Transforming Trauma Episode 109: Research and Evidence-Based Analysis for Exploring the Science and Art of NARM with Salman Alawadi
A podcast brought to you by the NARM® Training Institute
In medical terminology, “evidenced-based” is a gold star endorsement awarded to recurrent standards of proof that arise from comparison studies of a specific treatment protocol or prevention. Is it possible to validate NARM’s efficacy using those same evidence-based standards? Should we? In this episode of Transforming Trauma, Emily is joined by Salman Alawadi, a NARM practitioner and Ph.D. candidate in Research, Measurement, and Evaluation at the University of Miami, for a fascinating discussion about the challenges of developing an evidence-based standard for NARM and distilling that research into accessible data.
Clients with Complex-PTSD present with psychological conditions that pose unique limitations for establishing efficacy under the current medical parameter. “The difficulty with NARM establishing itself as an evidence-based treatment lies also in the challenge that is related to conducting any research on complex PTSD.” Salman explains that “the problem is not with pushing toward evidence-based approaches. It's important that there’s a continuous push for evidence because, through evidence, we know what works.” Instead, he calls out psychology’s fixation with the medical model.
Salman argues that applying the same linear methodology used in, say, cancer research to a study of clients with C-PTSD misses the nuances intrinsic to the human brain. “Mental health disorders are not called mental health diseases. When we talk about a disorder, we don't understand the mechanism of it. When we talk about a disease, we know what's going on. A disorder describes the manifestation of a disease that is unknown.” He advocates for creating more rigorous criteria to understand a psychological intervention like NARM than the current evidence-based model. “The role of NARM is to help validate the construct because, as experts in that area, we are the most capable of validating that concept.” To that end, he says NARM practitioners already have the data sitting in front of them in the form of patients. Now, all the NARM community has to do is develop a strategy for collecting that information, conducting a thorough analysis, and disseminating those findings.
We appreciate Salman for sharing his exciting work with us and championing the drive to standardize NARM efficacy research and make it more accessible to all. We invite the Transforming Trauma audience to learn more about Salman’s approach to analyzing NARM outcomes by listening to the entire episode.