TIR Counseling Q & A
“People say that sometimes you don’t realize you’re in the dark until someone comes along and turns on a light. I was absolutely in the dark and CAPSEA was my light.“
Q: How did you get connected with CAPSEA and their TIR Counseling Program?
A: How I actually found this was an absolute and total fluke. I consider it a little miracle. It was just before New Years. I had participated in more traditional therapy sessions before, but when my counselor left, I knew that there were still events that I needed to work through.
I came across CAPSEA in my search for another counselor. Their page on TIR Counseling immediately caught my attention. I had never heard of anything like that before.
As someone who had experienced a significant amount of trauma throughout my life, I thought TIR could be a great way to become more desensitized to those events, which, at the time, were always lying right at the surface waiting to be triggered. I knew I needed to find a way to move past that. And so, thinking TIR could be the solution, I filled out the Contact Form on the website…and then completely forgot about it.
"I [accidentally] picked up my phone and it was Tiffany from CAPSEA on the other line. It felt like fate. The rest is history."
Shortly after submitting the form, I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize. I was working at the time, so I had no intention of answering the call. I put my phone down, but my Apple Watch must have bumped into something and accidentally answered the call. I could hear somebody saying, “Hello? Hello?” I picked up my phone and it was Tiffany from CAPSEA on the other line. It felt like fate. The rest is history.
Q: What did Tiffany say on that phone call that made you decide to take the leap with TIR Counseling?
A: She started off by telling me some of the differences between TIR and traditional therapy. She asked me, “Can we meet on a Saturday? Set aside a few hours?” I was shocked. There was no time limit or restrictions to typical Monday-Friday hours. This was not the counseling that I had experience with.
"With TIR, there is an emphasis on creating a safe space for you to feel raw and emotional - ending the sessions only when you feel comfortable ending them."
That flexible approach felt like it clicked with me. And now, I don’t think I could ever do traditional “Sorry, we’re out of time” counseling again. With TIR, there is an emphasis on creating a safe space for you to feel raw and emotional – ending the sessions only when you feel comfortable ending them. Learning about that structure was enough for me to try TIR Counseling.
Q: You have a unique perspective as someone who has participated in both traditional counseling and TIR Counseling. What are some other differences between the two methods?
A: In my experience, you can spend a year doing regular counseling and you might not make the same amount of progress you would make in a weekend with TIR. TIR is about being open and being willing to face something. I think the approach for traditional counseling is so different.
"TIR is event-driven. It’s so intentional and it's so purposeful."
When I sit down with Tiffany at CAPSEA, I know we’re going to attempt to go through something or make some sort of progress or be able to move through or past an event, or even maybe sometimes just be able to face an event. TIR is event-driven. It’s so intentional and it’s so purposeful.
Q: Event-driven therapy may sound intimidating to prospective TIR candidates. What would you say to people who are hesitant to confront their trauma(s) in that way?
A: TIR is not going to be for everybody. But if you’re really serious about changing your life, growing as a person and not being held back by your past or things that have happened to you, I’d urge you to give it a chance.
If you are desperate to grow and to not repeat the same cycles for the rest of your life – TIR is for you. You have to have a need to change, because that’s what it takes in order to go deep into places you didn’t want to go in the first place and you never want to go again. You have to know that the juice is worth the squeeze. There is a quote that has always resonated with me and my TIR experience:
“We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing.”
Q: For those who are intrigued by TIR, can you speak a little more to the structure of the sessions?
A: Tiffany always starts off by making sure that I am completely prepared for the sessions. She lets me know exactly what type of questions that she’s going to ask me. I always know exactly what I’m walking into. At the beginning of every session, it is clear what issue or trauma we will be addressing. As I’ve said, it’s all very intentional. When someone can clearly define expectations and what you’re going to encounter, you get to take your mind off it. And then all you have to do is experience.
"If I say that I’m not comfortable ending the session, we don’t end it. Simple as that. She always lets me make the choice."
So, she talks through what we’re going to do. And then we work through the session with situational and purposeful exercises. I imagine that will look different for every client. Sometimes it involves being asked to walk through a trauma or being asked the same question many times to help yourself gain perspective. In that way, every session is different.
At the end of every session, Tiffany always checks with me to make sure I feel comfortable. If I say no and that I’m not comfortable ending the session, we don’t end it. Simple as that. I am always the one to say, “Yes, I’m good for today. I feel like I’m in a good place.” She always lets me make the choice.
Q: How has your experience with TIR Counseling changed you?
A: TIR has made me a bit…fearless. I approach things in a different way. I’m not afraid of looking a problem in the face and working through it. There’s no sugar-coating it – talking about and reliving traumatic experiences is not fun – but when you can do that in a controlled, safe environment it’s life-changing. When you get those issues out into the light – when you’re not so afraid of naming them or just admitting to them – it’s freeing.
"I'm much more open to that now and I refuse to let my past and the things that I have been through dictate who I am as a person."
TIR has made me a better listener. It’s made me a more competent person in trying to be more authentic and sharing. I’m willing to share myself with people for fear of judgment. I’m much more open to that now and I refuse to let my past and the things that I have been through dictate who I am as a person.
People say that sometimes you don’t realize you’re in the dark until someone comes along and turns on a light. I was absolutely in the dark and CAPSEA was my light.
Q: How has your experience with TIR Counseling changed you?
A: Without a doubt, finding CAPSEA’S website, Tiffany reaching out changed my life. Before CAPSEA, I felt like I was living an “almost” life. I was a shell of myself. Not anymore. I have hope. For the first time in my adult life, I know that I have a healthy future ahead of me. I know that I’m going to do great things. I know that I’m capable of having a healthy relationship where six months ago, before TIR, I could not say any of that.
I can’t recommend CAPSEA and TIR Counseling highly enough.
"I can’t recommend CAPSEA and TIR Counseling highly enough."
Think TIR Might Be Right For you?
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