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I'm reading this book Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self Regulation, Self Image and the Capacity for Relationship by Laurence Heller, Ph.D

This is by far the best book I have read on trauma in it's ability to talk to me about SO many of the things I have struggled and wrestled with throughout my life. This book gives me explanations for why I feel the way I do and what causes these feelings. The book talks about the NARM method - Neuro Affective Relational Model. The book is also broken down into sections of Survival Styles from early and ongoing trauma -- how people adapt to survive.

I'm not finished with the book yet so I cannot discuss any solutions or how to resolve some of the issues faced by trauma survivors. I'll be back with more as I read along. Evidently, I fall into the Connection Survival Style. We have issues of dysregulation but also they talk about chronic health issues, the impact of trauma on our "energetic" boundaries, how we are easily overwhelmed and have a need to isolate and disconnect. All very relevant topics for me.

Just thought I would share.

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I too have discovered this book and Lawrence Heller and bought a copy of the book for my T. I sent some links to some youtube video's of him to my T and we both are excited about his work. His work most closely aligns with my issues.

I have only had a quick flick through the book as my T and I are going to work it through together, but i found that I fit 2 or 3 of the models. I think his work is amazing and I feel relieved that I "fit".

His work most closely aligns with my issues.

I think his work is amazing and I feel relieved that I "fit".

That's it, SD! What he writes about really resonates with my own struggles and with even small but disturbing things that have plagued me for years. He described those with Connection Survival Style as wondering "what is the point?" which is exactly the name of on eof my threads I began before I read this! He also talks about how we can feel so "raw" like we are without skin. Well, I had that conversation with my T not long ago. Another point he brings up is how we use our eyes/vision and how it was impacted by trauma.

I am also going to be discussing this with my T. I know he has the book because I see it on his desk. I'm not sure how far into it he is but I can wait for him to catch up to me Smiler

Draggers, glad you are finding it helpful also.


Has anyone else read this book? I think it is really remarkable, with so many ideas and concepts that seem obvious in hindsight.

The book describes 5 (IIRC) survival styles but mainly focuses on the Connection survival style which is the most 'deep-seated' and primal, being established in response to developmental trauma experienced very early in life. The majority of it matches my experiences so well, which I've never found in my readings and exploration.

Last edited by iverson

Hi all, thank you True North for bringing up this book. The title sounded really relevant to me so I bought and read the book. I found the book extremely helpful because it was self revealing - I could see myself written in the pages and came to understand a lot of things about me which are the result of developmental trauma - there were a lot more than I realised and impossible for me to see because I have lived with them all my life, and in a conscious sense was able to see that my struggles are real. As a part of this I was able to see how I have developed ways of coping  so that I seem normal - always I have been driven to seem OK. I really appreciated the talk of not feeling real - feeling fake, dishonest, etc are one of my crippling problems. I wouldn't say this is a self help book as there was not anything I thought I could do for myself. 

Another thing I found helpful about the book was that it talked about deregulation of the emotions and how you can't really make any impact on that while the body is deregulated. This made me realise how disconnected from my body I am - I don't have feelings I have just learnt when one feels certain things, unyet I can be an emotional mess at the slightest difficulty, which I thought meant that I had too many feelings! Hence this has told me that I have to start with getting in touch with my body first - which I think is what the NARM is about.

On a slight negative, the book sometimes took a while to get to the point which, because I was very absorbed in it, I found a little frustrating. Also, after describing the 5 survival styles the authors only talked about the one, and didn't explain why.

Sorry, I'm not very good at writing and other people's description of this book are clearer than mine, but again would like to thank the forum for bringing this book to my attention, and I found it helpful!


Yes Liffey,

I found it triggering, but also compelling as it did describe things about me, right down to not being able to make eye contact with people. I needed to see this as I don't believe myself about the developmental trauma most of the time. So yes it was triggering seeing myself in its pages but this was also the most useful thing in the book, too, if that makes sense.


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