Neuro-Rhythmic Trauma Therapy (NRTT)
Dr. Pamela Seraphine is the developer of Neuro-Rhythmic Trauma Therapy (NRTT), a specialized neurobiologically informed somatic approach for recovery from PTSD and Complex Trauma. We had a chance to find out about her philosophy of drumming for trauma therapy and discovered that trauma therapy can be fun!
What is the NRTT Method?
Simply put, trauma treatment. Reimagined.
What does Neuro-Rhythmic Trauma Therapy Involve?
Neuro-Rhythmic Trauma Therapy (NRTT) is neurobiologically-informed somatic psychotherapy that integrates the applied neuroscience of trauma with the clinical application of drumming for PTSD and Complex-PTSD. It is typically delivered in 12-week sessions to ensure patients have enough time and support to gain designed results. NRTT teaches patients how to use their body and mind to change their brain to recover from PTSD and traumatic stress-related conditions. The primary instrument used in sessions is a Meinl Slap-Top Cajon drum. Clients have the opportunity to use their own drum if requested.
What Can NRTT Help With?
NRTT was developed to address symptoms of PTSD, C-PTSD and symptoms related to trauma, such as anger, anxiety, grief, loneliness, cognitive distortions, depression, disassociation, guilt, shame, hopelessness, psychological distress, sleep disturbances, somatic complaints etc.
How effective is Neuro-Rhythmic Trauma Therapy (NRTT)?
Neuro-Rhythmic Trauma Therapy (NRTT) is a relatively new but effective trauma treatment method for helping trauma survivors regain control of their lives while enjoying the healing process. NRTT is an inspiring treatment option for people of all ages, including older adults and children. A recent qualitative study revealed that NRTT’s cutting-edge protocol overs evidence to support the efficacy of NRTT for reducing symptoms of PTSD and interpersonal trauma. Research is ongoing.
What is the difference between EMDR & NRTT?
Unlike EMDR, which encourages the patient to briefly focus on the traumatic experience, NRTT does not require patients to focus on or retell their traumatic experiences. NRTT is brain-based and solution-focused to empower patients with the coping skills needed to retrain their brain to work to their advantage. As a result, NRTT therapists are skilled at delivering strategies that enable trauma survivors to regain control over their lives and create sustainable positive changes.
How many weeks is Neuro-Rhythmic Trauma Therapy (NRTT)?
Neuro-Rhythmic Trauma Therapy (NRTT) is typically delivered in 12-week sessions to ensure clients have enough time and support to gain desired results. Sessions are generally 60 or 90 minutes. They can happen in groups, individually, or in a combined group and individual format, and they may be offered in-person or online. Sessions are divided into three phases that correspond with the three pillars of the NRTT model.
Who developed Neuro-Rhythmic Trauma Therapy (NRTT)?
Dr. Pamela Lynn-Seraphine, Psy.D., is the originator and developer of Neuro-Rhythmic Trauma Therapy (NRTT). Originally trained as a world percussionist, Pamela Lynn-Seraphine designed the trauma treatment program while pursuing her doctorate in psychology. As a trauma survivor, she sought to develop brain-based somatic psychotherapy that could address the cognitive and somatic components of trauma recovery in an engaging self-sustaining format.
How long does it take for Neuro-Rhythmic Trauma Therapy (NRTT) to help?
Some trauma survivors have reported improving symptoms after as little as one NRTT session. These results are generally because patients experience self-empowering rewarding ways in which they can immediately regain control of their traumatized brain. If they have tried therapy before and it didn’t work for them, they are generally very surprised and relieved at how quickly change can happen. If you’ve been through trauma therapy before and didn’t receive the desired result, this might be a good time to try NRTT.
Who Benefits from NRTT?
NRTT effectively treats PTSD, Complex Trauma (CPTSD), and traumatic stress-related conditions across various populations, including men, women, LGBTQ, + older adults, families, and children, including all people of ethnicity, nationality, or culture, and at any age. It typically consists of 12 weekly sessions that can be offered in individual or group sessions.
Is Neuro-Rhythmic Trauma Therapy (NRTT) evidence-based?
Neuro-Rhythmic Trauma Therapy is evidence-based in that it is developed from previous versions of cognitive and somatic trauma treatment methods in combination with the basic principles of applied neuroscience for trauma recovery. This means that it is the evolved version of older ways that researchers have studied and found to be effective in treating PTSD and Complex PTSD. Most people who complete the NRTT protocol show a noticeable improvement in PTSD and C-PTSD symptoms.
What is the goal of Neuro-Rhythmic Trauma Therapy (NRTT)?
The goal of NRTT is to help individuals to recover from unresolved trauma by gaining the skills needed to retrain the brain to work to one’s advantage. Additionally, the client chooses 3 goals to achieve during their 12 sessions (90 Day Sprints) and the therapist coaches the client towards achieving the desired results.
What are the 3 Pillars of NRTT?
The NRTT method holds that there are 3 Core Pillars to retrain the traumatized brain.
Pillar 1: RESET Your Nervous System
Pillar 2: RELEASE Trauma from Your Body
Pillar 3: RECONDITION Your Mindset
Each pillar is supported by a combination of body-based and cognitive-based strategies. All three core pillars involved techniques that retrain five primary areas of the brain most affected by trauma: Fear Centre (Amygdala), Interoception Centre (Insula), Hippocampus (Memory Centre), Prefrontal Cortex (Thinking Centre), and Cingulate Cortex (Self-Regulation Centre).
What Should You Expect from NRTT Sessions?
NRTT is a structure brain-based treatment approach that combines educational & inspiring treatment strategies within 12 week sessions to help individuals heal trauma, combat anxiety, and regain control of personal power.
Phase 1: Reset Your Nervous System
Your initial sessions will involve neuroeducation about the traumatized brain and the NRTT approach. Your therapist will review your NRTT questionnaire and discuss your symptoms and desired goals for your treatment. Time will be given to developing three primary goals that can be achieved within the 12-week sessions. Your therapist will review how you can use your mind and body to change your brain to work to your advantage. They will review how traumatic experiences impact your emotions, habits, personality, worldview, and daily experiences. Introduction to grounding rhythms will be introduced, and various ways to reset your nervous system will be offered using bottom-up techniques.
Phase 2: Release Trauma from Your Body
Next, you’ll learn to become more aware of how the brain processes trauma and how toxic energy is held in the body. The phase heavily focuses on learning new coping skills through applied rhythmic entrainment (drumming), novelty, and creativity. You’ll be introduced to body awareness rhythm-based techniques to help you release suppressed emotions. You may be asked to review non-negotiable values and identify boundary concerns that need to be addressed. You’ll work with your therapist to develop ways to manage chronic stress, anger, grief, triggers, and boundary crossings. Rhythmic mantras will be introduced as well as other body-based techniques to return to center and regain personal control. You may be asked to develop a personal rhythmic mantra to support your goals.
If you are engaging in group therapy, you won’t have to read your non-negotiable values, or personal mantra’s aloud to others. You may be asked to share it with your therapist individually to support your desired goals.
Phase 3: Recondition Your Mindset.
In this phase, you’ll learn how to recondition your mindset by challenging your thoughts, feelings, and limiting beliefs. You will explore new ways to retrain your brain to support the habits that bring you the desired results. Your therapist will review common thought patterns associated with trauma and teach you cognitive coping skills that will enable you to choose the thoughts that will retrain your brain to see things differently. You will learn to use rhythmic techniques to deepen self-awareness and reach higher levels of personal success.
Before concluding treatment, you’ll be asked to review your goals, and achievements will be celebrated. You may be asked to rewrite your mantra and compare it to your original version. You and your therapist may also discuss future areas of concern, and together you’ll develop a plan for managing challenges. There may be an opportunity to continue with the NRTT experience through the Beyond NRTT group support network.
What Instrument is Used?
The NRTT Method uses the Turbo Slap-Top Cajon as the primary instrument.
Do I Need Previous Musical Training?
No, but you must be willing to learn. This is not a drum circle. Participants are taught how to optimize their traumatized brain while learning how to play the cajon.
Will I need to Purchase a Cajon?
It is not required, investment in a cajon is highly recommended. The cost is approximately $300 CAD
What Should You Expect?
Relief from emotional struggles and epic transformation!
Is the NRTT Method right for you?
It is if you can fully commit to completing the 12-week program. Dr. Pamela will be able to assess your application for this therapeutic modality. It is designed only for those fully motivated to transform their lives for the better.