Drawing in notebook

Instinctual Trauma Response™

The Instinctual Trauma Response™ (ITR) is an art therapy-informed approach based on recent brain research, universal survival processes, and clinical observations. It was developed by Dr. Louis Tinnin (psychiatrist) and Dr. Linda Gantt (art therapist) and used for over 40 years in hospitals and clinics. Regardless of the number or types of trauma a person has had, all are processed in the same way. This is accomplished by using the techniques of the Graphic Narrative™ , including the re-presentation, and the Externalized Dialogue™. The ITR™ method gives structure and words to traumatic events that are otherwise fragments of memories without words.

Graphic Narrative™

The Graphic Narrative™ consists of a person making separate drawings of each of the ITR components plus a “Before” and “After” picture. The ITR™ Specialist narrates or “re-presents” back to the person telling the story with empathy, using as many of the person’s own words as possible giving the event a beginning, middle, and end. Watching this re-presentation at a distance affords a sense of safety, with no re-living, and helps to finally put an end to the event. The assumption of this approach is that when a person goes into the ITR the actual end of the story is dissociated so it is finishing the story that brings resolution and healing. This re-presentation is recorded for review, giving even greater emotional distance. It gets the trauma "out" of the brain and allows a person to see the event as finished. Fragments are put in sequence. Symptoms are greatly reduced or completely eliminated. This can be done online as well as in person.

Externalized Dialogue™

The Externalized Dialogue™ is a written, oral or video experience to allow communication between the present-day self and the "parts" or voices stuck in the trauma. It is especially useful in dealing with suicidal thoughts, command hallucinations, voices, or dissociated parts. Externalized Dialogue™ is a tool for life and is very effective in helping a traumatized person integrate into the life they want to lead.

Individual sessions Online or Live

All sessions are individual ones. We provide certified ITR™ specialists (licensed therapists or certified life coaches) for clients seeking treatment with a variety of services including, 20-60 hour intensive outpatient treatment for trauma as an alternative to outpatient and hospital programs that use a combination of individual and group therapy sessions. We also offer online sessions as well as live local options with mini-intensives. A person will have a FREE prescreen to assess their needs and figure out customized treatment options.

Substantial gains in short time

A person can have their symptoms greatly reduced or completely eliminated in a short period of time. With back-to-back sessions, there is a momentum that develops that condenses the time required to deal with each specific trauma. A live mini- intensive is helpful for some to get comfortable with the ITR and then online work can be done more efficiently. The FREE prescreen will help us determine the best options for you. Call 800-755-6105


With all sessions being individual ones, no one other than your therapist will know about your history. And, since the program is private pay, insurance companies will not have access to your records.

Meet the Team

Bessel Van der Kolk describes Dr. Tinnin as "the greatest trauma mind of the century". Dr. Tinnin and Dr. Gantt have spent their life's work developing how to help people eradicate trauma symptoms and live a happy healthy life.

Lou and Linda in front of ITT

Louis Tinnin, MD and Linda Gantt, PhD, ATR-BC


You can read more about Dr. Tinnin here.

You can read more about Dr. Gantt here