- Reliving the trauma through flashbacks or nightmares.
- Avoidance of things that remind you of the trauma.
- Negative feelings or beliefs.
- Hyperarousal, such as not being able to sleep.
People who have unresolved trauma may find it very difficult to function in everydayactivities, and struggle with holding on to a job, going to school, or taking care of their families. This may occur because they are constantly revisiting the trauma.
How Can Traumatic Incident Reduction Help?
TIR is a process used, in collaboration with your therapist, to revisit a past trauma until all of the emotions associated with that trauma have been resolved. Together you sort through fragmented memories, get clarification of the events, and glean some understanding about what happened. This occurs in a safe, controlled place with a professional trained to practice this technique.
How Does Traumatic Incident Reduction Work?
According to the Traumatic Incident Reduction Association, the TIR concept can be traced back to Sigmund Freud. He believed that people who experienced trauma needed to experience a retrieval of their lost memories, or “anamnesis.” When you experience trauma, the memories create so many difficult and painful emotions that it is easier to push them away then to feel them. In order for a victim of PTSD to recover, he or she must face the memories of the experience.
Traumatic Incident Reduction and Intention
One of the aspects of TIR therapy is the concept of “intention.” The TIR Association notes that intention is the “how” of any given activity. Intention involves a specific a period of time associated. Although time is linear, we experience time as broken up chunks of time that are major or minor life events. For instance, such events include:
- Attending school.
- Getting your first job.
- Moving to a different state.
- Getting married.
- Becoming a parent.
If we complete an intention, it ends or you can decide not to have that intention anymore. Someone who has experienced a trauma can’t end the intention, and thus, is mentally stuck during that period of time. They can’t move forward in their life.
Does Traumatic Incident Reduction Make Things Worse?
It may be intimidating, evening frightening, to have to confront the trauma that you experienced and process it in depth. Yet, the technique can bring about a full resolution of PTSD-related symptoms, and allow you to move past your trauma. This means not having to relive the trauma all of the time in your mind, and thus being stuck in that moment.
Where Can I Find a Traumatic Incident Reduction Therapist?
The TIR Association’s webpage has a listing of certified therapists, including home country and contact information. The Association has trainings to certify therapists to practice the technique, as well as research, and publications on TIR.
Traumatic Incident Reduction therapy may seem overwhelming as you consider tackling your trauma directly. However, consider the alternative. You deserve to be able to live a happy and healthy life, without being stuck relieving and experiencing the trauma over and over again. The benefits of ending your experience to move on without the burdens of PTSD are well worth it. For more information on TIR or treatment for traumatic events, visit Phil Fauerbach’s Trauma Therapy page or call Philip at (813) 651-1221