Transforming Trauma Episode 053: Mind-Body Healing with Dr. Lissa Rankin in Conversation with Dr. Laurence Heller
A podcast brought to you by the NARM® Training Institute
In this episode of Transforming Trauma, we hear an extraordinary conversation between mind-body physician and author Dr. Lissa Rankin, MD, and NARM creator Dr. Laurence Heller, PhD. Their conversation centers around healing through the integration of western and non-western healing modalities. Dr. Rankin believes that to optimize healing it takes an integrated approach between the sciences, traumatology, spirituality, and collective healing.
Dr. Heller acknowledges the powerful overlap between these approaches, and more specifically shares how science is now validating the various forms of complex trauma that NARM addresses, for example, working with pre and perinatal trauma. “It's nice that in that area and in many others now, we're getting scientific support for things that we've known for a long time, but [at one time] were considered a little far out there, at least in some circles.”
Throughout their conversation, Dr. Rankin reflects on her own experiences with developmental trauma. She distinguishes the type of trauma she experienced compared to the trauma that was assessed in the ACES study. “Somebody like me would get lost because I look really high functioning and I'm not sick and I have an ACE score of zero.” She further explains that despite having an ACE score of 0, she still believes she experienced developmental trauma. She compares her trauma to what NARM calls the Attunement Survival Style. Dr. Heller acknowledges the distinction she is drawing and the limitations that the ACE study has when it comes to children experiencing misattunement. They reflect together on how there is a spectrum of experiences that can create developmental trauma and the importance of expanding the definition of complex trauma.
Dr. Heller distinguishes the NARM framework from psychodynamic and other trauma healing modalities by explaining that NARM is phenomenological. “In NARM, we work in the here and now, what is unresolved from the past again, and again, will organically emerge [in the present] as we work with the difficulties in the here and now.”
Dr. Rankin and Dr. Heller reflect on the various ways they’re both working to make trauma healing more accessible. They discuss the importance of shifting the paradigm from chronic stress to relational health, and that if we can educate frontline workers about how to assess trauma and how to support relational health, we can increase the amount of support people are receiving and start to address trauma collectively. Both Dr. Heller and Dr. Rankin share a mutual desire of bringing their important trauma-healing work into the world, and to anyone suffering from unresolved trauma.
Lissa Rankin, MD, is a mind-body medicine physician, author of 7 books, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, and mystic who researches radical remission, trauma-informed medicine, and spiritual healing. Her TEDx talks have been viewed over 5 million times, and she starred in two National Public Television specials- Heal Yourself: Mind Over Medicine and The Fear Cure. Lissa’s interest in the link between loneliness and disease led her to spearhead her latest project, Heal At Last, a non-profit organization which aims to bring effective trauma healing and spiritual healing methods to anyone ready for the deep dive of healing.