©Neurodevelopmental Integrative Therapy (NIT)
This treatment is not performed at The Attach Place; however, it once was and now Teri Gelgood, LMFT provides this through her organization. We support this kind of treatment and encourage you to reach out to Teri for more information. She can be reached at Teri@NeuroParenting.com.
What is Neurodevelopmental Integrative Therapy?
I created Neurodevelopmental Integrative Therapy (NIT) as a blend of neuroscientifically-based approaches to help children and adults heal from developmental trauma (adverse experiences in-utero and early childhood). Developmental trauma impedes healthy brain development and frequently leads to disorganization and dysregulation in the most primitive level of the brain – the brainstem.
NIT helps organize neural connections in the brainstem and regulate the central nervous system through the Neurodevelopmental Activity Program (NAP). NAP is a customized program of neurodevelopmental movements and activities that are done at home.
NIT also consists of teaching therapeutic parenting strategies for those caring for children with challenges and providing emotional support, advocacy and trauma processing for clients and parents.
What are neurodevelopmental movements?
Neurodevelopmental movements are automatic movements that all human babies do in the womb and infancy when they are healthy, nurtured and have the ability to move. They are triggered by primitive reflexes that originate in the brainstem and are critically important for laying down the neuro-sensory-motor foundations required for all higher levels of functioning, including sensory processing, attachment, emotional regulation, social skill development and academic success.
Developmental trauma of various types can prevent primitive reflexes from integrating. The bad news is that, in short, this means that the survival mechanisms of freeze, fight and flight are always “on”. The good news is that due to neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to rewire, primitive reflexes can be integrated at any age. One just needs to know how.
What are some disorders that NIT can help with?
Sleep and eating disorders, sensory integration disorders, autism spectrum disorders, developmental delays, attachment disorders, vision and hearing disorders, speech and communication disorders, anxiety and depressive disorders, attention and impulse control disorders, oppositional defiant/conduct disorders, learning disorders, and addiction disorders. Many symptoms not only improve but may even disappear.
What does the NIT and NAP program look like and how long will my child need to do it?
Because NIT consists of various elements, it really depends on what your needs are. We work together to create your treatment plan.
The NAP, which is one component of NIT, will take about 20 minutes per day. It is customized based on abilities, preferences and needs. The activities may include rhythmic movements, developmental movements and isometric activities for adults. For children, I also utilize developmental play and attachment activities. (Parents are an active part of a child’s program!)
Because every brain and every family is different, I cannot make any promises on what the end result of doing NAP will be or how long a program will take to complete. You will likely start to see some improvements quickly if you are consistent. But to permanently rewire the brain can take several months or more. We do taper down sessions over time.
I already have a therapist. Can I also work with you?
Absolutely. If your therapist is on board with having a Neurodevelopmental Activity Program as part of your child’s treatment, I would be delighted to be part of the treatment team. However, please note that my role will be exclusively focused on the NAP and I will defer all clinical issues to your therapist.
© Teri Gelgood, LMFT, 2021