Identity-oriented Psychotrauma Therapy (IoPT) is founded on the theories and practice developed by Professor Franz Ruppert over the past 30 years, and articulated in his books.
IoPT therapy is based on a specific understanding of trauma, and psychological splitting as the means of surviving trauma, and in the earliest stages of life the challenge to the infant of surviving within the context in which he or she is conceived, gestated and born.
The diagram shows the split structure of the psyche after a trauma.
Trauma is a situation that pays no attention to individual identity, and the cost to the child is a loss of self, a loss of identity. This is why we call the work Identity-oriented Psychotrauma Therapy.
There are three unspoken questions that dominate the life of the unborn and newly born child:
Am I wanted?
Am I loved?
Am I safe?
If the answer to any one of these is 'no', this constitutes a trauma for the helpless and utterly dependent child.
The three consequent traumas are:
The Trauma of Identity
The Trauma of Love
The Trauma of Sexuality & Non-protection
In fact these traumas are sequential, in that the trauma of love is the consequence of the trauma of identity, and the trauma of non-protection is the consequence of the trauma of love.
These traumas form the foundation of our life, our ability to grow up with a healthy, stable psyche, or not. All later experiences that constitute a trauma are always, also, a re-stimulation of these early, pre-verbal, pre-memory events.
The child survives the Trauma of Identity by giving up on his healthy identity, his autonomy, in order to have some connection with his mother, without whom he cannot survive. He is forced to identify with his mother's wants and needs, where his wants and needs are ignored, mis-interpreted or used as a means of persecution by the mother. This, then, brings the therapeutic question "Who am I?". And existentially this question is automatically followed by the question "What do I want?", because in order to know what I want I must have a reasonable sense of who I am.
The Trauma of Love happens when the connection that the child does manage to maintain with his mother after the Trauma of Identity is not in effect a clear, loving connection, but rather a connection that is painful, unfulfilling, manipulative and persecutory.
We all have a trauma biography, where the original traumas have a major impact on who we become, how we manage later traumatising events, our relationships, our fulfilment of our abilities. All later traumatic experiences have within them the seeds of re-traumatisation of the original trauma.
The 'Intention Method', developed by Franz Ruppert, offers a way of exploring these issues that is safe, effective and containing.
The Intention method - also known as The Self-Encounter Method, offers an opportunity to explore one's psyche in relation to a particular issue.
The first stage is the person doing their personal exploration to develop their 'sentence of intention'. This is the specific issue that the person wishes to explore.
This can take the form of a sentence, a question, a statement, a collection of several words, or even a drawing, that encapsulates what the person wants from their exploration. How this is worded and the topic that it covers is entirely up to the person. The facilitator cannot interfere at all in the forming of this sentence.
Once the person's 'intention' or topic is established this forms the framework for their exploration.
If the event is a 'physical' in-person event this 'intention' is written on a flip chart. If the event is online, it is written in the 'chat' or the person's name box.
The person then chooses three elements (words or parts of a drawing) to work with, and invites group members to resonate with these three elements.
These 'representatives' then resonate with the word they are representing, sharing their experience as best they can with the exploring person.
In this way each word/element will provide some information to the person about their intention. The accumulated information can be very revealing as to the underlying dynamics and issue of the intention/topic.
We know from recent developments in neuroscience that we are far more connected with each other than we think we are. In fact we are highly tuned to unconsciously reading and absorbing the minute and subtle messages we are constantly giving out. Through the non-verbal parts of our brain, primarily the limbic brain system, we are in constant communication with each other, and in this kind of exploration we purposefully use this to access the unconscious material of the exploring person in relation to the topic he or she wishes to explore.
Gradually this process informs the person of the more unconscious information in their psyche. We can say that the resonance process provides a way of accessing our unconscious.