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With the help of Bruce Perry's mapping tool NMT (Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics), one can map the extent of damage and treatment needs in traumatized children and adolescents. This can then be used to affect the areas that have been damaged. 

 Image: Dreamstime (with licence)


Psychologist Heine Steinkopf at RVTS South (i.e., Regional Competence Centre on Violence, Traumatic Stress, and Suicide Prevention) tells how, with the help of Bruce Perry's mapping tool NMT (Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics), one can assess the extent of damage and map treatment needs in traumatized children and young people.


The brain is shaped by its use 

This is what RVTS writes in an online case. Heine Steinkopf tells RVTS:

I am currently working a lot on how we can help an injured brain to develop. We know that the brain is shaped by its use. The brain is particularly prone to influences it is exposed to in the early years. The good news is: We can reprogram a damaged brain.

We are about to start a program called NMT that Bruce Perry has developed. It is a mapping tool where we can in a slightly informal way map brain functions to see which functions have been damaged by what it has experienced. In order to affect the areas that have been damaged.

Here you can see Heine Steinkopf tell what an injured brain may need.


The importance of fixed routines

Psychologist Heine Steinkopf gives an example of how NMT can be used as a method to help children and young people who have early psychological damage to the brain. He points in an example to a 15-year-old boy who was much influenced by his mother's alcohol use during pregnancy, i.e. when he was in his mother's womb:

One way to work with it is to reprogram the part of the brain that has been affected during pregnancy. What we do is, among other things, work with regular repetitive routines, says Steinkopf.

Therefore, despite the fact that the boy is in his teens, it is recommended that someone performs fixed routines with him every night, and always the same sequence. Heine Steinkopf elaborates:

He goes down to the bathroom, brushes his teeth, his caregiver comes, the boy goes to bed, the caregiver sings a song, tells a story, prays the evening prayer. The boy takes a deep breath and relaxes. He does this over and over again.

Now this boy is much better. But it requires a lot of repetition. It requires patience. In this way, the part of the brain that is damaged during pregnancy can be healed.


Simple steps may be the best steps

In addition, the psychologist gives an example of how to work on exercising trust in children and young people with a fundamental failure in this area. Heine Steinkopf summarizes:

So what does it take to repair an unfortunate brain? We have a lot of advanced knowledge that points to the simple. The everyday. Repetition of the good simple stuff - every day.

Repeated repeated doses of kindness and presence. Rhythmic activities. Breathing exercises, physical activity, relaxation. Many activities that belong to the daily life that are prescribed through relationships. This is what it takes to heal damaged brains.

We can achieve this with simple means and without diagnosing in the usual way. Also without using medication. THAT is a good message, says Heine Steinkopf.



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