The Neurosequential Model

The Neurosequential Model originates from the work of Dr. Bruce Perry, MD, PHd and The Child Trauma Academy (childtrauma.org/).

The approach is pivotal to understanding trauma and the developing brain. The Neurosequential Model utilizes developmental psychology and the science of brain development to create an informed biologically-accurate approach to working with and engaging with at-risk children. The Neurosequential Model itself is not a specific therapeutic technique or intervention. However, it is a model which can be utilized by laypeople, educators, and clinicians alike to help organize a child’s history and current functioning levels. The goal of the Neurosequential approach is to best meet the needs of the child through the intentional structuring of the assessment of a child. In this way, it is vital to properly articulate the primary problems in a trauma-informed and developmentally accurate way (that shifts from blame and shame), help identify the significant strengths of the child and the family system, and work to apply interventions (therapeutic, educational, and enrichment) in a way that will help everyone involved, including the family, educators, therapists and related professionals.

  • The Neurosequential Model integrates the core principles of neurodevelopment and traumatology to inform diverse types of work with children, families and the communities in which they live. The Neurosequential Approach consists of three main components: training/capacity building, assessment and then, the specific recommendations for the selection and sequencing of therapeutic, educational and enrichment activities that match the needs and strengths of the individual. In a way, it is a strengths-based approach, which is science-based, that enlists the family and community to surround an individual and help their inner and outer resources for a successful outcome.
  • In understanding the Neurosequential Model, a therapist can offer a trauma-informed approach to therapy that not only recognizes, but also emphasizes understanding how the traumatic experiences impact a child’s mental, behavioral, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being—and can be a negative influence on behavior (which often flags a child as the “identified patient.” Utilizing the Neurosequential Model as a basis for therapy, helps root the therapist and the family in understanding the connection between the trauma experience and the child’s emotional and behavioral responses. The purpose of trauma-informed counseling for children is to offer skills and strategies to assist both the parents/caregivers and the child in better understanding, coping with, processing emotions and memories tied to traumatic experiences. The goal is to empower the child and the family to create healthier behavioral patterns and more adaptive responses to the overall meaning of the experiences that happened.


The Counselors at the Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids (and Health for Life Grand Rapids) are all trauma-informed and have learned about the Neurosequential model for integration in their practice.

All of the Counselors at The Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids have undergone extensive additional training in order to help you:

Following graduate school, all of the counselors at The Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids (located inside Health for Life Grand Rapids) have received extensive training in understanding the latest scientific research on neurobiology and how trauma affects the whole person. In addition, all of our therapists have learned at least one, trauma-specific intervention modality, which they have added to their toolbox of techniques in order to best help all people who seek help. This means, that they not only have the same training as your average counselor or therapist in Grand Rapids, MI to conduct traditional counseling and talk-therapy, but they have additional tools and information that will be helpful to people who are looking for more than a “solution-focused brief approach” or a strictly “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)” approach. More good news: Our therapists all know how to utilized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and interweave those modalities into their personal style. And so, if you are seeking that type of counseling—we also can provide it.

Trauma-Informed Counseling Center

Health for Life Grand Rapids is a multi-faceted clinic that aims to treat the whole person. Health for Life Grand Rapids houses the Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids, two Naturopathic Doctors, a Medical Support Clinical Hypnotherapist, and a Health Coach. We’re your one-stop shop for getting to the root of what is troubling you in mind and body, and helping you heal.

Success Stories

  • nicole vega
    Name - Nicole Vega

    Client quote: “Nicole has been my health coach for almost one year.   I am so grateful for her participation and encouragement in my journey as I continue to work towards my personal goals.  Nicole has inspired me to be a better version of who I am through her passion and commitment in helping others.  She has provided me with [...]

  • Name - Nicole Vega

    Client quote: “I met Nicole in grad school. Her warm energy and compassionate soul made her very approachable. She’s always been health conscious, from clean nutrition to mental health stability. When Nicole reached out to me after I’d had my daughter, I was so relieved. I was looking for a way to take charge of my health and nutrition [...]

  • Name - Nicole Cain, ND MA

    "Nicole Cain, ND MA is an incredibly talented healer, the best I’ve ever had. She is more than a doctor who gives you 7 minutes, nods, pokes, and writes a script for pills. She is like nothing you have likely seen before in healthcare. She’ll completely change your view of what is possible and what WELLNESS can be." - [...]

  • Name - Dr. Matthias

    Professional quote: “Dr. Ronald Matthias: I am the doctor I am today in large part because of Nicole Cain, ND MA. There is no better Naturopathic doctor that I have worked with who has an amazing ability to relate to her patients. She is tough, thorough, and detailed, and her patients love her for it. I am proud to [...]

  • Name - Actual Patient

    Patient quote: “Nicole Cain, ND MA is different than any other clinician I have worked with. I know she really cares about me and she spent a lot of time with me working to understand my experience. When I started working with Nicole Cain, ND MA I was taking 5 different medications and I have been able to discontinue [...]

  • Name - Paul Krauss

    Professional quote: "I'm pleased to recommend Paul as a talented and diligent therapist. During our time together as clinicians at Jewish Family and Children's Service, we facilitated adolescent therapy groups and staffed with each other regarding the clients and families we were both involved in providing services for. During these and other interactions, Paul consistently demonstrated professionalism, genuine care, [...]

  • Name - Actual Patient

    Patient quote: “Paul, I think I know why I can be open with you and not all of the other counselors I have seen. Because I deep down truly and fully and in my heart BELIEVE that you CARE, about me, and about everyone. That is how you made yourself SO good at what you do. And that makes [...]