Traumatic Incident Reduction Association

Articles on TIR and Related Technique

The views and opinions expressed in these articles and interviews are those of the individuals speaking, and do not necessarily represent those of Applied Metapsychology International or the TIR Association.

The Care of Facilitators: A Technical Director's Point of View

By: Marian Volkman, CTS
This article originally appeared in the TIRA News & Views Newsletter

In the subject of Applied Metapsychology, a technical director is someone highly trained and experienced who offers supervision to facilitators (practitioners) using TIR and other techniques with individual clients (viewers). This supervision consists of going over sessions together, further training the facilitator as needed, and of helping to formulate case plans that will effectively meet the client's needs. A technical director is called a TD for short and the activity of performing technical direction, TDing.

There are three possibilities when it comes to technical direction:

  • A facilitator can be doing his/her own TDing, both in writing case plans and also in setting the agenda from session to session
  • Two people at the same level of training can act as TD for each other
  • Someone at a more advanced level of training can act as a TD for another facilitator.

The last option is best from the point of view of expanding the knowledge of the facilitator, though we do not always have this luxury. If you find yourself doing your own TDing it's a good idea to study the subject of technical direction so that you keep in mind the fact that you are occupying two important roles: facilitator and TD.

Two people at the same level combining their knowledge in acting as TDs for each other are going to be stronger than one person alone. In much the same way that a team made up of viewer and facilitator is much stronger in dealing with the viewer's issues than the viewer would be alone, the team of facilitator and technical director bring more to the task of effectively dealing with a client's case than the facilitator would alone. Facilitators want to help. It pains them to fail. Just as it is the facilitator's job to keep the viewer engaged and succeeding in a session, it is the TDs job to keep the facilitators working under her supervision confident and doing well.

Here are some of the principles by which a TD works to help bring about success for both viewers and facilitators:

  • Assess the training level, experience and skill of the facilitator/practitioner
  • Assess the state of the viewer's case, both chronic and acute:
    • Is the client ready for viewing or is consultation needed first, or a combination of viewing and consultation?
    • Is the viewer chronically overwhelmed or fragile?
    • Is the viewer's attention scattered, or is he able to focus well on one thing at a time?
    • Is the viewer able to use many types of techniques, or limited in what currently works for him?
  • Carefully match viewers and facilitators. When possible assign fragile viewers to trusted, experienced facilitators.
  • When in doubt, go lightly and choose techniques in which the facilitator is well-practiced.
  • A resilient, experienced viewer will generally be more tolerant of facilitators of varying levels of skill, but you want to be sure to give him or her a facilitator who is capable of keeping pace with a fast viewer.

One of the most important considerations is not to let a facilitator flounder. The technical director needs to provide frequent opportunities to get confusions sorted out, and to increase skills and knowledge. If a client proves too difficult for a particular facilitator, the TD needs to make sure that the client gets an appropriate referral and that the facilitator's losses and confusions get cleaned up. When the TD and facilitator are working at a distance from each other all of this takes more care and attention. As the number of qualified trainers and TDs increases in the world, the job will become easier. Working as a facilitator, a trainer or a TD provides enormous satisfaction and scope for continual learning and expansion.

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