NARM coming to Durham in April!


The NeuroAffective Relational Model™ (NARM™):
A 1.5 Year Practitioner Training for Healing Developmental Trauma

NARM coming to Durham in April!
A unique opportunity to learn the latest and most cutting edge methods for treating developmental trauma.
Introduction to NARM (Neuroaffective Relational Model)
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 – 10:00 am-5:30 pm
Location: Levin Jewish Community Center, Durham, NC
The NeuroAffective Relational Model™ (NARM™) is a powerful theoretical and practical map for navigating the complexities of attachment, relational and developmental trauma. Based on the work of Dr. Laurence Heller, author of Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship, NARM™ expands the clinical approach to working with shock trauma into a coherent approach for working with developmental trauma, and the link between psychological issues and the body. It is both a somatic (“bottom-up”) and psychodynamic (“top-down”) based approach designed to help build clients’ capacity for self-regulation and interpersonal connection.

Register for the introduction course here:
This training will be led by Brad Kramer, LMFT, LPCC, who is an international practitioner and trainer in somatic-oriented psychotherapy, working with stress, shock and developmental trauma.  He is a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP), training assistant and consultant for the SEP Training Program; as well as a presenter on Somatic Experiencing and NARM.
Stay tuned for the first year of NARM training coming to Durham in 2018. Learn more about NARM and upcoming trainings here:
Training Sponsored by:
NC Center for Resiliency, PLLC

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Psychotherapy as Part of Your Treatment Plan for a Functional Gastrointestinal (GI) Problem


Dr. Jennifer Franklin is a guest blogger for NC Center for Resiliency, PLLC
Please read about why you might seek psychotherapy support for your Functional GI Problems.  Psycho biological approaches support the mind body connection and can address a variety of physical health concerns. Dr. Franklin does a great job describing why psychotherapy could be of help to you. Please read her recent guest blog post!

​Psychotherapy as Part of Your Treatment Plan for a
Functional Gastrointestinal (GI) Problem

by Dr. Jennifer Franklin
Albert Einstein famously stated, “Problems cannot be solved on the level on which they were created.”  Healing your functional GI problem occurs by deepening your level of understanding and making gradual shifts over time that create new neural patterning, generating healing.
Digestion is regulated by your autonomic nervous system (ANS), the part of your nervous system that operates without conscious control. Just because you don’t have complete conscious control over your ANS doesn’t mean that you have no control. All it means is that if you pay no attention to how your ANS functions, then it will automatically do what it has been trained over years of habitual functioning.
Deepening your understanding of your GI symptoms thus means learning to pay attention to your ANS in a particular way across a variety of situations, contexts, and environments with and without different people over time. Healing involves learning about how your ANS is involved in generating and perpetuating the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational patterns that relate to your physiological symptoms. Healing also involves doing something different, something that is likely to bring about a shift in the way you feel, something that puts your body at ease, and then doing that thing so often that your body becomes used to being at ease on a regular basis.
People typically think of working with psychotherapists for emotional problems, not physical problems. By the time people with functional gastrointestinal (GI) problems realize that a psychotherapist can be helpful to them, the toll of living with physical problems has led to emotional problems. In the meantime, people will exhaust their resources—time, energy, and money—trying other treatment modalities like medications, herbs, diets, supplements, reading, research, acupuncture, bodywork, energy healing, etc., that may not resolve the symptoms.
Psychotherapy is something you can and may want to start as soon as you are sure you have a functional GI problem. Psychotherapy with or at least some consultation with a practitioner specially trained in working at the intersection of the autonomic nervous system and the digestive system would be a valuable addition to your treatment plan. 
Bio for Dr. Jennifer Franklin
Dr. Jennifer Franklin is a mindfulness-based, somatically-oriented psychologist dually licensed in North Carolina and California offering individual and couples therapy, teletherapy, and consultation. She worked at the UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders in Chapel Hill and specializes in healing functional medical problems, especially gastrointestinal problems, along with issues of anxiety, panic, relationship, attachment, and trauma. Dr. Franklin teaches Vipassana/mindfulness meditation, has served as an associate editor for the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, and wrote her doctoral dissertation on the psychology and spirituality of the professional actor.
To learn more about Dr. Franklin and her general practice, please visit
To learn more about her specialty area in functional medical/gastrointestinal problems, please visit

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Befriending Your Body: How Yoga Helps Heal Trauma


The themes of Bessel van der Kolk’s, MD research are front and center in much of the healing done at NCCR. Read up on how he frames the relationship between trauma resolution and the body.

Bessel van der Kolk, MD, is a clinical psychiatrist whose work attempts to integrate mind, brain, body, and social connections to understand and treat trauma. He is the author of The Body Keeps the Score, which examines how trauma affects the brain and body, and looks at a variety of treatments, including yoga. He answered our questions about how yoga can be a powerful element in healing trauma.

How does yoga practice impact people who have experienced trauma?
When people think about trauma, they generally think of it as a historical event that happened some time ago. Trauma is actually the residue from the past as it settles into your body. It’s located inside your own skin. When people are traumatized, they become afraid of their physical sensations; their breathing becomes shallow, and they become uptight and frightened about what they’re feeling inside. When you slow down your breathing with yoga, you can increase your heart rate variability, and that decreases stress. Yoga opens you up to feeling every aspect of your body’s sensations. It’s a gentle, safe way for people to befriend their bodies, where the trauma of the past is stored.

How important is talk therapy in treating trauma?
If you’ve been traumatized, you’re likely to have a very distorted relationship to your body. My particular angle, or contribution, is that trauma is really a somatic issue. It’s in your body and, because of that, yoga has great relevance, because it goes directly to sensing and befriending the body. While talking and knowing what happened and being able to articulate it is an important part of treatment, the most important part is starting to regain ownership of your body and be comfortable in your own skin.

What does the evidence show as far as yoga’s efficacy?
Our studies show that yoga has at least as beneficial effects in alleviating traumatic stress symptoms as the best possible medications. In the studies we did involving neuroimaging of the brain before and after regular yoga practice, we were able to show that the areas of the brain involving self-awareness get activated by doing yoga, and those are the areas that get locked out by trauma and that are needed in order to heal it.

You also use other techniques to treat trauma, including EMDR, neurofeedback, and theater. How does each of these work?
My approach is very much “one size doesn’t fit all.” One method doesn’t benefit everybody. In order to recover from trauma, you need to address a large number of different systems. EMDR is particularly helpful to integrate traumatic memories, and it does so by shifting some areas of the brain involved in memory processing. Neurofeedback can affect brain activation patterns—it can actually change brain waves, and can help to make people’s brains quieter and more attentive. Yoga might be able to reach the same goal, but it would probably take longer. Theater is particularly helpful to help people gain a voice and to deeply inhabit a particular state. Instead of always feeling frightened or withdrawn, they can act like a king or a powerful warrior. It’s a consciousness-expanding tool. Also, traumatized people often misread other people, or become withdrawn or scared of others, and theater allows for deep engagement with other people.

Does yoga also promote connection for this population?
I don’t think yoga is a very social enterprise, but it’s interesting that it’s so much more satisfying to do yoga in a group than by yourself. There’s a likelihood that doing yoga in groups may activate the mirror neuron system of the brain, which is a system damaged by trauma, so practicing yoga and meditation in groups might give people a deeper sense of belonging.

You train yoga teachers to work specifically with people recovering from trauma.
Yes, we run a program at Kripalu twice a year that’s attended by about 100 yoga teachers from around the world. It’s important to be aware that trauma is not unusual in people’s lives. About 80 percent of the population has experienced a trauma at one or another point in their life, through accidents, alcohol, depression, family violence, or other circumstances or events. It’s very useful for yoga teachers to become aware of the implications of what they say and do, and the speed and the intensity of their methods and the effect it might have on people. Learning to own your body can be a terrifying thing—many people might have flashbacks and become panicked when they start doing yoga.

Is the mainstream health-care system beginning to recognize yoga as an effective treatment for trauma? 
A I wouldn’t say it’s conquered the mainstream world by any means. You see evidence here and there—yoga is going on in some police academies and in the military. But it’s almost impossible to get research funding for this work, and I’m still considered an outlier for advocating for yoga for PTSD. Is mainstream medicine and psychiatry aware of the full potential of yoga for the treatment of trauma? No, absolutely not.

©2017 Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. Reprinted with permission.

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