Help For Trauma is proud to be a part of the Mental Health Freedom Movement. We believe in accessibility to mental health for all.
Drs. Tinnin and Gantt embody this mindset and have dedicated their lives to assisting people in healing from trauma.
In the 1990s, Dr. Tinnin conducted clinical studies to compare different methods of accessing traumatic material. He compared hypnosis, sodium amytal, and nitrous oxide. He discovered that the catharsis of reliving a trauma was not the curative element as he had predicted. He realized that the key to a person’s improvement was being able to finish the story. Those whose stories were told in an unemotional fashion did better than those whose stories were emotionally told but interrupted before the ending. With this important finding, Dr. Tinnin and Dr. Gantt began working on specific protocols to keep a person from reliving painful experiences. They devised an image narrative approach (which they later called Graphic Narrative®). They soon found if they used the components of the Instinctual Trauma Response as an outline for each story, it enabled them to identify many of the fragments of a story that caused troubling symptoms. Once the stories were complete and then told back to a survivor (a process called a “re-presentation”), people often spontaneously commented that they felt the event was truly over. Along with this, symptoms were greatly reduced or completely disappeared. They found the next step is Externalized Dialogue® helps a person to communicate and understand the dissociated Parts of them that hold “victim Mythology” (negative thoughts, beliefs, or behaviors) based on those now finished past experiences and they could reverse that in a short time with practice.
Drs. Tinnin and Gantt found many people are given a devastating diagnosis when in fact they are “stuck” in a fixed state of the ITR caused by a traumatic experience. They say, “It’s not who you are, it’s what happened to you, it’s totally treatable and it doesn’t take long to do it”.
Linda Gantt PhD, ATR-BC
Dr. Gantt is the owner and Executive Director of Intensive Trauma Therapy. She is a board-certified art therapist (ATR-BC) with the Art Therapy Credentials Board. She is well known among art therapists, having served as president and journal editor of the American Art Therapy Association and as chair of the National Coalition of Art Therapies Associations. She is also a leading art therapy researcher and author, as well as the developer with Carmello Tabone of the internationally recognized Formal Elements Art Therapy Scale. Dr. Gantt has taught in a number of graduate art therapy programs including the George Washington University, Vermont College, Notre Dame de Namur, and Florida State University.
Dr. Louis Tinnin
Dr. Tinnin (1932-2014) had a successful 50-year career as a psychiatrist. He served tirelessly as the founder of two outpatient trauma clinics: Trauma Recovery Institute (1996-2006) and Intensive Trauma Therapy (2006-present). He and his wife, Linda Gantt, developed the Instinctual Trauma Response™ method from early clinical trials at Chestnut Ridge Hospital at West Virginia University (Morgantown, West Virginia) and the Louis A. Johnson Veterans Administration Medical Center (Clarksburg, West Virginia).
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