Traumatic Incident Reduction Association

Henry Whitfield, Certified/Accredited TIR and LSR Trainer

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An Interview with Henry Whitfield

VV: How long have you been a TIR trainer?

Henry:I became a certified/accredited TIR trainer February 2004. However, I led seminars and TIR workshops (with supervision) regularly for a while before that.

VV: What inspired you to become a TIR trainer?

Henry: Taking TIR training myself. I was fascinated with the process of teaching others this highly developed subject, as well as the amount students valued the training. I also love to share such knowledge and work in ways that empower others.

VV: What do you find rewarding about it?

Henry: There is often a gap between theory and practice in any practical endeavour. Counselling and Psychotherapy are perhaps more prone to this than most. TIR interests me because it provides ways to bridge that gap. I find rewarding the looks on people's faces when they let go of something that has plagued them for decades - even when it's something they have already tried 10 different therapies on. Hearing the successes during supervision meeting with trainees who have only just started practicing, and seeing the delight that it brings them. Now that I have given regular workshops in this subject for a number of years, I can say that the comments I get from my students and clients continue to surprise and move me. For example a student recently told me how astonished he was when first of all, he had many new insights and was eager to write them down before forgetting them. However, he was even more astonished that the relief and change achieved naturally remained, in spite of forgetting what the insights were. This in behavioural psychology has been called 'extinction'. Without the need for remembering new ways of thinking or acting, psychological and emotional problems can apparently evaporate without the need for maintenance. This is commonly observed within TIR and related techniques. In fact the wide range of tools affords great flexibility and versatility in TIR practice, thus enabling us to apply well established psychological principles (such as extinction) to a wide range of client populations and issues.

VV: Are you willing to travel to deliver training, if so under what conditions?

Henry: Absolutely. I have already given workshops abroad. In French and Italian speaking countries I should not need an interpreter as I am familiar with those languages. I have also already given workshops in New York City. I am happy to travel.

VV: Do you have a private practice?

Yes, I do. Mindfulness Training has offices in Camden, London on the northern line. I personally see clients most days and also supervise a number of other facilitators/counsellors who work from other locations.

VV: Besides TIR, what other things are you interested in?

Henry:Music, screenwriting, competitive Latin dancing - I think the concept of the dance can be applied to enhance how we do many things. In the field of psychotherapy/personal development I like Steven Hayes' Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT.MBSR) Eugene Gendlin's Focusing, Buddhist philosophies, Mindfulness meditation, and Sufism.

VV: Describe your professional background?

Henry: I did my MSc degree in Rational Emotive and Cognitive Behavioural therapy from Goldsmith's College London and have a bachelors degree from University College London. Soon after graduating with the MSc I wrote and published on the subject of case-formulated mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural therapy (click to see paper). I have a keen interest in the integration of mindfulness with cognitive behavioural theory. I think TIR and metapsychology have a lot to contribute to such integration in that it has so much to teach about integration generally. Previous to my cognitive behavioural training I was also a student of Humanistic and Gestalt related therapies (Pellin). Looking at my entire career, including before I was a therapist, a common thread has been teaching. I began with teaching English as a foreign language, and have since taught: Arabic, French, Italian, Spanish, Latin, Comparative philosophy, Rock singing, French literature, Piano and musical harmony. I was therefore quite an experienced teacher before I started training psychotherapists. I have always greatly enjoyed teaching. I have also worked as a translator.

VV: What other courses are you currently teaching?

Henry: A one day introductory workshop to TIR. I also run a diploma in mindfulness-based therapies which many other teachers contribute to. I personally do some of the supervision on integrating mindfulness-consistent therapies and teach an introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. I also generally teach TIR within the context of mindfulness as this helps TIR facilitators understand why TIR is designed the way it is and what makes it work. I also teach the Schema workshop - this is an Applied Metapsychology workshop that teaches procedures for clarifying goals/values and for aligning the various parts of ourselves and our environment, so that we can actually reach our goals/move in the direction of our values. When people see clearly a path to their higher goals/values it is a great motivator in life. Goals seem much more within their grasp.

Available Workshops

Calendar last updated on 7/29/2016

No dates currently available. Please contact trainer for schedule and availability

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