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HeartMinding, PLLC


HeartMinding, PLLC

NARM® Therapy


NARM® Therapy & complex trauma

With respect to complex trauma, NARM® Therapy stands apart. After decades of work, Dr. Laurence Heller designed the NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM®) specifically to address the impact of complex trauma.

Laurence Heller, PhD & Brad Kammer, LMFT consider that:

Complex trauma (C-PTSD) tends to occur in response to ongoing and repeated events that have no clear beginning or end, and are familiar and persistent, are part of one’s everyday life, and are not necessarily life-threatening. (pg 42, The Practical Guide for Healing Developmental Trauma, 2022)


Inner pain and distress often underlie recurrent symptoms and patterns associated with complex trauma. Cognitive and behavioral strategies can reduce symptoms for a period of time. Most often, these cognitive and behavioral approaches do not impact the underlying causes of symptoms and distress. Especially when the roots of the issues are intergenerational, cultural, relational… long term.

Relational therapy

Working through and healing from C-PTSD is imperative for health and well-being. Such healing happens in relationships and often requires help from a professional. NARM® Therapy utilizes the therapeutic relationship and the present moment. Read on!

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More about C-PTSD & NARM® Therapy

Tired of repeating the same patterns? Feeling stuck in relationships? Troubled by mood swings? Angry at the world, everyday? Distracted by endless tasks, commitments or fears? Or, simply too shut down to care? If the answer to any of these is often, ‘yes,’ it may be a symptom of C-PTSD.


So what is the difference between shock trauma (that can lead to PTSD) and complex trauma (that can lead to C-PTSD)? According to Peter Levine, PhD & Diane Poole Heller, PhD:

Shock trauma (PTSD) is linked to an overwhelming event or a life-threatening experience, while developmental trauma is how we hold emotional wounds and toxic stress in our bodies. Working with corrective experiences for developmental trauma can support treatment of shock trauma and vice versa (https://www.somaticexperiencing.com, Feb 3, 2021).

Developmental trauma, a form of C-PTSD

In The Practical Guide for Healing Developmental Trauma (2022), Laurence Heller, PhD & Brad Kammer, LMFT further explain:

…shock trauma as a response to fear [of mortal threat] and developmental trauma as a response to shame… Environmental failures thus impact the organization and security of the Self.”

How can NARM®Therapy help?

NARM® Therapy provides a supportive way to work with the root causes of symptoms and patterns. NARM Therapy addresses the adaptive strategies that drive symptoms, with compassion and honor. Harnessing the human impulse to connect, and capitalizing on the psychobiological capacity to heal, NARM works within the security of a therapeutic relationship. 

What happens in NARM® Therapy?

In NARM® therapy, you can expect curiosity, openness, acceptance, structure, and reflective confrontation. NARM supports the possibility of a deepening relationship with yourself. It offers the opportunity to increase ease, vitality, and connection. NARM does this within the support of a therapeutic relationship. 


NARM® therapy begins with clarifying what you want for yourself. From there, exploration begins, both of things in the way and things in support of what you want.  

Increasing internal awareness

NARM® Therapy welcomes and honors everything formerly needed to cope and adapt. The structure and principles of NARM therapy bring awareness to adaptive strategies from the past in the present moment to create space and choice.  Core dilemmas and emotions are explored with curiosity. This increases connection with self and further supports expansion. 

Increasing vitality

NARM® Therapy welcomes and honors everything once needed to cope and adapt. Getting curious about adaptive strategies breathes space for the possibility of choice in the present moment. Increasing awareness of core dilemmas and stuck emotions with compassion. This strengthens connection with self and further supports expansion.

Inviting relationship with what is happening internally, mindful awareness and relational support make way for increasing options. Creating space and choice supports internal freedom and vitality.


Success story

Therapy with Laurie has been tremendously life changing! I am forever grateful her presence in my life. She has helped me to authentically connect to myself, others around me, and improve my life even with substantial difficulties I’ve faced and still face. She has been a safe, loving, and trusting space for me and helps me make one for myself with myself, as I continue to use what I experience and learn in therapy daily. I feel I can talk about what is important to me with her, and this makes such a wonderful difference in my life.

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