Away to Belfast! UKPTS 9th Annual Conference 2017

This coming Tuesday 21st of March 2017 sees Dr John Durkin of Social Support Systems CIC speaking at the 9th annual conference of the United Kingdom Psychological Trauma Society (UKPTS), being held in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The UKPTS organisational aims are:

  • To provide a forum for multi-disciplinary professionals working in the field of psychotrauma to share ideas and knowledge relevant to their work in the field
  • To provide considered, and evidence based, comment on psychological trauma on behalf of the membership in order to aid those who might be affected by traumatic events

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Social Support – Wars apart, generations apart, soldiers will always be soldiers…

What do you say to a D-Day veteran, who landed during the first wave on ‘Sword’ beach, when he asks you, somewhat shyly, for help?

‘Course Bert – what’s up mate?’

‘Well, I don’t like admitting it, but I’m starting to struggle a little…’

The man before me is slight, 94 years old, and one would assume given his heroic reputation, and his ‘Légion d’honneur’, that he would still remain fearsome despite his years.

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By John Durkin Ph.D. – ICISF Member and Approved Instructor

As published in LifeNet, members’ newsletter of ICISF in June 2016

By the time you read this article I hope there has been a positive shift in the clinical reputation of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) because it may now be recognized as ‘evidence-based’ standing alongside psychological trauma therapies. As an article written by a psychologist based in the UK you might wonder how this possibility came about. Here is what went before…

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TIR in Focus

TIR in Focus

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, whether or not a formal diagnosis of ‘PTSD’ has been applied.
  • A person reacts inappropriately or overreacts in certain situations, and it is thought some past trauma might have something to do with it.
  • A person experiences unaccountable or inappropriate negative emotions, either chronically or in response to certain re-stimulation (triggers)

How long has TIR been in use?

TIR has been in use since 1984, although its current format is the result of 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 contraindications and risks of TIR?

TIR is contraindicated for use with individuals who:

  • Are psychotic or nearly so. TIR is most definitely an exposure or uncovering technique and hence is not appropriate for such individuals.
  • Are currently abusing drugs or alcohol. Individuals should avoid taking pain killers, sleeping pills, tranquillisers or drugs that may impair their physical or mental abilities for at least 24 hours prior to a session.
  • Are not making a self determined choice to engage in TIR. For TIR to work, the individual has to want to engage. If an individual is there under duress (e.g. By order of their organisation) or simply to appease someone, TIR will not work.
  • It may be possible for an individual to accept the benefits of TIR, but they must be motivated prior to engagement starting.
  • Have no interest in or attention on past trauma(s). The general rule is to follow the interest of the client.

Since TIR technique is entirely person-centred and non-forceful, individuals will simply discontinue to protect themselves if they find the process too difficult to continue.

Hence, there are no negative effects from properly facilitated TIR.

A cardinal rule of TIR facilitation, is never to force the individual and to always follow their interest.


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