Dr. Louis Watson Tinnin, a man who has been a friend to all those who suffer trauma, especially preverbal infant trauma, died back in February, 2014. I was shocked that I hadn’t heard about his passing until last week and recently had wondered why I hadn’t received posts from his blog ltinnin.com for quite some time. His blog and the book he co-authored with Dr. Linda Gantt, The Instinctual Trauma Response – Dual-Brain Dynamics: A Guide for Trauma Therapy,changed my life, and the lives of many, for the best.
On his blog, he affirmed what so many of us have been suffering silently for years–that symptoms of post-traumatic stress from infant surgery have haunted us all our lives and that the surgeries we were told couldn’t be remembered were remembered by our bodies, by our emotions and the imagery of our right brains. He posted a seminal questionnaire, which is still accessible on his blog, to help survivors of infant surgery understand the depth to which our lives have been affected by early surgeries. He was one of the few doctors to confirm that adults suffer from Post-traumatic Stress as a result of medical procedures on infants, others being Dr. David B. Chamberlain and Dr. K. Anand.
His book is a virtual life-saver. I know of at least one person who did not kill himself because of the information Dr. Tinnin shared so generously with the public. I’ve read his book twice, its text hopelessly yellow highlighted, underlined and/or circled and the margins crowded with words. I am so thankful for this volume that he and his wife wrote. The information is detailed and clear for professionals and laypeople alike and should be required reading for all educators, athletic coaches, psychologists, medical doctors, social workers, prison guards and staff, criminal justice lawyers, judges, and everybody who works with teaching, mentoring, and rehabilitating individuals. And it should be read by anyone who wants to heal from trauma, especially early trauma, in a lasting way.
A memorial for Dr. Tinnin can be found on the following website. His blog is still available with a wealth of comments. I am sorry that I never got to meet him though I was able to thank him and communicate with him from time to time on his blog. I am forever indebted to him and thank the universe for his work, his legacy, and his life.