Experiencing early trauma can disrupt our ability to cultivate healthy, fulfilling relationships. We might struggle to trust others or view ourselves as undeserving of connection. Regardless of a person’s particular struggles, our learned relationship dynamics can make it difficult to build friendships, romantic connections, and more.
Thankfully, it’s possible to learn new ways of cultivating relationships. Dynamic Attachment Repatterning experience (DAre) can help you break the patterns that leave you feeling isolated and disconnected.
As a DARe practitioner myself, I’ve seen firsthand how transformative this approach can be in helping people build relationships that feed them rather than drain them. Plus, I’ve used DARe principles to improve my own relationships as well. In this post, I’ll break down the basics of:
What the DARe approach is,
What techniques are used in a DARe session,
Who DARe can help, and
Potential benefits of the DARe approach.
Let’s dive in.
How does DARe work?
The DARe approach is a relatively new form of trauma treatment developed by therapist Diane Poole Heller, Ph.D. Her work blends her own research with psychologists Mary Ainsworth and John Bowlby’s findings on attachment theory and Peter Levine, Ph.D.’s concept of Somatic Experiencing (SE).
The idea behind attachment theory is essentially that our relationships with early caregivers can shape how we relate to ourselves and others. If our caregivers can be physically and emotionally present most of the time, we develop a secure attachment style. If not, we’ll develop an insecure attachment style, making it difficult to form stable, healthy bonds with others.
Somatic Experiencing (SE) draws on related but distinct theories in trauma research. Basically, Somatic Experiencing (SE) is based on the idea that trauma is stored in our bodies. Our bodies (primarily our nervous system) can change in response to traumatic events–including early childhood experiences with caregivers.
By combining these two theories, DARe helps people process the trauma that lives on in their nervous system and cultivates secure attachment patterns to heal from trauma and grow stronger relationships.
What happens in a DARe session?
In my work with clients, I customize each session to their unique needs, strengths, and treatment goals. At the same time, all of our DARe work will draw on the same tenents.
Here’s a look at what to expect from a DARe session.
You’ll learn about your attachment patterns. Working with a DARe practitioner will give you insight into your relationship patterns. The four main attachment styles are secure, avoidant (also known as dismissive), anxious ambivalent (also known as preoccupied), and disorganized (also known as unresolved). Together, we’ll identify how your early experiences with attachment shaped the pattern of attachment in your own system and how it continues to show up in your life as an adult. From here, we can begin to re-pattern that early blueprint to help you better understand yourself and how you relate to others.
You’ll grow your awareness of the mind-body connection. During this process, you’ll also get in touch with your physical body. You’ll start to notice how your nervous system influences your ability to stay in connection with yourself and others. As part of this work, you’ll get familiar with where you feel certain emotions in your body. We’ll also incorporate grounding skills to help you get back to baseline if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
You’ll learn new skills to effectively connect with others. To help you build secure relationships with others, you’ll learn techniques that are based on your specific attachment style. These skills will help you begin to shift the way you connect with others so you can enjoy healthier, happier relationships. I’ve even seen the benefits play out firsthand in my relationship with my partner, my family relationships, and more.
By blending these techniques, we’ll help you better understand yourself and how to cultivate the relationships you want.
Who is DARe for?
DARe can be helpful for a wide range of people. Here are some examples of those who may especially benefit from this approach.
Trauma survivors. People who’ve experienced trauma, especially early in their lives, may find DARe particularly therapeutic. Since DARe blends two primary theories in trauma research, it can provide deep, sustained healing.
Couples. If you and your partner are struggling with communication, conflict resolution, or other relationship issues, DARe may help. Together, you’ll learn more about your attachment styles and how to cultivate a sense of safety and security in your relationship.
Anyone looking to improve their relationships. Our attachment styles extend to all close relationships–not just romantic relationships. If you want stronger connections with your friends, family members, and colleagues, consider trying DARe.
Those interested in personal development. Even if you haven’t experienced any major trauma or have significant difficulties in relationships, DARe may be able to help you. Nearly anyone can benefit from growing their understanding of their mind, body, and emotions.
If you’re not sure whether the DARe approach is the right fit for you, I invite you to reach out for a free connect call. We can discuss your unique situation and I’ll provide my expert recommendation for which modalities may best serve you.
How can DARe help?
In my professional experience as a DARe practitioner, I’ve seen how life-changing this approach can be for my clients. Understanding how you relate to yourself and others is incredibly valuable and can help you take steps toward the life (and relationships) you long for.
I’ve also experienced the healing potential of DARe firsthand. Certain past experiences I’ve had have shaped the way I show up in relationships now. By incorporating the DARe principles into my own healing journey, I’ve been able to find deeper connection to myself and others. Read more about my experience here.
Here are some of the specific ways that the DARe approach may be able to help you.
Learn more about yourself. With this therapeutic modality, you’ll reflect on your past experiences and how they’ve shaped the way to connect with others. You’ll also gain an awareness of how your body has responded to these experiences, as well as what you need to feel grounded.
Heal old trauma wounds. Beyond simply learning about yourself, you’ll also work with your DARe practitioner to take tangible steps toward healing. You’ll find which skills work best for you depending on your attachment style, relationship needs, and physical sensations.
Find safety in your body. Part of this process is learning how to foster a sense of safety within yourself. When you can regulate your emotions and grow a secure connection with yourself, you lay the groundwork for healthy, stable relationships with others.
Build stronger relationships. As a result of your work in DARe, you’ll have the skills and confidence to establish and maintain strong relationships with all of the people in your life–including yourself.
These are just a few of the ways that DARe can help people heal.
Build deep, meaningful connections with the help of a DARe practitioner.
If you’re seeking fulfilling relationships and a stronger sense of self, working with a DARe practitioner can help. I’m trained in this approach as well as many other trauma-focused techniques (learn more here), and I’m passionate about helping people discover their unique healing journey.
Connect with me today to get started!