PTSD – Coping and Catharsis?

Unlike Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR), most common approaches to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) fall into two categories: coping techniques and cathartic techniques.

Some therapists give their clients specific in vivo methods for counteracting or coping with the symptoms of PTSD. Sometimes they provide ‘tools’ to enable clients to learn to adapt to, to learn to live with, their PTSD condition. Others encourage their clients to “release their feelings”, to have a catharsis.

Coping methods and cathartic techniques may help a person to feel better temporarily, but they don’t resolve trauma. Clients may feel better temporarily after coping or having a catharsis, but the basic charge remains in place. Eventually, the client will feel that they need more therapy.

Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR)

We use a specialist method of support called Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR) to help people fully and permanently process psychological trauma. TIR is a non-clinical system of social-support, enabling individuals to explore and process areas of psychological/emotional concern or distress.

TIR operates on the principle that a permanent resolution of trauma requires a full anamnesis (recovery of repressed memories). This is much more powerful than mere catharsis or coping.

TIR is a person-centred approach, during which a Facilitator guides you to explore and inspect your mental environment.

A Safe & Non-Judgmental Approach

TIR sessions take place in a safe environment, free from interruption, and in comfort.

The aim of the process, is for you to achieve a resolution and/or a greater sense of well-being.

We refer to this stage of the process as an ‘End Point’; emotional pain associated with an incident reduces, and the residual memory simply becomes more factual than ‘traumatic’. The distressing event becomes a source of experiential learning and development, rather than one which causes emotional pain.

To achieve this, our TIR Facilitator’s will:

  • Be open-minded, neutral and non-judgmental at all times
  • Actively listen to you without imposing their own ideas, interpretations, distractions, suggestions or advice.
  • Empower you to reach your own conclusions.
  • Conduct an open session (not time bound) allowing you to fully engage in the process as long as you wish
  • Not attempt to diagnose you with any illness/ condition or label you in anyway.
  • Remain fully focused on you at all times, until the end of your session.

What is TIR useful for?

TIR is highly effective in elimination the negative effects of past traumatic reactions.

It is especially useful when:

  • A person feels affected by a specific trauma or set of traumas
  • Someone reacts inappropriately (or overreacts in certain situations) and it’s thought past trauma may be responsible
  • Someone experiences unaccountable or inappropriate negative emotions, either chronically or in response to certain re-stimulation (triggers)

How long has TIR been in use?

Since 1984, although its current format is the result of research, refinement and adjustment since its first use.

What is the anticipated outcome of TIR?

In the majority of cases, TIR results in the complete and permanent elimination of most PTSD symptoms. It also provides valuable insights, which an individual arrives at quite spontaneously without any prompting from the facilitator.

What are the contra-indications of TIR?

TIR is contra-indicated for use with people who:

  • Are psychotic or nearly so
  • Are currently abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Aren’t making a self-determined choice to engage in TIR
  • Have no interest in or attention on past trauma(s)

TIR is entirely person-centred and non-forceful; you may simply discontinue if you find the process too difficult to continue.

Hence, there are no harmful effects associated with TIR.

A cardinal rule of TIR facilitation, is never to force the individual and to always follow their interest. Our team follow a strict code of ethics in order to ensure you get the best from TIR.


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