For over ten years the program developer had been teaching and, for many years prior to that, practicing an evidence-based cognitive, narrative approach to trauma recovery called Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR).  The method has an eclectic collection of theoretical underpinnings, fairly diverse in nature.  TIR has been recognized as an effective PTSD intervention for professional clinical use.  However, since it is considered “integrative learning” and not “therapy” per se, training is available without prerequisites.

An estimated 70% of those who attend TIR training globally are mental health professionals, and the rest mostly literate and some semi-literate lay helpers.  In addition to the research, there is a large body of anecdotal evidence of TIR's efficacy.  Many clinicians who do the training either adopt it as their approach of choice or add it to their repertoire of effective work.

The population that most interested the developer of the CSDP, however, was the literate, semi-literate, and sometimes even illiterate lay individuals who have learned this approach and achieved excellent outcomes in their sessions together. Trauma resolution can and has been taught successfully and applied effectively by these people. 

The significant value of lay practitioners, paraprofessionals, peer-to-peer programs, and the contribution of those with "lived experience in common" makes it clear that we have resource options.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study

In the early 1990s the CDC and Kaiser Permanente in San Diego did a study that pointed the way to change.  This study makes clear that by far the majority of what ails us finds its roots in past overwhelming adversity.  In other words, when seeking to change the conditions of individuals and communities, the path forward must include the view through the trauma lens.

Learn more about the ACE Study and join the movement!

The science is clear, early adversity dramatically affects health across a lifetime. The single most important thing we need today is the courage to look this problem in the face and say this is real and this is all of us.
— Nadine Burke Harris, Pediatrician, Founder and CEO of the Center For Youth Wellness in Bay View/Hunter’s Point, San Francisco
When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom.
— Judith Herman, M.D., Author of Trauma and Recovery

Listening and Being Heard

As far back as Freud, the need to address what he called the "chain of pathogenic memories" to bring about recovery from past experiences was recognized. However, the need to be heard, to tell our stories, is certainly not a discovery of the modern world. This is not new to modern indigenous people. Australian Aboriginals call it Dadirri

The CSDP is a new old approach. Listening for healing is as ancient as the human race. As we are listened to we hear ourselves. Events are processed, integrated, and finally placed in the timeline of our life, in the past, where they belong, leaving the gift of wisdom and the energy, space, and awareness to live life in the here and now.

To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations.  True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known.   They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.

Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond.  Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings.  The beauty of listening is that, those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves.  Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.
— Fr. Henri J. M. Nouwen