THE NEUROAFFECTIVE RELATIONAL MODEL (NARM™)

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THE NEUROAFFECTIVE RELATIONAL MODEL (NARM™)

 

The spontaneous movement towards connection, health an aliveness is the driving force in all of us. No matter how withdrawn and isolated we have become, or how serious the trauma we have experienced, on the deepest level, just as a plant spontaneously moves towards sunlight, there is in each of us an impulse moving towards connection and healing. This organismic impulse is the fuel of the NARM approach.

Laurence Heller, PhD & Aline LaPierre, Psych.D.

 

WHAT IS NARM™?

The Neuroaffective Relationship Model (NARM™) is a psychotherapeutic approach specifically designed to treat attachment, relationship, and developmental trauma, also referred to as “complex trauma” (Complex-PTSD or C-PTSD). This developmentally oriented, neuroscience-based method emerged from psychotherapeutic orientations such as psychodynamic psychotherapy, attachment theory, Gestalt therapy, and somatic psychotherapy. NARM™ integrates top-down psychotherapy with bottom-up somatics approaches in a relational context.

 

NARM™ was developed by Dr. Laurence Heller over the course of his 45-year clinical career and first introduced in his book, Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image and the Capacity for Relationship. The NARM™ model is a powerful approach to addressing adverse childhood experiences and their long-term consequences as revealed in the ACEs study.

NARM™ assumes that while biography matters, it is not what happened in the past that causes the symptoms people experience as adults. It is the persistence of survival strategies that were once appropriate that distort the present experience and produce symptoms. These survival strategies have lost their usefulness and lead to a constant disconnection from our authentic self and from others.

For example, dissociation and isolation are the primary coping mechanisms for dealing with early trauma. Dissociation and isolation have literally saved people’s lives, but when these mechanisms continue into adulthood, they cause persistent symptoms.

 

It is the distortion of identity that develops in response to early trauma that causes ongoing suffering. Example: When children grow up with unloving parents, they are not able to realize that this is their parents’ failure. Children always experience the failures of the environment as their own failures and develop the feeling that they themselves are not lovable. A core element of the NARM™ model is working with the unconscious need of the child, and later the adult, to protect the attachment and love relationship. By compartmentalizing developmental needs and emotions, the image of the caregiver is protected at the expense of one’s own positive sense of self. This has profound implications on a psychobiological level.

 

The NARM™ clinical model has precise and effective techniques for working with the core issues of identity distortion and physiological dysregulation. Within the NARM™ approach, we work simultaneously with the psychology and physiology of people who have experienced developmental trauma, focusing on the interplay between identity issues and the capacity for connection and regulation.

 

More information here: https://narmtraining.com/what-is-narm/

 

 

 

 

 

 

A. INTRODUCTORY NARM WORKSHOP

This workshop provides an overview and introduces participants to the basic concepts of NARM’s theoretical and clinical approach.

 

 

B. COMPLETE NARM™ PRACTITIONER TRAINING PROGRAMME CURRICULUM

 

An overview of taught topics during the 2 Year NARM Practitioner Training*

 

MODULE 1: 15 - 19 May 2025 (More information here)

  • NARM the
  • Working with shock and developmental trauma
  • Working with top-down and bottom-up integrative approach
  • NARM organising principles
  • Overview of 5 adaptive survival styles
  • Distortions of life force
  • Distress and healing cycles
  • Pride and shame-based identifications
  • Reframing attachment and attachment loss
  • Introducing the 4 pillars of NARM
  • Establishing a therapeutic "contract”
  • The NARM Relational Model
  • Connection survival style
  • Connection: Clients whose access to sensations and feelings are compromised

 

MODULE 2: 30 – September – 4 October 2025 (More information here)

  • Developmental process: Attachment and separation-individuation
  • Asking exploratory questions
  • Somatic mindfulness
  • Attunement survival style
  • Identifying and using resources
  • Working in present time with dual awareness
  • Reflecting positive shifts
  • Autonomy survival style
  • Working with anger and aggression
  • Working with shame and guilt

 

MODULE 3: 14 – 18 April 2026 (More information here)

  • Trust survival style
  • Core vs default emotions
  • Anger and aggression
  • Narcissism and objectification
  • Narcissistic vs sadistic abuse
  • Supporting agency
  • Love-sexuality survival style
  • The psychobiological process of shame (“shame as a verb”)
  • Tracking expansion and contraction/connection and disconnection
  • “Drilling down” / deconstruction of experience (in the function of disidentification)
  • NARM languaging
  • Deepening study into the connection survival style issues, symptoms and related disorders
  • The polyvagal theory
  • Trait-survival style-personality disorder continuum
  • Identifying core dilemma: Core themes vs survival strategies (behaviours, symptoms, etc.)
  • Countertransference and the traps of goal-oriented, solution-focused psychotherapy

 

MODULE 4: 06 -10 October 2026 (More information here)

  • How to develop a working hypothesis
  • Freeze and intrapsychic conflict
  • Self-hatred and self-rejection
  • An overview of NARM’s different orientation to working with personality disorders
  • Therapist’s countertransference acting-out and re-enactment
  • Unmanaged empathy and therapist efforting
  • The interplay of the survival styles: Primary and secondary patterns
  • Survival styles as they relate to intimacy and sexuality
  • Developing capacity for pleasure
  • Working with couples
  • Working with identity
  • Disidentification: Loneliness and freedom
  • Supporting increasing complexity, capacity and resiliency
  • Addressing the physical structure of the adaptive survival styles
  • Working with the social engagement channels: Eyes, ears, face and touch
  • Integrating NARM effectively into our clinical practice
  • Addressing identity from both a psychological and non-Western perspective

* NARM's unique organic approach to healing developmental trauma means that topics and schedules may be subject to change.

 

Please read here the TRAINING REQUIREMENTS AND STUDY RECORD https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/3y5vlj8lapdte38eqk9w4/NARM-TRAINING-REQUIREMENTS.pdf?rlkey=uxo3885i2kzvhtvcniyt7z3ht&dl=0

 

COURSE STRUCTURE:

Each module is presented over a period of 5 days, taught live in Portugal with a total of 30 hours of teaching each module. The 4 live modules will be held for a total of 20 days over the period of the training. The live modules are typically spaced 4 – 6 months apart to allow time for continued study, practice and peer meetings in support of greater integration of the NARM clinical approach.

 

TEACHING METHODS:

All modules include a combination of 2 complementary instruction approaches:

 

1.Didactic and theoretical learning: including lecture, question and answer periods, class-wide discussion, case consultation, and deconstruction of live-demonstrations and videos. 

This training presents highly advanced psychological learning that involves complex, often evocative and transformative material on trauma.

 

2. Experiential learning: including self-inquiry exercises, small group activities, role-plays, active coaching and guided skill practice.

This training presents an opportunity for clinical development based on direct personal experience that involves complex, often evocative and transformative material on trauma.

 

WHO IS IT FOR:

Clinical Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Psychiatrists and other Healing Practitioners with Psychotherapeutic Practice.

 

NARM TRAINING CERTIFICATE

To obtain a Certificate of the entire 2 year of training you need to:

1.  Attend all program sessions

2. Complete 10 supervision sessions including a video recording of a session with a client to review during supervision

3. Attend 10 individual experiential session with certified NARM assistant

4. Some of the supervision sessions and individual experiential sessions can be taken during program sessions (with an extra cost)

 

After each module you will receive an attendance letter, but the Certificate as a NARM therapist will only be provided when you complete the entire training modules, supervision sessions and experiential sessions as described above.

 

TRAINER

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BEATE LEISSE, MD - Specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy

  • Medical studies in Cologne 1986 - 1992
  • ·Physician in internship 1993-1994 psychiatric dept. Klinikum Niederberg Velbert
  • ·License to practice medicine on 1.11.1994
  • ·Residency 11/1994 - 04/1998 psychiatric dept. Niederberg Clinic
  • ·Recognition as a specialist in psychiatry 23.04.1998
  • ·Worked as a medical doctor at the Niederberg Clinic until 31.12.1998
  • ·Senior physician in the psychiatric dept. of the evangelic KH Bergisch Gladbach from Jan 1999 to Jan 2000
  • ·Recognition of the additional title of psychotherapy 12/1999
  • ·Parental leave from Jan 2000 - Jan 2003
  • Promotion 08/2001
  • Since Oct. 2003 working in own practice as medical psychotherapist
  • Certification as EMDR™ therapist Jan 2008
  • Certification as SE™ - Therapist March 2012
  • Certification as NARM™ - Therapist Sept 2014
  • Certification as NARM™ Masterclass Therapist Feb 2016

Since 2015, continuous assistance in various NARM™/NARM™ masterclass trainings in Europe with Dr. Laurence Heller and Michael Mokrus with the authorization to offer individual sessions dedicated to self-awareness, individual supervision and group supervision as part of the training. NARM™ teacher since 2022.

 

ASSISTANTS TRAINERS:

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Bogdana Bursuc Landry - Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist. 

I have been practicing psychotherapy for the last 22 years in my private practice in Bucharest, Romania. I am a NARM psychotherapist since 2017. Over the years I have attended several psychotherapy schools and trainings, DGfS Family Constellations, Neuro-Affective Touch, SE, EMDR, MBSR, CBT - ACT, DBT. One of my master's degrees is Master of Health Psychology at Universidad de Minho, Braga and I still understand Portuguese and can speak a little. I continue my own individual and supervision sessions with my teachers, and for me this is undoubtedly one of the most powerful tools for personal and professional development. I can offer my support in English, French, Romanian and, I hope, soon in Portuguese. And I look forward meeting you.

 

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Karima Valentina Hočevar -graduated from the School of Economics and Business at the University of Ljubljana majoring in Human Resources. She is a certified therapist for various approaches, including Byodinamic Craniosacral Therapy, the NeuroAffective Relational Model™, NARM Masterclass, Somatic Experiencing™, Integral Somatic Psychology™, and Codependency therapy. 

Since 2011, Karima has been leading or co-leading trainings and seminars on Biodynamic apprach to Craniosacral Therapy both in Slovenia and abroad. Additionally, since 2015, she has been an integral part of a team of teachers and supervisors for NeuroAffective Relational Model™ trainings across many European countries. 

Karima is also the founder of Mudita Institute and co-founder of Center Hočevar since 2017.

 

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Ola Myszka - I am a psychologist with almost 20 years of therapeutic experience and a PhD in clinical psychology. I specialize in an individual work with adults suffering from early traumas. In my background I have a Gestalt school of therapy, systemic therapy and practice in dynamic meditation . I am a certified practitioner of NARM™ , Somatic Experiencing®, and SOMA®. These therapeutic approaches provide modern, neurophysiologically based methods for working with trauma.

While working with a person it is very important for me to work in the perspective of the "here and now". In my opinion such perspective serves to integrate all levels of human functioning - cognitive, emotional, physical and spiritual. For many years I have been a member of the teaching faculty - conducting classes, workshops and coaching groups in the field of psychology of stress and trauma, self-regulation and sport psychology for the University of Wroclaw and other private postgraduate schools.

Since 2017 I have been assisting   NARM ™ courses in Poland and abroad (Romania, Greece, Belgium).

I regularly deepen my understanding of NARM by participating in coaching triads and group supervisions.

I can provide accredited sessions and supervision (individual and group) for NARM ™ course participants.

 

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Sabine Sonika Husfeld-Suethoff - My name is Sonika, and I am assisting NARM since many years. I finished my own training in 2011 and assisted Larry, Michael and Beate ever since. Originally, I trained to become a physiotherapist, then a naturopath. After many years of training, I felt that without incorporating the nervous system and developmental trauma, healing and change would not have a lasting effect.

Luckily, I met Larry and with him the missing link in my work.

My passion lies in NARM, after so many years I still feel very inspired by it and at ore about this method and its attitude. I am living in Hamburg and work in my own clinic.

 

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Tobias Konermann - is a Clinical Psychologist and Certified Psychotherapist in private practice in Berlin, Germany. He teaches at various training institutes for psychotherapy and counselling (DGVT, HAP, IMU) and specialises in the treatment of developmental trauma. 

Tobias has extensive clinical training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and EMDR, with additional training in Gestalt and process-oriented approaches. He is a certified therapist in the Neuro-Affective Relational Model (NARM) and the NARM Masterclass. Tobias assists with NARM trainings under Laurence Heller in Germany and works as a teaching 

therapist and supervisor in ongoing NARM trainings throughout Europe.

 

LANGUAGE:

The retreat will be guided in English, without consecutive translation.

 

FORMAT:

The training will take place in a residential format at a retreat center in Portugal

 

 

COST:

Tuition for Training Sessions per Module:

Early Bid Rate: 700 euros + 23% VAT = 861,00 euros 

Standard Rate: 750 euros+ 23% VAT = 922,50 euros

 

Tuition for Supervision Sessions (to be paid directly to the trainers):

50 min of individual supervision                                                                       fee   € 80, - each

1,25 hour of group supervision with 2 people                                                   fee   € 75, - each

1,50 hour of group supervision with 3 people                                                   fee   € 65, - each

1,50 hour of group supervision with 4 people                                                   fee   € 60, - each

2,00 hours of group supervision with 5 people                                                  fee   € 60, - each

2,00 hours of group supervision with 6 people                                                  fee   € 55, - each

2,00 hours of group supervision with 7 people                                                  fee   € 50, - each

2,00 hours of group supervision with 8 -9 people                                              fee   € 45, - each

3,00 hours of group supervision with 10 or 12 people                                       fee   € 50, - each

 

Tuition for Self-Experiential Sessions:

Fee   € 80, - each

 

** Participants from abroad have to pay the session/supervision price of their home country when taking sessions/supervisions online between the modules

 

REGISTRATION:

 

Please note that once you register you are committing yourself to the 4 modules of the training, as the completion of these is the requirement to obtain the Certificate of NARM training.

 

MODULE 1: 19 – 23 June 2025 (More information here)

 

MODULE 2: 30 – September – 4 October 2025 (More information here)

 

MODULE 3: 14 – 18 April 2026 (More information here)

 

MODULE 4: 06 - 10 October 2026 (More information here)

 

 


 

 

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