The Instinctual Trauma Response Simplified

 

One of the first and most pressing questions people wonder about when they hear about Help for Trauma or the Instinctual Trauma Response Model™ (ITR™) of therapy is Can this treatment really help me or my loved one when so many other therapies have failed? What makes the ITR™ different from other therapies?

First of all, yes, the ITR™ is highly effective in helping people who live with the aftermath of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many people tell us that they come to Help for Trauma as a last resort after years of other forms of therapy and counseling that proved to be ineffective. Most people who seek us out believe they are unfixable, but they complete our treatment with a new sense of self, optimism, tools to thrive, and confidence to move forward.

But what makes the ITR™ different from other forms of trauma therapy? The instinctual trauma response is a universal response to a life-threatening situation. Unfortunately, many of us have experienced this fight-flight-freeze response and its ensuing stages. Dr. Louis Tinnin and Dr. Linda Gantt developed the Instinctual Trauma Response Method™ of trauma therapy based on studies of animal survival instincts and brain research. They studied the body and brain’s responses during and after traumatic events.

While the specific events of traumatic events may differ widely, the human experience is a predictable response. Whether a person experiences combat, a car accident, physical assault, natural disaster, or medical trauma, the response is a startle, an attempt to fight or flee, a feeling of being trapped and going into a freeze, an altered stated of consciousness, a state of submission, and self-repair.

Much of a trauma experience is nonverbal and, therefore, difficult to describe in words. Many troubling symptoms of post-traumatic stress that follow are also nonverbal. When those symptoms are traced back to the instinctual trauma response and put into the context of the traumatic event, they cease. This paradigm is the core of treatment for the ITR Model™ of therapy. Treatment incorporates right brain strengths, such as external dialogue, graphic narrative, art therapy, and representation. This method assists the right brain in communicating the traumatic event to the left side of the brain so that it can be holistically processed in sequence with a beginning, middle, and end, filed it in memory, and be experienced as in the past and over.  

Have you been troubled with flashbacks and nightmares that won’t stop? Compulsive behaviors? Depression, rage, or self-harming behaviors? Do you hear troubling voices? Perhaps your symptoms are rooted in a traumatic event and you are struggling with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

We would love to hear from you. We are here to help.

Photo Credit: Pixabay, public domain