How is NARM different?

NARM is an active process of inquiry into the obstacles standing in the way of your authentic self. Rather than simply affirming how hard it is to feel stuck or dissatisfied in life, in NARM therapy we build on your capacities and support you in experiencing agency in the difficulties of your current life.

A NARM therapist is aware of the distinction between what was then and what is now. We avoid the trap of making the past more important than the present, given that NOW is when you can do something differently.


The focus in NARM therapy is less on why you are the way you are and more on how your adaptations to trauma distort your experience and your life right now in the present. In reorganizing these distortions the self comes forward moving existence from anxious, depressed and repressed to states of joy and authentic expression.

Unresolved childhood and relational trauma can lead to the following in adulthood:

Core Needs

NARM asserts that there are 5 biologically-based core needs that are essential to our physical and emotional well-being.


Capacity to be in touch with our body and our emotions; capacity to be in connection with others


Capacity to be aware and attend to our needs and emotions; capacity to recognize, reach out for, and take in physical and emotional nourishment


Capacity for healthy dependence and interdependence in relationships


Capacity to set appropriate boundaries; capacity to say ‘no’ and set limits; capacity to speak our mind without guilt or fear


Capacity to live with an open heart; Capacity to integrate a loving relationship with a vital sexuality

When these needs are not met in our developmental years, our ability to self-regulate, our identity, and our self-esteem become compromised and both psychological and physiological symptoms arise. Children who do not get their needs met are unable to recognize what they need, struggle to express their needs, and often believe they are undeserving of having their needs met. These concerns then perpetuate into adulthood.

Trauma Therapy EMDR NARM PTSD Healing

Adaptive Survival Styles

The five adaptive survival strategies correlate with the core needs and the missing or compromised core capacities. These adaptations learned in childhood initially helped up survive but over the years become rigid beliefs about who we are and what the world is like. What we grow to understand as being our identity is better described as the shame- and pride-based identifications of our survival styles. Every identification—the fixed beliefs we assume as our true selves—separates us from the fluidity of our core nature.


Develops around the need for contact and the fear of it


Develops around the conflict between having personal needs and the rejection of them


Develops around both the longing for and the fear of healthy trust and interdependence


Develops around both the desire for and the fear of setting limits and expressing independence


Develops around wanting to love and be loved and the fear of vulnerability; also develops around the splitting of love and sexuality

“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.”

– David Richo

Yet, to the degree that core needs are met early in life, we develop core capacities that allow us to identify and attend to these needs as adults. This results in being connected to our deepest resources and vitality in adulthood.

A central tenet of NARM therapy is supporting the healthy development of these core capacities—what wasn’t provided to you in childhood, can be developed now and forever available to you.



In NARM therapy, we will focus on what you truly desire for yourself NOW, free from the limitations of the fixed identities of the adaptive survival styles and orient towards your personal strengths so that you can have a greater capacity for self-regulation, connection, and aliveness.

Trauma Therapy EMDR NARM PTSD Healing

NARM therapy can help you

Learn how you have internalized and continue to reenact early environmental failures through understanding your survival styles that have outlived their usefulness and:

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Course Description

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Key Concepts

User Testimonial

Jessica Simon

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