This week I wanted to share a 60-minute segment that featured NMT Therapy for children that are experiencing trauma recovery. It was put together by Oprah Winfrey and her comment about it was “this has changed my life!” You can watch the entire segment at this 60 Minute Link.
The segment was taped in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and starts with looking at a Catholic orphanage that no longer is a residential orphanage, now it primarily places orphaned, abandoned, neglected and abused children in foster homes, and then coordinates their care.
For the children in their care the center responds with an approach called “trauma-informed care,” which focuses on a person’s experiences before trying to correct their behavior, whether it be juvenile delinquency, poor performance in school, or out-of-control anger.
What happened to You
What it comes down to is changing the questions we ask from, “What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with that kid? Why is he behaving like that,” to, “What happened to you,” which is a very different question. A crucial part of this care begins with something called the “ACE test.” ACE stands for adverse childhood experiences.
Oprah begins to interview Dr. Bruce Perry (who developed NMT therapy). His first comment is “If you have developmental trauma, the truth is you’re going to be at risk for almost any kind of physical health, mental health, social health problem that you can think of”. Dr. Perry’s point is that if you are raised in a traumatic environment your brain is wired differently.
Family Christian Counseling Center
Therapists at Family Christian Counseling Center have been trained in this therapy and are a few of only a handful of therapists trained in NMT in the state of Arizona (click to see a map of trained therapists in Arizona).
Oprah begins to interview Belinda Pittman-McGee who has been running the Nia Imani Family Center in Milwaukee for the last 23 years. She has been practicing the tenets of NMT for the last 20 years without having a name for it. Oprah asks Dr. Perry “What’s the difference between a really bad childhood and being able to overcome that and a traumatic childhood and someone not being able to overcome that?”
Dr. Perry’s answer is: “Really it boils down to something pretty simple. And it’s relationships.”
Oprah –“And a lot of people can say, “Oh, I went through that. I went through that. I was, you know, physically abused, sexually abused. And I made it. I pulled myself up by the bootstraps.” What you’re saying is at some point in your life there was a relationship, or a helping hand, or some kind of healing process that helped you to get where you are.”
Dr. Bruce Perry: Absolutely. Somebody helped you pull up those boots.
The passion of the therapists at Family Christian Counseling Center is to be that helping hand to begin the process of healing in every traumatized child that walks through our door. If you would like to read about their certifications with Dr. Perry and the Child Trauma Academy please click on the link.