About our Logo
The flower presented in the logo is the Protea from the sugar bush species. The King Protea (Protea cynaroides) flower (one of the largest and most striking of the protea flowers with a colourful crown) is the national flower of South Africa. The uniqueness of this flower is even more relevant in the symbolism as it signifies diversity, courage and strength.
About our Slogan
Creating patches of normality
A wise colleague of mine once said, “Yvonne, we cannot save the whole world, we can only create little patches of normality in a very abnormal world.”
I wondered why these words touched my soul so deeply and an image from my days as a medical microbiologist came to mind:
In order to determine which antibiotic was effective against a particular pathogen, we spread the germ culture over the surface of a jelly-like medium in a petri dish. Small disks of absorbent paper which had been saturated with different types of antibiotics were then positioned on the culture and incubated overnight. If an antibiotic was not effective, the bacteria grew right up to the disc which had been saturated with that antibiotic. However, if an antibiotic was effective, a clear zone was seen in the growth of the bacteria around the disc – a patch of normality in a pathogenic environment!
Sometimes, when all the antibiotics were effective, the clear zones were so large that the bacterial growth was completely wiped off the surface of the petri dish.
For me, this is a metaphor of what we are working towards- each of us doing effective trauma work, creating a patch of normality that can join up with the patches of normality created by others to build a healthy community, free from the pathogenic effects of trauma.
About our Founder
How it all came to be… TIRA-SA Founder: Yvonne Retief (Consultant, Counsellor, Trainer, Author and Public speaker)
Founder: Yvonne Retief
TIRA-SA is the brainchild of Yvonne Retief who was one of the groups attending the first TIR workshop presented by Gerald French in South Africa back in 2000. She was so impressed with the results of TIR and related techniques in her practice, that she did her internship with Gerald and became a registered trainer.
She saw the enormous potential of healing through this approach in trauma-ridden South Africa. Her dream of TIRA-SA was born and shared by those practitioners and trainers who were taught by her. More people joining TIRA obviously expanded the network and thus even more people could be reached with this effective tool.
Together they share Yvonne’s drive to provide TIR with a more solid foothold in South Africa. In a combined effort this enthusiastic group established TIRA-SA.
Years of experience
The origin of Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR)
TIR was developed in the 1980’s by two American professionals, namely Frank A. Gerbode, M.D., a psychiatrist and Gerald French, an educational psychologist. Their focus was to find a simple, highly effective tool to address Trauma and PTSD in USA war veterans. In the course of their work, they counselled many ex-combatants who were fighting in the various wars the United States had been involved in. Many years after their wartime experiences, many of these veterans still suffered from severe emotional problems and found it hard to function adequately in society. By using TIR, Gerbode and French could help these individuals, within a relatively short time, to come to terms with their experiences and to re-enter society successfully.
The value of this approach was appreciated by other professionals with a result that a training programme was developed, and TIRA (Traumatic Incident Reduction Association) came into being. TIRA is the international governing body of TIR. TIR has been implemented in all 50 USA States, every province of Canada as well as in Argentina, Australia, Belgium. Bermuda, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Palestine, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Switzerland, Tobago, Trinidad and Ukraine. In South Africa, more than a thousand facilitators have already been trained in the use of this method.
The TIRA-SA Board
Yvonne Retief (Chairperson), Henning Mostert, Jan Viljoen, Louis Hough, Petri Coetzee, and not included in the photo, Ansie Joubert and Kobie van den Berg