“Learning how to support someone gain greater depth of experience and tolerance for their more primary emotions that feel scary to them, that experience within myself has changed absolutely everything… I have the capacity, now, to be resilient in those moments that, if those things do happen, I can meet them. And that’s what we’re really supporting.” ~Mike Giresi
Sarah chats with Mike Giresi, Director of Clinical Development at Family First Adolescent Services in Palm Beach Gardens, FL and NARM Practitioner, about the profound impact the NeuroAffective Relational Model® (NARM®) has made in his work with adolescents and teens.
The drive to help others heal often stems from one’s own healing. Mike’s journey to sobriety ignited a desire for personal growth and professional development that led him to the study of psychology, and ultimately his passion for helping others understand the relationship between addiction and complex trauma.
These days, when he’s not traveling the country speaking on the relationship between addiction and trauma treatment, or teaching on NARM, Mike is busy helping teens and adolescents navigate the tricky transition from dependency to agency. But guiding a teen through that emotional process of self-inquiry has its hazards. Regardless of how well-intentioned adults might be, teens are hyper-vigilant against anyone coming at them with an agenda.
That offer of help can trigger memories of the early childhood disruptions and objectification that played a role in the teen’s current challenges. For this reason, the entire staff at Family First Adolescent Services has become NARM-trained. Mike believes that the resulting agenda-neutral environment is a safer place in which young clients with complex trauma can heal old patterns that have been in their way of a healthier, happier adolescence.
“With complex trauma (C-PTSD), safety is about working with a person’s sense of agency, the kind of various relational and emotional difficulties that everyone faces in everyday life. Those aren’t about mortal threats to the physical self, like shock trauma (PTSD). It’s much more about a threat to the psychological self or our sense of self.”
In utilizing NARM to resolve complex trauma, Mike has been blown-away by the new possibilities opening up for the boys as they begin relating to themselves and others in new ways, including feeling more hopeful and confident in moving forward into adulthood. The changes, he says, are dramatic.
Every day, Mike feels blessed to be part of supporting transformation in the teens and their families.
The NARM Training Institute provides tools for transforming complex trauma through: in-person and online trainings for mental health care professionals; in-person and online workshops on complex trauma and how it interplays with areas like addiction, parenting, and cultural trauma; an online self-paced learning program, the NARM Inner Circle; and other trauma-informed learning resources.
For the full show notes including references, podcast episodes mentioned, and a quick glossary of terms, visit us at http://www.narmtraining.com/transformingtrauma
Mike Giresi, CAC, CTP, ICADC, RYT
Director of Clinical Development
NARM Training Institute
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