Why You Should Find A Therapist With NARM Training
Since individuals are four times more likely to become an alcoholic and inject drugs after experiencing trauma,1 there is no question that traumatic events can leave a lasting mark on one’s physical, psychological, and emotional well-being. If you struggle to come to terms with trauma’s impact on your life and substance abuse, you may be the perfect candidate to work with a therapist with NARM training. NARM is short for NeuroAffective Relational Model.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of working with a licensed therapist with NARM training when dealing with trauma and addiction.
What Experiences Cause Trauma?
Trauma is when any scary, dangerous, or distressing event leaves a lasting impression on someone’s functioning, psychological health, and overall wellbeing. More specifically, complex trauma is found in individuals that have experienced multiple traumatic events and experiences throughout their childhood. The most prevalent traumatic experiences include:
- Sexual assault
- Serious accidents
- War and terrorism
- Natural disasters
- Domestic violence
- Abuse and neglect
- The sudden death of a loved one
- Witnessing the death or injury of someone
The Strong Link Between Experiencing Trauma and Developing A Substance Addiction
Unfortunately, a considerable chunk of people struggling with a substance use disorder have also been victims of trauma in their life. In fact, of the US population diagnosed with lifetime post-traumatic stress disorder, 46.4% of them also fit the criteria for a substance use disorder.2 Furthermore, many individuals exposed to traumatic experiences, especially during childhood, are likely to be linked to future substance abuse and dependence.3
After surviving a life-changing event such as abuse, neglect, assault, and surviving war or natural disaster, many people use alcohol and drugs when they feel they have nowhere else to turn. Typically, these substances are a maladaptive way of coping with stress, anxiety, or pain from traumatic memories and flashbacks. While drugs and alcohol might alleviate this discomfort in the short term, reliance on these substances inevitably leads to more issues as they fall down the slippery slope of addiction.
What Is The NARM Approach For Healing Trauma?
NARM is a proven therapeutic framework and advanced clinical training that is focused on helping individuals heal from their complex trauma and adverse childhood experiences in the here and now. This includes relational, development, and attachment trauma.
The NARM clinical model aims to get to the root of an individual’s trauma by focusing on biological and psychological unity. This treatment approach focuses on understanding and changing the patterns of an individual’s current thoughts, behaviors, and nervous system instead of reliving their past traumatic events.
According to the NARM training institute, the core principles of this model are as follows: 4
- Integrates both a nervous system-based and a relational orientation
- Brings developmentally-informed clinical interventions that use body-mind mindfulness and orientation to resources to anchor self-regulation in the nervous system
- Utilizes link between psychological issues and the body to access the body’s self-regulatory capacities and support balance of nervous system
- Uses mindful inquiry into the more profound identifications and counter-identifications that we take to be our identity
The Benefits Of Seeing A Therapist With NARM Training For Addiction Treatment
Due to the prevalence of complex trauma and substance use disorder, many people struggling with addiction are excellent candidates for receiving support and guidance from NARM trained therapists. With the NARM framework, individuals are equipped with tools to cope with their trauma, rather than abusing drugs and alcohol.
One benefit of working with a NARM therapist is increasing your awareness of the mind, body, and survival strategies. The NARM Model seeks to connect more with your true identity and needs underlying your patterns and coping strategies. With greater awareness, you’ll gain more control and agency over your behaviors, including those related to substance abuse.
Furthermore, the concurrent bottom-up and top-down focus of NARM makes it one of the most well-rounded therapeutic approaches. While the bottom-up approach focuses on recognizing the body’s sensations first, the top-down approach begins with thoughts and emotions. This combination helps individuals regulate both their thoughts and physical sensations as they relate to trauma and addiction.
Our NARM trained therapists are just one of the many proven treatment services we offer at Silver Sands Recovery. We provide an individualized treatment plan to help each one of our clients break the chains of addiction. To get started on a path towards long-term sobriety, contact our team to learn more about our programs today.
About the author:
Lisa Waknin is the Founder and Director of Silver Sands Recovery, located in Prescott, Arizona. Lisa started Silver Sands Recovery after immersing herself in the addiction treatment world for several years to figure out what could be done differently to help her daughter and others like her to overcome addiction and stay sober. She believes in a hands-on treatment approach, which includes taking someone out of their environment, providing a 90-day program in a structured environment. During treatment, clients not only recover physically but also learn to live their life again. Lisa is a sought-after expert speaker for recovery support groups, charities, schools, communities, and companies wanting to educate themselves on the explosion of opiate and heroin abuse in our country and the best way to understand, treat, and beat it.