Addition to the self-help posting.

I realize that we need more specifics about the graphic narrative of infant surgery. I hope to be able to add that in the next day or so.


About ltinnin

I am a Professor Emeritus at West Virginia University Medical School with a primary interest in the treatment of trauma-related conditions. I am currently a psychiatric consultant for Intensive Trauma Therapy in Morgantown, West Virginia.
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23 Responses to Addition to the self-help posting.

  1. Gareth Jones says:

    Hi Professor Tinnin, I had a short dialouge with you a while back and stated that I was going to attmpt Trauma Self Recovery as it is my only option at this time. I have started this process and have decided to put it all online with the hope that it may help other sufferers of PTSD. I have put links to your site(s) as well as others and have will be putting much of my info on there too as a release (get off my chest) as it is a Blog (log of my life in writing) and Vlog (Video log of my life). I have been keeping updated as much as possible and purchased The Instinctual Trauma Response book as a guide for me to use, I hope this is ok? I have also quoted your ITT’s site too as I think it is the best out there.

    You can find my BlogVlog at:

    Please feel free to comment or give any pointers that you may think I could bennefit from if you want but I am fully aware that you may not have the time and do not expect you to.


    Gareth Jones

  2. Gareth Jones says:

    Sorry I made a mistake with the BlogVlog site:

    Gareth Jones

    • ltinnin says:

      Thank you, Gareth, for attempting the Trauma Self Recovery program I offered. The few responses offered by others lead me to be more cautious. I worry if it is too much emotionally or too demanding intellectually. Please give me your feedback.

      Louis Tinnin

      • Gareth Jones says:

        The problem I have found so far is not your instructions but the realization that the “other sellf” is the one that seems to be hindering my progress. Trauma seems to be the cause of my so far inability to finish the therapy. The cycle of my moods, lathargy, lost hope etc and my hyper activity (physical and mental) seems to only allow a kind of Part Time Life which which when I am in the mood to live, I rush around trying to catch up on the stuff I let build up when I was in a low energy, life lost baseline state. This is just my personal view and I will keep trying different approaches. Your program there at Morgan Town takes 2 weeks Intensive Trauma Therapy so I am guessing that at least that much time should be taken by oneself to fully complete all of the therapy, not including the time it takes to understand the actual concept of trauma, duel minds etc – Self Knowledge.

        I find that I am in a bit of a catch 22 and cant find where my “good self” ends and my “bad self” begins so I seem to have “duel” thoughts and positives/negatives, good/bad etc on all the Trauma Recovery process all the time so I cant seem to stick with what is best to do where and when and the best way to go about it as it is a constant fight to think clearly and focus.

        I am traumatized.
        I need some form of Trauma Therapy to help me recover.
        I need help with helping me think in a new way.
        I am the help I have to help me.
        I am the therapist also.
        I am the therapist that is traumatized.
        I am attempting to fix my trauma with a tramatized self (mind)

        Trying to get control of something that is out of control when the out of control part of you is the thing that is in control is quite a difficult concept to even imagine to most but to me it is who I am but I think I could change it in time, and with your input and all your work of course.

        I do know that it will work (or very strong feeling) so I will keep having a go at it – simplify what I am doing and not go off on a million and one other Ideas I have when I am feeling UP (good).

        Thank you Dr Tinnin and I hope this helps in some way.

        Gareth Jones

      • ltinnin says:

        Gareth, your self-scrutiny is excellent and I believe you are right, that your bad self represents one of your trauma survival parts still existing, but without a place in your conscious life. That part probably needs recognition, acknowledgement, and welcome by you. You can call to that part and welcome it to join you in your present reality, by means of an externalized dialogue.
        The dialogue will be in writing. Prepare a pad of paper and a pen or pencil. You will write a dialogue between yourself and the “other self.” Use your right hand to speak for yourself and your left for the other self. With your right hand, write that you are aware of the other and you want to learn as much as possible about “you.” Follow by offering the pen to your left hand and begin writing for the part. If your left hand cannot manage the writing, then offer your right hand to communicate for both. The rules are: to take turns, to not interrupt, and to use full sentences as much as possible.
        Be welcoming, non-judgmental, and curious to learn the burden that part carries, such as: to dull awareness, to numb the pain, to still the struggle, to achieve a near-death freeze state, or whatever means to protect the infant victim. You will soon find that you can unburden the part by offering the security of your present adult protection. You might show that you value that part by offering some role in your present self-protective measures.
        Commonly, there will be other parts that developed during your trauma response and persisted in timeless striving to survive. Dialogues with them can achieve acknowledgement, unburdening and welcome into your present life.
        You may find more difficult parts developed out of your utter helplessness. Their burdens might be to carry the shame, or to drive you to become invulnerable. Some parts might continue to flee, or to fight, or to freeze in a near-death state. Others may escape into altered states of consciousness (such as out-of-body experiences), or automatic obedience (such as subjecting oneself to re-traumatization), or compulsive hand washing or other obsessive survival rituals. You did survive with the help of or despite these parts and since the trauma is over their jobs can change. You can help these difficult parts to change and eventually become a part of your present personality.
        The dialogue process is effective in differentiating parts from your present self and making it possible to unburden each part. The unburdened part can be helpful in processing the traumatic memory.
        Please let me know how it worked for you.

      • Gareth Jones says:

        Hi Dr Tinnin. I did try the left hand – right hand dialogue on paper and I have tried it with a video camera also but it doesn’t seem to make any difference to me. I have also done most of the ITT steps that I have studied in depth (story, dialogue, therapist, books ITT/dual minds/waking the Tiger etc even soul retrieval) and still I feel the same – no change, although it does give me hope when I learn new information about Trauma and mental health in general = new tools. I have also ordered a new book by Babette, 8 keys to safe trauma recovery but to be honest I am coming to terms with the fact that NOTHING MAY EVER CHANGE because please believe me that I have tried everything in my power to help myself and no-one has helped me. I am alone in this. I (bad parts) am honestly getting to a point where I am thinking of the only permanent option for me to stop this hell. I have put this off (although tried in past) and know it is the trauma part of me wanting it but I get scared that when I am in my split/not me self – I have no control when the stress gets too much and am probably capable of anything! Every carrot that has been in front of me pushing me onward seems now to be some sick hoax (all the world against me etc) every time although in reality I know this is not the case but I just get fed up on working my life away to fix myself just to get what everybody else takes for granted and was born in to = a life, but not me and other sufferers of infant surgery. Where is my life and what is a life. I am not asking you to post this (although you may if you wish) and do not want to be negative or anything I am just sick of waiting for my “life” to start and want you to know that I am being honest. If I think about the best solution for me at the moment, sleeping forever sounds good and when I am down that is what I try and do most of the day. I am 40 years old and “it is all down hill from now on” they say so what hope do we have when there has been no up, or flat bit of life to live first? Sorry for my low energy Dr Tinnin and please dont think that any of it is directed your way in any way. You are the only one who will understand what my words are trying to express and I have no one else to release this energy too. I hope you are well and keep up the good work please.

        Thank you

        Gareth Jones

      • Wendy says:

        Gareth, I sure wish you’d get yourself to the trauma clinic for help with Dr. Tinnin and the rest. I am a survivor of infant surgery without anesthesia. I’ve tried to kill myself several times. After I found help from a gifted therapist, I found joy and relief in life. I hear what you are saying–we have to work through so much and many take good mental health for granted. But there can be relief, I believe, if you get some help. It’s hard to do all the work alone. I hope you pull through but certainly understand the depth of grief and frustration you are going through–at least to some degree. I’m certainly not all healed but I’m a hell of a lot better than I was.

      • gareth jones says:

        Hi Wendy thanks for that. I live in the UK and dont have a job so dont have the funds to do anything at the moment. I have studied the ITT methods ect to try and have a go at solving it myself but I realized that a broken self is trying to fix a broken self and I have no one else to talk to any of this with to give me any feedback on progress and understanding. Futile comes to mind as how I feel. I am building up a good cycle only to have it drop off the other side on the downward slope, always chasing even just one full day of what everyone else takes for granted as gifted to them – Life. What is it and what does it feel like to be whole, I feel like I am pretending to be a person but I dont feel like one! I am not in life/myself, just observing it from what seems like the nether zone. I dont even have a day of “norma” life to reference myself from (infant surgery 6 week old) so I dont know what the hell I am chasing. It is at the very least, frustrating Wendy but I am sure many on this blog who read this will know what I am trying to say. My pot of options have almost dried out but I will (for now) keep plodding on and hopefully an alien traveller from far beyond this time, space and dimension will whisk me off with them , home – peace – finis.

        have a nice weekend Wendy,


      • ltinnin says:

        Gareth, Your true self is being repeatedly blended with your trauma-based parts, even when you tried to differentiate yourself from them by externalized dialogue. You need more work on this primary step of being in Self and able to communicate with your parts. There is a group of therapists in the UK, trained in IFS Therapy (Internal Family Systems Therapy) that could help you to learn about your parts and to achieve the capacity of being in Self. Once you achieve that, you could do the graphic narrative trauma processing I described in the Self-Help Procedures. Good luck in finding an IFS therapist to prepare you for your Self-Help program.

        Louis Tinnin

      • gareth jones says:

        Thank you for the information, I am looking at IFS in the Uk as soon as I have posted this comment. I did leave a comment in reply to your advise last night but I dont know what happend to that? I woke up this morning with a lightly dusted sprinkle of new hope, direction and focus on my breakfast. I spoke to my Sister too last night and had a good release of words and trapped energy that I needed to get out I think. Nothing new was said as I have said it (and realized it) many times before but it is still good to talk it out, even if I know that she can’t possibly completly understand. Its nice knowing that she recognizes that the way I am is not my fault, “it’s your condition” even though I dont usually recognize this fact. That is why it is so hard I guess, because I am so hard on myself for being this way and a cycle of self hate emerges throughout the many other cycles within cycles of mood until POP, I have what I call a “mini breakdown” like yesterday that has been building up for a while. Now I feel different slightly and ready to push forward this week and see what happens. I will do as much as I can to help my-SELF this cycle and try and not get myself worked up when my other selve’s/parts hinder MY true progress. Just a couple of things to note here too from realizations of last night.

        1. I have always from my first memories have had a feeling that there is a “great plan” for me and that all of my struggles in life will be well worth the wait if I hang in there. Even when I am down I have always known of a kind of Universal force calling to me and magically directing me, even though it doesnt always seem to be the best situation for me as an individual but kind of bennefits the evolution!! My sister said the same too “a feeling that everything will ok and worth it one day”. I know this might sound nUtZ but has any one else had the same kind of feeling, a kind of ever present warm fuzzy feeling of “there is a higher power than you”? I would really be interested if it is just me or common in people with PTSD. I must also add that I am and have never been religious or even christened but over the past few years of my self help I have discovered and read up on spiritulism, meditation, trance, shamanism etc to try and (i guess) find my lost self/soul.

        2. This is about the 4/5th time I have noticed that my culmination of my “mini breakdown” has occured exactly on a full moon (hunters moon last night) and it is a well known fact I have discovered that the police and mental health people report more incidents on a full moon, always. Does anyone else notice this amazing coinsidence or again, is it me?

        finally I would like to put out there and share my new hope and good vibrations today with everybody else who is going through any kind mental health issues and it is true that however bad it seems to get, hang on in there because tomorrow you are somebody that was different than today and that that new you is a fresh start and the bad you is helping you learn about the good you. In the big picture of things – its all experience, good and bad, all of it is experience to move on your evolution, whatever path that might be. For example, on a termometer, where does cold end and hot begin? Its all heat, just different by degree. And if I really think about it, that is the whole purpose of being human, to evolve and grow no matter how its done and how it makes you feel. good or bad, different by degree. Not everyone in the world is supposed to enjoy ball games, beer, tv, fast cars, shopping etc. I suppose it takes all sorts to make up a world.

      • ltinnin says:

        Hello, Gareth, I will present your video of your self-treatment to the staff of therapists at the Intensive Trauma Therapy Clinic in Morgantown, West Virginia, USA, Thursday of this week. I will let you know what they have to say.

        I imagine you are finding inner parts to dialogue with in the effort to free them from their outdated attempts to escape the scalpel. I hope you are successful in bringing them into your present life.

        Wishing you well-deserved happy holidays.

        Louis Tinnin

      • Gareth Jones says:

        Thats great, well I hope that it could be of some use and the feedback would be good too.
        Thank you and Ill be exited to hear what they say.

        Gareth Jones

      • ltinnin says:

        Dear Gareth,

        I presented your video to five ITT clinicians. They were amazed at your self-treatment and the obvious fact that others could do the same. I told them that sadly, your report is the only one I received, so I dont yet have the numbers necessary to persuade others to do what you did.

        I am impressed with how your graphic narrative drawings illustrated the dual traumas of separation from mother and captivity by the predators (pictured as wolves). This is the single most prevalent and most feared trauma for mammals.

        Your sister did a wonderful re-presentation.

        Keep us posted on your progress.

        Louis Tinnin

      • Gareth Jones says:

        BRILLIANT, I am really glad and hoped that it could be of some use in any capacity. Apart from doing the blog as a self help process and a reflection of my progress and documented changes, I hoped that other people might be able to use it as a reference point from somebody who is/(was?) in the same mind-set as them and to show that anyone can do it with the right information and help. Some of the videos I have on the blog dont “feel” like me but I know that I needed to show that “part” of my-Self to appreciate who I was, am and will be in the future. I still feel like pulling some of them off but that would be like taking something away from who I have become!

        Yes, the night terrors I had of devouring Wolves for most of my life felt deep, ancient, archaic and instinctual but I was never able to work them out until recently and what you said is another piece of the puzzle filled in – Life does seem to give us its mysteries doesnt it in my experience? The vision I have of that dream/nightmare always felt part of me and so real, even now I can picture it like I am there as clear as the type on the screen in front of me now. Maybe thats what set me off on my journey early on because I knew that there was more to life than what we only percieve with our five senses.

        I will deffinatley keep you posted on my progress (good or bad) and will be updating and adding to the blog as I go. Thank you for all you help and hard work Dr Tinnin.


        Gareth Jones

        p.s. other people have commented on the change I have taken on, my family and friends. Me, I feel a lot calmer, relaxed, no stress and a happy balanced dialogue between my “team” – Thanks.

      • ltinnin says:

        Gareth, Your true self is being repeatedly blended with your trauma-based parts, even when you tried to differentiate yourself from them by externalized dialogue. You need more work on this primary step of “being in Self” and able to communicate with your parts. There is a group of therapists in the UK, trained in “IFS Therapy” (Internal Family Systems Therapy) that could help you to learn about your parts and to achieve the capacity of being in Self. Once you achieve that, you could do the graphic narrative trauma processing I described in the Self-Help Procedures. Good luck in finding an IFS therapist to prepare you for your Self-Help program.

        Louis Tinnin

      • gareth jones says:

        Yes, that kind of makes sense to me and I will look into it. Thanks you for all your support and everybody else on this blog too – THANK YOU.

  3. Wendy says:

    Hi Dr. Tinnin, I did try one of your suggestions. Please see my latest blog post (8-28-13) on Click BLOG. I would have simply inserted it here, but I don’t think that the drawings would have gotten included, which are key. Thank you!!

    • ltinnin says:

      Thanks, Wendy, for sharing your experience of bringing some closure to your traumatic memory. I suggest adding the beginning and middle to your graphic narrative, emphasizing the baby’s separation from mother, being scared to death, and the middle freeze/paralysis state of near-death. These nonverbal memories are the most important to find closure. Please try to experience a re-presentation of the entire narrative by someone else or by a video of yourself telling the story, complete with verbal and nonverbal aspects.

      Best wishes,
      Lou Tinnin

      • Wendy says:

        Thank you, Dr. Tinnin, for reading my post. Yes, it would be really good to do the things you suggest to get closure. By “middle freeze” do you mean the freeze of the middle of my body after as I was being cut open? Maybe eventually, I’ll be able to come to the clinic to get some help with this.

      • ltinnin says:

        I suggested adding the beginning and middle to your graphic narrative. The freeze is what the middle part of the narrative consists of.

        Lou Tinnin

  4. Wendy says:

    Hi Gareth, Dr. Tinnin and everyone,
    FYI: I just posted a shout-out to folks to view Gareth Jones’s Vlog about healing his infant trauma through the techniques of Dr. Tinnin and Dr. Gantt. A huge thank you to Gareth Jones for his brave and inspiring work and to Drs. Tinnin and Gantt for caring about survivors of infant surgery without anesthesia and for providing a path of healing. See Hope you are well, Gareth!

    • Gareth Jones says:

      Right back at ya Wendy – You are one of my Hero’s too – You are a WONDER WOMAN and one that has helped me gain inspiration, information, determination and hope. Thank You. Your site is amazing and I am positive it has, and “will” keep on inspiring many people who become aWare of it. It really seems like the world is starting to WAKE UP from an unbalanced aWareness of mental health. Over here in the UK my Sister is posting vids and information about PTSD (infant surgery) to the Government bodies etc. Here are her own words I recieved today: –

      “On 6th Feb ‘Time for Change’ (a mental health charity) is doing an event called ‘Time to Talk’ and you can make a pledge that you’ll talk about mental health – the goal is to try and alleviate the stigma of mental health. As part of my pledge, this is the day that I’m going to go viral with the info and post the info to everyone I know on Facebook and all other contacts I can find etc. I also plan to put a video up on the pledge wall on the ‘Time for Change’ website. Woohoo!” (Maybe it is worth taking a look and putting your/our own input to that also, just an idea!)

      So I feel that all of my pain, your pain, all pain of anyone trying to fix themselves may be of massive use to this and the next generations to come. A BIG THING INDEED. Keep up the good energies, high vibrations and a balanced frequency. Great work Wendy, well done.

      Hi Dr Tinnin I hope you and your family are well and everything is going as you planned for 2014. You are another of my Hero’s, thank you a million and one times, again.

      Gareth Jones

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