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 needs that are essential to our physical and emotional well-being: the needs for connection, attunement, trust, autonomy, and love-sexuality. Recognizing these needs as well as five Adaptive Survival Styles set in motion when the core needs are not met early in life, authors Laurence Heller and Aline LaPierre cut through the seeming complexity of life’s problems.
Explaining that an impaired capacity for connection to self and to others and the ensuing diminished aliveness are the hidden dimensions that underlie most psychological and many physiological problems, they introduce the NeuroAffective Relational Model® (NARM), a resource-oriented, psychodynamically informed approach that, while not ignoring a person’s past, emphasizes working in the present moment. NARM uses somatic mindfulness to re-regulate the nervous system and to resolve identity distortions—such as low self-esteem, shame, and chronic self-judgment—caused by developmental and relational trauma. Heller and LaPierre demonstrate how this therapy helps clients establish connection to the parts of self that are organized, coherent and functional, integrating the role of connection on all levels of experience as it affects a person's physiology, psychology, and capacity for relationship.
Reviews and Endorsements:
“Healing Developmental Trauma presents a comprehensive exploration of our deepest human urge. Seasoned clinicians Larry Heller and Aline LaPierre weave a rich and coherent synthesis of childhood development in the pioneering tradition of Wilhelm Reich, Erik Erikson, and Alexander Lowen. This well-organized, valuable book offers easy-to-understand tools for all of us who are seeking a better understanding of our fundamental conflicts between oneness and separateness, dependence and autonomy. Healing Developmental Trauma provides clear guidance to help us hold, with knowledge and self-compassion, those seemingly irreconcilable opposites and is a vital and accessible map supporting emotional maturity and psycho-spiritual growth.”
—Peter A Levine, PhD, author of In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness and Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma
About the Authors:
Laurence Heller, PhD, is the originator of the NeuroAffective Relational Model©, a unified approach to developmental, attachment, and shock trauma. He co-founded the Gestalt Institute of Denver and is a senior faculty member for the Somatic Experiencing Training Institute.
Aline LaPierre, PsyD, is an adjunct faculty member in the somatic doctoral program at Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. Trained as a psychoanalyst and as a hands-on somatic psychotherapist, she has been in private practice in Los Angeles for more than 25 years.