When an individual experiences trauma, it’s common that the body becomes so overwhelmed it shuts down. This causes the brain to block out or fragment memories to protect the individual from pain. Unfortunately, this leaves the pain unprocessed, which can cause issues in every facet of daily life. But with specialized therapy modalities such as TIR therapy, veterans can heal from the negative effects of repressed trauma from their time in the service.
Veterans experience uncommon forms of trauma that can be difficult to get help for through civilian mental health services. That’s why Heroes’ Mile is dedicated to providing trauma-informed mental health and addiction care to veterans in an environment where they are surrounded by people who understand. Our veteran rehab employs veterans who can understand where you’ve been because they’ve fought those same battles, which means better treatment outcomes for you.
Keep reading to learn more about TIR therapy and how it helps veterans overcome the invisible wounds of war.
What Is TIR?
Traumatic incident reduction, or TIR, therapy is a short-term form of psychotherapy that helps those who have experienced trauma. It aims to reduce or eliminate the mental and emotional burden caused by experiencing traumatic events. This can be a challenge because many traumatic events are so difficult to process that many individuals repress them instead.
But how do you know if you’ve experienced a traumatic event? A painful or stressful incident such as a medical procedure, car accident, the loss of a loved one, or sexual assault can all be traumatic. But veterans can experience additional forms of trauma. This includes combat exposure, combat-related injuries or accidents, deployment to war zones, and military sexual trauma (MST).
Because of these unique forms of trauma, veterans are at a higher risk of suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than civilians. This leads a significant number of former military personnel turning to substance abuse to cope as a result of unprocessed trauma. While drugs and alcohol temporarily relieve the pain, they often make the underlying issues worse over time.
And although TIR therapy doesn’t directly address addiction, it does help veterans get to the underlying cause of their substance abuse problems. In this way, TIR therapy can help individuals recover from drug and alcohol dependency when applied alongside other veteran addiction treatment strategies.
The History of Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR)
Dr. Frank Gerbode developed TIR therapy as an alternative to psychotherapy. In this process, he worked with Vietnam War veterans diagnosed with PTSD to help them work through the trauma causing the symptoms. Dr. Gerbode formed trauma incident reduction from elements of psychoanalysis and behavioral therapy. This includes the processes of retrospection and desensitization.
In layman’s terms, these processes allow individuals to look back at traumatic memories and fully process them. Through guided therapeutic exercises, individuals can look back on trauma without becoming overwhelmed by the fear or pain of the incident. Instead, they can process unpleasant emotions in a safe, controlled environment to finally move past their trauma.
What Types of Traumatic Incident Reduction Are There?
TIR is a person-centered therapy completed at a faster pace than traditional therapy. However, there are different types of TIR therapy that may work best for you. You lead each session by talking through your problems while your therapist navigates the process in a safe space. With that said, the type of TIR therapy most beneficial to you depends on where you are with your trauma:
- Basic TIR: This is used when you are aware of your trauma. This is the most standard form of TIR therapy, and it helps individuals address traumatic incidents that they can identify as sources of stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions.
- Thematic TIR: This type of TIR therapy helps individuals who might not have large traumatic events in their past. Instead, thematic TIR addresses smaller, more consistent stressful events. This is especially helpful for veterans who may have served but not personally suffered a large traumatic incident.
Start Traumatic Incident Reduction at Heroes’ Mile
Heroes’ Mile is a mental health and addiction treatment center created by veterans for veterans. Our staff members have the experience required to help all veterans work through their trauma in a supportive environment. The personal growth you achieve will lead you to your recovery goals.
To learn more about how we can use TIR therapy to help you, call our admissions team at 888-838-6692. If you prefer, you can also submit your inquiries through our online confidential contact form. Whatever you need, we’re here to provide our support whenever you’re ready.