neurobiological relational model

Treating Trauma Using a Neurobiological Relational Model

Trauma treatment is complex and must involve an understanding of the many ways trauma effects overall functioning.  Although everyone will experience different symptoms and complications, the unwanted consequences of trauma can be profound and far reaching and can include alterations in  affect, emotions, the body, mental functioning, relational functioning, self image, attention and one’s overall sense of safety.

Just as there are many ways that symptoms of trauma can be experienced, treatment must be multi-faceted and employ approaches that can address one’s unique challenges and experience. Trauma effects people in many ways, and for some the physical and emotional consequences can be life restricting or debilitating.   Finding a therapeutic approach that can assist you in treating the trauma in order to experience life more fully is important. The neurobiological relational model for therapy can be highly effective, addressing the many ways trauma restricts, alters and interferes with optimal functioning.

neurobiological relational model

A Model to Connect Mind and Body

The neurobiological approach to treatment  works with both mind and body, as well as unconscious survival strategies that have become entrenched.  Often unrecognizable to us, ways of being that developed to protect us now may be keeping us from experiencing joy, relationship, aliveness and a sense of well being.  Working with the body, allows us to understand biological symptoms of animal survival responses that are automatically employed for protection, but now become easily triggered leaving the nervous system in constant states of  hyperarousal, or hypo arousal. Working with a bottom up approach allows us to understand the signals from the body without the client necessarily having to repeat or even know the details of the trauma story. This gentle approach incorporates the introduction of new skills to help regulate the nervous system, bringing relief to symptoms of  activation or numbing. Including top down approaches allows us to explore beliefs and patterns that may be related to trauma and the implicit and explicit survival strategies that have been used for so long. Therapy should help to integrate, bottom up and top down, unprocessed trauma memories in order to promote organization and coherence. This increased integration and coherence promotes a more stable sense of self and a greater capacity to experience feelings without becoming overwhelmed or shut down.

A Model Working with Strengths

While many traditional therapy approaches focus on  weaknesses and problems, the neurobiological relational model looks at the strengths you have along with the symptoms you may display. Instead of solely focusing on past experiences, we focus on the present moment connecting the dots to patterns of survival that can be causing discomfort.  Working with patterns of emotional, behavioral and bodily responses, along with an awareness of shifts in energy, engagement and aliveness in the present moment, allows us to expand the capacity to be connected to the present while processing the past.

Discussing the Model Approach

The neurobiological relational model when used by a skilled therapist like those at Trauma and Beyond Psychological Center ®  is a gentle but highly effective approach to treating trauma. Please read about the services and treatment options on our website. You may also call (818) 651-0711 to ask questions and receive a free initial phone consultation to find out how we can help you to begin to heal from trauma.