Trauma, according to Dr. Louis Tinnin is a most treatable condition in that it is an injury which can be healed. Dr. Tinnin and his wife, Linda Gantt have created a very effective treatment protocol which is based on the recognition of the symptoms of PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder) as stemming from natural survival strategies and how the human brain stores information. As a medical doctor, Dr. Tinnin realized that many symptoms of those suffering from PTSD come from being stuck in natural reactions which help the victim understand and change the responses which aid survival, but cause dysfunction in daily life. The trauma narrative protocol is one of many ways art therapists help their clients communicate through images and drawing to help them gain control over their thoughts and feelings with minimal abreaction or painful re-experiencing.
Beth Peacock, MA in Expressive Art Therapy and Certified Trauma Therapist using Dr. Tinnin’s protocol, has been a counselor with RCASA for the past two and a half years. Beth counsels adults and children. Beth’s special area of interest and focus is counseling children using both art and play therapy techniques as well as the trauma narrative protocol. Beth previously worked providing therapy in jail-based therapeutic communities and realized the long term affects of childhood trauma. Through her experiences using the trauma narrative protocol with clients suffering from substance abuse issues Beth realized clients were able to make positive changes to their behaviors after they began to heal from childhood trauma. Training and internship with the Tinnin’s provided Beth a way to help those who have suffered from a trauma and are unduly still suffering. The protocol uses an art narrative to help those who have experienced trauma store their memories in a different way which can bring closure and deactivate intrusive symptoms. The protocol also helps victims of various traumas free themselves of some of the crippling beliefs that consquently arise such as shame and guilt or pursing a survival-centric lifestyle. The protocol teaches the victim to reconnect with their positive core self which has become overwhelmed by the needs of the parts of themselves that still feel in danger. The trauma narrative protocol can bring peace and closure and let clients resume a healthy lifestyle.