar 1: Establishing a Therapeutic “Contract”
  • NARM Pillar 2: Asking Exploratory Questions
  • Deconstruction of Experience (in the function of Disidentification)
  • “Drilling Down”: A Process of Challenging Assumptions & Clarifying Experience

Module 2

  • The NARM Relational Model
  • Working Hypothesis
  • Identifying Core Dilemma: Core Themes vs Survival Strategies (Behaviors, symptoms, etc.)
  • Trust Survival Style
  • Autonomy Survival Style
  • Love-Sexuality Survival Style
  • NARM Pillar 3: Supporting Agency (Agency as the Foundation for the Development of the Adult Self)
  • NARM Pillar 4: Reflecting Positive Shifts
  • NARM Languaging

Module 3

  • NARM Model for Working with Affect
  • Primary vs Default Emotions
  • Emotional Completion
  • The Psychobiological Process of Shame (“Shame as a Verb not a Noun”; “Shame as a Process not a State”)
  • Shame, Guilt & Self-Hatred
  • Working with Anger & Aggression
  • Countertransference in NARM
  • Unmanaged Empathy and Therapist Efforting
  • Narcissism and Objectification of Self
  • Narcissistic vs Sadistic Abuse
  • NARM Personality Spectrum

Module 4

  • Deepening Study into the Connection Survival Style Issues, Symptoms and Related Disorders
  • The Interplay of the Survival Styles: Primary and Secondary Patterns
  • Revisiting the Dynamics of Attachment, Separation-Individuation, Attachment Loss and the Core Dilemma
  • Relationships, Couples, Intimacy and Sexuality
  • Survival Styles & the Polyvagal Theory
  • NARM & the Body
  • Working with Identity
  • Transgenerational Trauma
  • Disidentification Process
  • “Cutting the Cord”: Freedom from Identity
  • Post-Traumatic Growth
  • Resiliency: Supporting the Capacity to Tolerate Increasing Complexity
  • Integrating NARM Effectively Into Our Clinical Practice