Transforming Trauma Episode 038: NARM, Cross-Cultural Healing and The Natural Self with Adam Tanous
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In this episode of Transforming Trauma, Brad Kammer, NARM Training Director, welcomes Adam Tanous, a therapist and facilitator who lives in Haifa, Israel. Adam works with clients in Arabic, Hebrew and English, and has a unique perspective as a trauma-informed provider who is half-Palestinian, half-Polish and living in Israel. Adam joins Brad to discuss differences and similarities between the ways that Palestinians and Israelis approach spirituality, address intergenerational trauma, and the potential role of NARM in support of personal and cross-cultural healing.
Adam begins by describing his journey from working in the tech industry to working as a therapist, a journey that started when he sought out his own healing from chronic fatigue. Throughout his own healing, he came to appreciate the difference between therapeutic interventions that target symptoms and behaviors, and the relational process that supports a deeper level of healing. He shares the frustration he felt in approaches that missed the mark of meeting the whole self, including one’s spiritual relationship. Thus, as he began his training he focused on therapeutic models that “help people come back to their natural self; which means to be calm, to be connected to the heart, [and to have] good health.” Adam immediately felt aligned with NARM when he first heard about it during an online conference, especially the way NARM recognizes and works with “the root cause of symptoms [that] are deep ingrained patterns from childhood.”
Adam has a unique perspective as a trauma-informed therapist that is Palestinian by background that lives within Israel and works closely with Israelis and Palestinians alike. Brad inquires into how Adam sees that a trauma-informed lens can help us to understand the long-standing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and “what might be stuck there.” Adam describes his understanding that despite the intergenerational trauma, despite the engrained survival patterns that many people are living through, and despite not having leadership in their countries that are actively interested in healing, true connection and transformation is still possible. As he states: “I believe if every person will take the decision to [face their] inner war, this is the only thing that can bring peace here.” This is the NARM principle of self-agency in action.
Adam shares his experience of often being the only Palestinian man in a room full of Israelis at conferences, workshops, and in other settings. He shares how he orients to this reality. “I believe it’s how you see yourself, how you feed yourself. The environment will respond to that. And if I went there, like the only Palestinian inside of Israeli group, and I felt that I’m different, then they will respond to that… But if I go there and I’m connecting with them, like normal, like a human being, they will respond in the same way.” Brad and Adam look at this process through a NARM lens and see it as a process of disidentification, as Adam is able to let go of the identity of “being different” than others and move in the space with freedom and connection to himself and the people around him.
The pair discuss the ways that NARM integrates spirituality into a holistic, psychobiological view of the healing process. Both Adam and Brad share that this is one aspect that really drew them to NARM, as mainstream psychology, and many therapeutic modalities, try to keep mental health and spirituality separate. NARM sees this differently, as Brad succinctly states: “Embodiment, psychological health, and spiritual openness are all the same process.” As the therapist is able to cultivate a quieter, more receptive internal state, there is an opportunity to truly be present with the client in order to access the deeper levels of the wounding from childhood trauma, that has been referred to as the “hole in the soul”.
At the conclusion of this episode, Brad and Adam each share some of their learning about their own experience of intergenerational trauma, and how this learning is helping them to contextualize and understand their own identifications and blocks. They reflect together on the deep level of this work, and how NARM supports profound shifts within themselves and the systems they are related to.
Adam closes the interview sharing his passion to continue spreading NARM throughout the Arabic-speaking world, and supporting individuals and groups that may not otherwise receive such support, in order to heal personal and societal patterns that are built upon unresolved developmental trauma. Adam hopes that more and more people will discover that “new answers [can] be revealed, that you have no idea such answers could exist inside you.”
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Adam Tanous is a therapist and facilitator who accompanies people through self Conscious processes using Focusing, Meditation, Mindfulness and Breath-Work. In addition to guiding workshops and lectures on the subject, Adam has 13 years of experience providing therapy. He’s learned many modalities including Rebirthing, Focusing, Shiatsu, Energy Therapy and, of course, NARM.
The individual and the group sessions are given either online or in person in English, Arabic or Hebrew.