Life is Traumatic.

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What is Trauma?

During ordinary, day-to-day events, both sides of our brain process and store what we experience. However, when you have a life-threatening experience or you witness another person in such circumstances, your verbal brain can be overwhelmed and your executive function (the ability to think your way out of the trauma) fails. You can no longer organize your experience in a logical way. The parts of the brain that deal with survival take over. If you cannot fight or flee the situation you will go into the freeze. The body and brain are hardwired to help us survive. Tis is called the Instinctual Trauma Response (ITR).

The ITR components occur in order for almost any overwhelming or life-threatening experience. Some experiences may have several components over again as the event goes on over a period of time. Many people get “stuck” in one of the aspects for an extended period of time. This is known as a ‘fixed state.”

ITR Components:

Startle, Thwarted Fight/Flight, Freeze, Altered State of Consciousness, Automatic Obedience, and Self-Repair

Going into the ITR affects your memory for the event. You may feel that the fragmented memory is “stuck” in the non-verbal parts of the brain, where there are no words and no sense of time. We call these fragments “mental shrapnel.” These bits and pieces of the trauma then become triggers that intrude into life at unexpected times. The result can be bewildering and can change how an individual views him/herself, others, and the world at large.

Fixed States

A person can sometimes enter a “fixed state” when re-experiencing an aspect of the Instinctual Trauma Response as an intrusive symptom (even though the trauma happened long ago). For example, one could be in the fixed state of the freeze that is mistaken for depression. In such a case, antidepressants and other conventional treatments have little effect.

“” Trauma is the biggest mental health problem of the 21st century and it is the most treatable.” Dr. Louis Tinnin, Psychiatrist and Co-Founder of ITR

Treat trauma first and see what is left!

How ITR works with brain?

ITR is an approach to resolving trauma symptoms quickly. It is an evidence-supported method that focuses on treating the roots of trauma rather than the symptoms. ITR was developed by Dr. Lou Tinnin, psychiatrist and Dr. Linda Gantt, art therapist, after over 30 years of clinical experience with people coping with all kinds of trauma. ITR uses Graphic Narrative™ and Externalized Dialogue™ to recode traumatic memory from the non-verbal to the verbal/logical side of the brain ending the story and greatly reducing or eliminating triggers and symptoms.

Graphic Narrative™ gives traumatic memories order, verbal coding, historical context, and an objective, third-person view that protects the person from re-experiencing the trauma and fosters their capacity for empathy for themselves and others. The client feels the event is finally over and in the past. Externalized Dialigue™ invites the dissociative “parts” into the present-day. Many clients say that participating in the ITR program radically changed their lives, and specialists often say it’s the only trauma approach they have seen that really works.

We offer more than hope. We offer healing from trauma. Work online with an ITR Specialist. Go to