ROOTs Webinar: How NARM Transformed Our Approach to Working With Adolescents and Their Families

Understanding Neuroaffective Relational Model (NARM)

Neuroaffective Relational Model (NARM) is the therapeutic foundation at ROOTs Transition. NARM is a multifaceted, trauma-informed approach that focuses on attachment, relational experiences, and developmental trauma. As the Clinical Director at ROOTs, I was drawn to NARM because it resonates with my understanding of relationship dynamics, and it provides me and our clinical team with a language and structure that supports us in being more effective as therapists.

How NARM informs our work with adolescents: NARM guides our clients and their families in recognizing and understanding the adaptive coping strategies they formed in their early years. These strategies, which were once essential for aligning with their caregivers and environment during childhood, are no longer serving them and are often creating barriers within their current relationships.

How NARM is different from traditional treatment approaches: Our team is passionate about the perspective that NARM brings to our approach in working with adolescents and their families. Other approaches can be one-dimensional in the way they approach a client’s struggles. NARM gives our team the ability to stay curious about why clients and families show up in the world the way they do. This approach encourages therapists to partner with clients and families in understanding what is beneath the struggle and how to make the choice to show up differently and more in line with what they want. With decades of experience working with adolescents and families, we have seen firsthand how impactful this model can be for our clients, their families, and our entire team.

Please join us via ZOOM Monday,
January 29th @ 12 pm MST to learn more.

For a sneak peek into what we will cover in our webinar, please keep reading!

Incorporating principles from NARM, ROOTs Transition holds agency, curiosity, and community as its three core values. Here is a snapshot of what that looks like:

  • Agency: At the beginning of the treatment process, we are intentional in aligning with the adolescent’s goals. We assist them in identifying what they want for themselves and what is internally getting in their way for them to achieve their goals. By encouraging individuals to recognize and take responsibility for their internal and external dynamics, we witness the beginning of healing. Our therapeutic approach involves delving into how individuals perpetuate their own symptoms and empowering them to shift these patterns. Agency is central in the healing of complex trauma. Individuals can begin to find ways they are currently experiencing agency when as a child they had no agency
  • Curiosity: NARM invites adolescents and parents to examine how their survival strategies impact their current relationships and environment. By exploring each of their survival strategies from a non-judgmental stance, they are able to show more patience and empathy for themselves and each other. Crucially, it supports them in understanding how these strategies might obstruct the relationships they desire with each other. As we gently unpack these survival styles, we witness remarkable moments of reconnection with their authenticity. New patterns can begin to emerge within the parent and adolescent relationship.
  • Community: ROOTS Transition is committed to creating a healing environment for everyone involved in the program. This includes encouraging our therapists, administrators and guides to show up as humans.  We not only offer many trainings focusing on clinical skills, we also provide opportunities for employee’s to explore their own relational patterns and countertransference. This allows them to be more effective and relational with our clients. Working with adolescents requires ROOTs to have a robust parent program. We provide the time and space necessary for parents to explore their own survival strategies originating from their familial backgrounds. This exploration contributes to fostering a home environment that nurtures sustainable healing and growth for their adolescent.

Connect with our team.

Kami Black

Founder & Executive Director

Lauren Angerosa

Admissions & Outreach Director

ROOTs Transition is a residential treatment center in Park City, UT working with adolescents assigned female at birth who are between the ages of 15-18. Our mission is to heal the lives of those impacted by complex trauma through agency, curiosity, and community, while using nature as a catalyst for growth and integration.

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