The Instinctual Trauma Response (ITR)

The Instinctual Trauma Response (ITR) Method™ is an evidence-supported method that focuses on treating the roots of trauma symptoms, ending the triggers that cause them. It is a simple but profound method used to complete a traumatic event and integrate consciousness, body, brain, memory narrative, and parts.

The ITR Method™ was developed by Dr. Louis Tinnin, psychiatrist, and his wife, Dr. Linda Gantt, an art therapist, after over 30 years of working in hospitals and out-patient clinics. Together they have helped thousands who found relief after trying many other methods. The ITR Method™ works by directly and intentionally “re-coding” traumatic memories so that they finally are placed in the past.

Trauma is considered a disturbing, distressing, or overwhelming experience. It can be an experience that seemed harmless or you took for granted figuring “it’s just life,” like a difficult birth or an invasive medical procedure. But trauma can actually affect you on a deeper level than you realize. Traumatic events can cause the executive functions of your brain to “go offline,” so you’re not able to operate at your highest level. The first step toward healing is recognizing these events as actual trauma.

Many people know they went through one or many traumas in their life and these events are causing severe symptoms that won’t go away, even after years of therapy, medications, and hospital stays.

Trauma can affect everything in your life for the rest of your life if it isn’t processed and placed into a story with a beginning, middle, and end. The memories trapped in the nonverbal brain need to be re-coded and be put into context so both sides of the brain can process the event.

Instinctual Trauma Response™ Other Therapies
Takes fragments of the traumas that cause flashbacks & nightmares and puts them into historical context so they are no longer triggers Focus on coping skills (progressive relaxation, deep breathing, thought-stopping)
Uses images from drawing the graphic narrative (doing play therapy with children) using the structure of the Instinctual Trauma Response —“The image comes first” Uses cognitive skills and reframing
If a traumatic event is not thoroughly processed, it feels like the event will happen again. The ITR method makes it possible to truly “finish the story!” Concentrates on how the person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are connected in the present
As the traumas are truly finished, the person will have more capacity for problem-solving What happened in the past is not considered as important as present-day functioning
Single traumas can be completed in a matter of hours; a program can be done as an intensive (30 hours per week), a long weekend (9 hours), or weekly sessions. Some therapists insist on a long period of stabilization before trauma processing begins; can be years of weekly sessions
Can be used with children as young as 3 years old as well as older children, adolescents, and adults. Young children and those with developmental delays cannot be treated with some types of trauma work
Does not require re-living the event. Some approaches stress abreaction (re-experiencing the emotion dissociated from the original trauma) and others use prolonged exposure
Integrates nonverbal and verbal memories. Deals primarily with verbal material

Children’s Program

We base our child and adolescent program on the same theory as our adult program but make adjustments for the child’s age, cognitive development, and emotional level. We focus on “telling the story” (externalizing the traumas) and on dealing with the child’s parts that are “stuck” in the past. We involve you (the parent or caretaker) in the treatment and psychoeducation sessions and help you with suggestions for continuing the work at home.

This program is especially suitable for children and adolescents who have had preverbal traumas, such as accidents resulting in severe injuries, operations, invasive and/or repeated medical treatments, sexual abuse, bullying, and adoption.

The sooner a child is treated, the better for everyone involved. We can take children as young as 2 years old. As long as they understand language and are out of the trauma or traumatic situation (domestic violence), they can be treated.

Call us for more information 833-487-8437 (833-ITRtherapy)

Adult Program

We offer help for those who hear voices. You may be surprised to learn that internal voices resulting from trauma are more common than voices that come from schizophrenia. Over the course of three decades, Dr. Tinnin and Dr. Gantt  developed effective and simple methods for helping voice-hearers positively change their relationships with their internal voices.

We offer assistance in processing all types of traumas. The ITR Method™ is flexible and can be used for any type of trauma. A majority of the people who come to us have complex PTSD and have experienced several types of traumas over the course of their lives.

We offer help with pre-verbal traumas. Experience relief from post-traumatic symptoms caused by pre-verbal childhood traumas. Dealing with these foundation traumas is the basis of the Instinctual Trauma Response (ITR™) treatment program. Such traumas are not even recognized by many therapists because they do not know how to address the nonverbal experiences of very young traumatized children. Bouts of anxiety, panic attacks, life-long depression, and a persistent feeling of dread are symptoms of trauma that often contribute to a misunderstanding of the root cause. Many of these traumas arise from necessary surgeries, invasive medical procedures, accidents, or adoptions.

Fortunately, foundational traumas are fully treatable in a short time. Our weekend intensives are an effective way to deal with these traumas and their symptoms.

We offer strategies for resolving traumatic dissociation. Our therapy model helps you reverse traumatic dissociation and recover a sense of who you were before the traumatic experience. We can’t change what happened to you, but we can change how you think about it. Dissociation is common, and our therapists understand it and can help you.

We offer closure for traumatic memories. We help you bring full closure to traumatic memories that haunt you in the present. Flashbacks and intrusive thoughts become part of your past. As our staff members say, “That was then, this is now. THE END.”

PTSD is not a life sentence. It is treatable, and treatment doesn’t need to take years! How about one week?

Call us 833-487-8437 or send us a Quick Message. We can help you, your loved one, or your family.

Testimonials

My wife went thru a therapy program using this Instinctual Trauma Response program and had excellent results. It eliminated all her flashbacks, her panic attacks and so on. It did what was being explained to her. Be careful about being critical until you understand more. This therapy will eventually be the standard for treating PTSD. ~CH

Processing traumas has really made a difference in my life.
Gretchen, Age 48


The trauma’s are not on the forefront of my mind anymore. The treatment definitely worked in storing trauma from short to long term memory.

Tom, Age 29


I am more free to be myself, to be real with everything my life has held, and to allow myself to experience a full range of emotions regarding my life. ITR helped me put together various puzzle pieces I’d been looking at in counseling and couldn’t make sense of. Probably the biggest change is that I know it is a very good thing that I am alive and life is beautiful. There is a big change in my perspective.

Alexandra, Age 27


I feel like a heavy weight that was resting on my shoulders has been lifted. I feel free from the anchor of depression that was holding me back. I just feel so relieved – I did not know that I could feel so uplifted!

Female, Age 20


I feel so much freer and happier now and have been able to use tools I learned (grounding, external dialoging) to get through rough times. I am back on my “feet”, stronger than ever, enjoying a new line of work for now, many friends, life in general and perhaps most important: a much better sense of myself–all parts of myself that I now understand, accept guide and love.

Female, Age 46


Clients and therapists alike ask how they can help spread the word about the ITR method. If you are willing, please give us your testimony or send us a video to info@HelpForTrauma.com and we will post it! We love to hear all your stories. It is so inspiring to all of us working hard and sometimes alone in remote areas. Thanks for contributing. ?