Instinctual Trauma Response Therapy is based on the Instinctual Trauma Response Model developed by Dr. Louis Tinnin and Dr. Linda Gantt. This approach to trauma treatment combines information from the latest neurological studies with concepts from physiological, neurological and psychological survival strategies which have been evolving in all animals.
Essentially, when an animal is confronted by a situation which is perceived to be dangerous in any way, the mind and body work together to identify, plan, and implement a strategy to survive. If all goes well, the animal escapes the threat readily and goes on about life. However, if escape is not possible, then the animal changes over to more primitive survival strategies and the body begins to take action to preserve life.
The effects of trauma can be felt in the mind and in the body as well. Just as we can develop a muscle memory that enables us to ride a bicycle, our bodies can also develop muscle memories and there is increasing evidence that this is also true at the cellular level.
Instinctual Trauma Response Therapy involves not only accessing and processing memories of the conscious brain but also accessing and processing the memories at the physiological level. The story behind the events is explored, uncovered and processed using both verbal and nonverbal modes of expression - allowing the mind to tell the story and using drawing, movement or other nonverbal techniques to empower the body to tell its own story about the event.
Typically, as all the elements of the experience are integrated, there are discoveries about patterns of behaviors and thoughts that have escaped this experience and begun to extend into other parts of life, like weeds in a garden. Once discovered, those "weeds" can be dealt with and empowerment returns to the gardener.