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Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship
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Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  545 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Although it may seem that humans suffer from an endless number of emotional problems and challenges, Healing Developmental Trauma presents a model for psychotherapy and growth showing that most emotional difficulties can be traced back to the compromised development of one or more five core capacities. These five core capacities are associated with biologically based core ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by North Atlantic Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  545 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Maria Menozzi
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Far from a dry read of psychological theory, this book gives a concise, non-pathologizing process for healing developmental trauma, e.g. childhood abuse. This process, known as NARM, the Neuro Affective Relational Model, focuses on how trauma affects our ability to have safe, productive, constructive relational experiences with self and others and the dire effects that has on our ability to function daily and find meaning and purpose in life. There are five "survival styles" depicted and delinea ...more
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book really illuminates the trauma experienced in childhood when primary caregivers are unable to provide healthy attachment experiences with their children either because they suffer from addiction, mental illness, or have not worked through their own attachment trauma. Heller really puts some amazing pieces together to form a whole picture of how adaptations to early attachment trauma create patterns of behavior that carry into adulthood. The science behind the physiological responses to ...more
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Draws together all major lines of theory, research - accurately so IMO.

Their approach views developmental trauma as leading to five main adaptive/organizing styles, depending on age when trauma began relating to connection, attunement, trust, autonomy, and love-sexuality. Most of the book addresses how to deal with connection difficulties, but arguably all are intertwined.

A couple of chapters give case studies of how therapy may proceed from this model. It is a somatic approach - and is similar
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
This book is a blueprint into our subconsciousness. It explains why all of us at times act in a very irrational way, why we can't quite control it, why we deny that fact and why we can also be resistant to seeking out or receiving the help we need.

The authors present the subject matter in a very non-judgmental and non pathological way; they use cause and effect approach. They also don't just present a problem, they present a healing approach that is holistic as it draws upon many different psych
Christine Fay
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Overall, this book is written in accessible scientific language. It was very enlightening for me to understand myself as well as others, and that we are all somewhat damaged (whether it be intentionally or unintentionally) by our families of origin.

“As a result of the earliest trauma, individuals with the Connection Survival Style have disconnected from their bodies, from themselves, and from relationship. Connection types have two seemingly different coping styles or subtypes: the thinking and
Steve Woods
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A really useful book for anyone dealing with the effects of childhood trauma, or even the consequences of later "shock" trauma. With a small grounding in these techniques some decades ago, I have by instinct worked out ways to process much of the traumatic experiences that have been so much part of my life, both childhood abuse and combat related ptsd. This book just formalized my own approach and provided reinforcement of my internal sense of conviction that this is the way forward and of my se ...more
Jun 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
Perhaps this is really a 4-star book but when compared to Bessel van der Kolk's "The Body Keeps the Score", this book felt like a distant second place. The 5 subtypes of developmental trauma in the beginning of the book were interesting but overly-generalized without enough room to contain variants and amalgamations which clearly exist. Only 1 of the 5 subtypes was explored in depth, the "Connection" subtype, which was a big disappointment. Based on the level of self-promotion and trademarked te ...more
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lawrence Heller and Aline Lapierre deliver a brilliant synthesis of developmental psychology, psychoanalytic theory and the work of Peter Levine (Somatic Experienceing). Heller and Lapierre bring together "top down" and "bottom up" approaches to understanding and intervening in with challenges of developmental trauma and nervous system disregulation which are critical in understanding emotional wellbeing.

This book extremely well written and easy to digest despite the complexity that is addressed
Sergey Bir
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
the most important book i've read
Feb 01, 2016 rated it liked it
If I were just reviewing the second half of this book I would give it four stars. The clinical vignettes, interventions, and approach to psychotherapy are illuminating, exciting, and immediately applicable. The focus on the body, integrating experience, and facilitating self-regulation are excellent clinical interventions that are described systematically and coherently. I am considering the multi-year training course because I can easily see how these methods could be of valuable use in clinica ...more
Heiki Eesmaa
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A superb synthesis of body-centered approaches, bonding theory, neuroscience, trauma theory and ... more. It feels fresh, wise, and original. Great case examples, including commented session scripts. Very interesting work with gaze is described.
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Whilst this book contained some very interesting information, some chapters were really difficult to get through, especially in terms of repetition and writing style.
Candace Wegner
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
A bit difficult to get into but well worth the read. Excellent reference for those who work with hurting people.
Teo 2050

Heller L & LaPierre A (2012) (10:29) Healing Developmental Trauma - How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship


List of Figures
– 01.1. Exercise to Help Identify Experiences of Expansion and Aliveness
– 01.2. Distortions of the Life Force
– 01.3. Top-Down and Bottom-Up Information Flow
– 01.4. The Distress Cycle
– 01.5. The NARM Healing Cycle
– 06.1. Distortions of the Life Force in Each of the Five Adaptive Survival Styles
– 07.1. S
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Trauma comes in many forms. The form that most people know is shock trauma from individual events. For example, nearly choking to death via umbilical cord in birth. You can’t even have a memory of that, but it can still cause post-traumatic symptoms throughout life. A more common, but less known, form is developmental trauma, which is a prolonged or repetitive exposure to threatening events as a young one. For example, prolonged neglect or isolation can produce a post-traumatic stress disorder. ...more
Jennifer James
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is definitely for mental health professionals. I read it thinking that I was preparing to recommend it to some of my clients, but I realize now that it would be too technical for them. That being said, I think that there was some useful information for clinicians working with developmentally traumatized patients. There was one chapter in particular about how people develop strategies to cope with their childhoods that resulted in my having an "aha moment," which is something that I lov ...more
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm not a therapist, so I cannot evaluate this book for its clinical use, but as a lay person I found the explanation of the NARM (neuroaffective relational model) therapeutic approach accessible. Heller thoroughly describes the physiological responses to trauma at an early age, how the body locks in the memory of trauma, and what kinds of therapy help unlock and process each traumatic manifestation.
Kathleen McKee
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dense but very important work about how to work with people who have suffered subtle to intense neglect in early childhood, how that affects us know, and the nuances of therapy that are important to keep in mind with different kinds if attachment issues that each person may have experienced.
Blake Loomis
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oof. Intense self-learning. A bit jargony at times, but a good read for understanding your own and others' trauma.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great insights.
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As professional psychologist, I find this approach absolutely groundbreaking. I am aware it's personal preference, but with NARM I found a piece that I always felt was missing in my work.
Jason Scott
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mind
I really love this book. It's kind of over my head, but there's so much to learn.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Overall interesting. I was very disappointed by the lack of research or references in this book.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great resource for those who wish to get information about the correlation between early trauma and its effects on attachment.
Abdulrhman Alhalabi
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The reverse of psychoanalysis.It is a Fu*king amazing book.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book with huge insight into how experiences in early life through birth & childhood shape the dysfunctional thought processes that plague so many of us in adult life. The main chunk of the book dissects the 5 most common maladaptive personality types & as each chapter unfolds you will recognise yourself & others around you & feel almost voyeuristic as you suddenly understand exactly why those people are the way they are. The latter part of the book then walks you thro ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very good stuff here that makes a lot of sense yet the content is complex and innovative. I learned concepts that I have been able to apply to my practice and my understanding of my self and loved ones.
Tom Britz
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is written for the professional therapists. It is one long commercial for a certain type of treatment, called "NARM", NeuroAffective Relational Model. It was a long and involved read and I needed to look up a few words. It didn't really help me understand Complex PTSD anymore than I had.
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dense, well-edited summary of a practical approach to early trauma. One of the very few theories that make a distinction between traumatic event and a traumatic eg.neglect. Perfect for practitioners to see certain struggles of clients in a different light. Need more!
Ceylan Crow
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very well written, backed by research. Even though meant for therapists very accessible. Plan to read through again to absorb and really incorporate into daily life more of the content and suggestions.
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  • The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation
  • Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy
  • In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness
  • Trauma and the Avoidant Client: Attachment-Based Strategies for Healing
  • Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists
  • The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization
  • Internal Family Systems Therapy
  • A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development
  • Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body, and Society
  • Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving
  • The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease
  • Healing Trauma: Attachment, Mind, Body and Brain
  • Healing from Trauma: A Survivor's Guide to Understanding Your Symptoms and Reclaiming Your Life
  • Rebuilding Shattered Lives: Treating Complex PTSD and Dissociative Disorders
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): Basic Principles, Protocols, and Procedures
  • Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders (Adults): An Evidence-Based Guide
  • The Stranger in the Mirror: Dissociation--the Hidden Epidemic
  • The Unsayable: The Hidden Language of Trauma
“Paradoxically, the more we try to change ourselves, the more we prevent change from occurring. On the other hand, the more we allow ourselves to fully experience who we are, the greater the possibility of change.” 5 likes
“Love that is conditional upon looks and performance is not love at all” 2 likes
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