JSA Psychotherapy operates under the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT). NMT is not a form of therapy itself, but underpins the clinical practice that we provide through specific services. The framework takes a neurological perspective to address that certain areas of an individual client’s brain and nervous system may function at an observable deficit when the psychological impact of trauma during childhood and adolescence hinders the development of the growing brain.
This can be plotted on a ‘brain map’ that highlights which areas of cognitive function, relational health and emotional response are under-developed. With this understanding, we can ensure that adolescent therapy is pitched at a level that a child or young person can effectively engage with. It also provides us with a formulation for restorative therapeutic activities and models.
Subsequent therapy begins with targeting the earliest life traumas, some of which may even have been sustained in utero, continuing onto attachment systems and beyond. From this point, work is done to repair the damage of trauma in each successive stage of the developmental lifespan. For clients under the age of 26, this will also allow for these areas of the brain to finally develop, circumventing any lasting adverse effects.
This is because reaching the age of 26 heralds the end of brain development with the process known as cortical modulation. Prior to this stage, the developing brain remains in a state of neuroplasticity, meaning that it is still able to grow and change. Since NMT identifies which areas of the brain remain underdeveloped, targeted psychotherapeutic intervention can be applied to resolve the inhibiting trauma and allow these parts of the brain to catch up before modulation occurs.
The application of NMT that we are most excited about innovating is to employ the metric within the context of family therapy. In this setting, NMT can be used to provide a clear profile of inter-generational trauma and identify repeating patterns of adverse parenting. NMT is used with an optimistic outlook to inform the most appropriate techniques of family therapy to address individual needs and the systemic recovery of the family unit.
Additionally, the NMT model is employed to as part of all expert witness work and family/child assessments conducted by JSA, to ensure that the insights we provide adhere to our standards of evidence-based, trauma-informed clinical practice.
The ChildTrauma Academy acknowledges that Julie Stirpe has completed NMT Training Certification through the Phase II level. For more information on NMT Training Certification and the NMT Assessment Process, click here.
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