Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Book Review

Beyond Trauma: Conversations on Traumatic Incident Reduction

If you are interested in an overview of Traumatic Incident Reduction model of treating traumatic experiences, read Beyond Trauma. The book offers a compilation of comments, experiences, and explanations of Tramatic Incident Reduction (TIR) and addresses the use of TIR in various types of trauma, including that of soldiers, people feeling grief and loss, victims of crimes, the incarcerated, survivors of terrorism, accident victims, and children. Treatment of phobias and anxiety is also covered. The components of TIR, including cognitive restructuring, and desensitization, are discussed.

The technique is person-centered, highly structured, and brief. The therapist does not offer any interpretations, only instructions to view a traumatic incident from beginning through the end. The book gives transcripts of the same story as it is retold, allowing the reader to see how the story changes as the person retells it.

The TIR model adheres to the idea that permanent resolution of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is possible, but depends on the recovery of repressed memories

(Anamnesis). It is viewed as a simple technique and is taught to lay people as well as psychiatrists, social workers, pastors, nurses and other mental health professionals.

TIR is described from different perspectives, including that of practitioners and those whose suffering has been alleviated by it. Transcripts of sessions are included as are the rules of practice. In addition, TIR is compared to other treatment techniques. Many success stories are included. Patients are cured and clinicians report that the effectiveness of TIR is beyond their expectations. This book addresses the myth that people who suffer from trauma cannot recover and must remain scarred and helpless for life.

People with a history of trauma and mental health professionals are the target audience. The purpose is to educate them about the effectiveness of the technique. Some concepts are complicated, however, and the explanation of trauma is not easy to comprehend. The lay reader probably will benefit most from the stories of victims and how the therapy led to recovery.

A proponent of TIR edited this book and practitioners who advocate TIR wrote the articles. Some research studies are reported, but case studies are the main focus.

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