The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics: An Intervention for Early Childhood Neglect

Better Essays
In the United States, mistreating a child is extremely looked down upon. Many people reason that children are incapable of caring for themselves, and as such, it is a moral responsibility for adults to care for them. Sadly, this sense of moral obligation does not protect children from being maltreated. Child maltreatment is a term that encapsulates both child abuse and neglect. Child neglect accounts for 49% of all reported cases of maltreatment and is the most common form of child maltreatment (McCoy & Keen, 2009, p. 77). Neglect leads to detrimental effects in both the short and the long-term. Until recently, treatment for neglect was minimally efficacious; however, with advances in technology and research, a new model of treatment has emerged. The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) is a holistic intervention that seems to combat the long-term effects of physical neglect, providing hope for those maltreated in early childhood. In order to understand the efficacy and research behind implementing a NMT guided treatment for these children, it is imperative to differentiate between the various subtypes of neglect while looking into the extensive consequences of withholding care.
The United States defines child maltreatment as “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious injury or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm” (McCoy & Keen, 2009, p. 63). This legal definition is better understood by the idea that a caregiver repeatedly fails to provide the most basic care necessary for a child. Although abandonment is often the first thing that comes to mind when one hears the word “neglect...

... middle of paper ...

...ssment, highly individualized educational, enrichment, and therapeutic interventions are created (Perry & Hambrick, 2008).


Child Trauma Academy, (2013). Retrieved from
McCoy, M. L., & Keen, S. M., (2009). Child abuse and neglect. New York: Psychology Press.
Perry, B., (2006). Applying principles of neurodevelopment to clinical work with maltreated and traumatized children: The neurosequential model of therapeutics. Working with traumatized youth in child welfare, 27-52.
Perry, B., (2009). Examining child maltreatment through a neurodevelopmental lens: Clinical applications of the neurosequential model of therapeutics. Journal of loss and trauma, 14: 240-55. doi:10.1080/15325020903004350
Perry, B. & Hambrick, E., (2008). The neurosequential model of therapeutics. Reclaiming children and youth, 17(3), 38-43.
Get Access