Learn TRE®

 

The standard TRE® exercises form the core of each session. We look at how the nervous system works and why it’s important for our bodies to tremor. This group covers stress management and an introduction to trauma release.

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Anyone who feels constantly on-edge or run down, or switches quickly between these two states, can benefit from learning TRE®. Indeed, these feelings might be so constant that we think they’re just part of our personality. The reality is that we can change them once we know how.

 

The Learn TRE® group offers a straightforward approach to the exercises, without adaptations. The group is suitable for people with diverse backgrounds and needs but participants must be in fair to good health. After completing this course, people can feel confident in doing TRE® at home as needed.

 

The teen version of this group covers issues that many adolescents face. These include stress, anger, substance use, mental stamina and focus, and relationships.

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Pain management

 

This group is for people who live with chronic pain and seek effective ways of managing it.  As the group facilitator, I have years of personal experience with this issue, as well as academic knowledge from various fields including psychology and physiotherapy.

 

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Trauma is known to disrupt the immune and endocrine (hormonal) systems. This disruption leads to inflammation, which causes pain. When pain is chronic, it becomes self-perpetuating. Our bodies and brains communicate all the time, and pain in the body signals “Danger!” to the brain. This sets off another inflammatory cascade, renewing the cycle repeatedly.

 

There are ways of interrupting this cycle. TRE® is one such method. TRE® helps to integrate the brain and the body and it regulates the nervous system. These are crucial aspects of pain management and are necessary for deep healing. The group will follow a gentle approach to TRE® and mindfulness to avoid any further strain. We’ll also examine neuroplasticity and what it means for pain management.

 

The spiral staircase

 

Children who are abused or neglected, or who have trauma that’s not treated, often don’t experience emotional co-regulation with a trusted adult. And time isn’t the healer we all hoped for. As the child grows up, they carry their past hurt into the present day. This affects everything in their life, especially relationships.

 

Unresolved childhood trauma leaves people with a nervous system that’s geared for danger and survival rather than safety and fulfilment. In this course, we focus on shifting that mindset. While a difficult childhood can’t be undone, it’s certainly possible to learn self-regulation later in life. Although trauma changes the brain, healing also changes it.

 

The metaphor of the spiral staircase describes how we keep circling the same old issues, but we meet them at a higher level each time.   As long as we’re moving upwards, it’s all good.

 

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TRE® is a powerful way of coming back to the body with a new sense of trust in our ability to survive – and to thrive. In this group, the exercises are modified to reduce possible triggers. Experiences that are common among childhood abuse survivors, such as shame and dissociation, are discussed. The group is open to men and women, but women can choose to attend a women-only group.

Bereavement

 

Although bereavement is fairly predictable as we grow older, it’s still traumatic. The loss of someone we love changes us, and we may need to find new ways of coping. This challenge would be stressful even without the heartbreak of missing our loved one. It doesn’t matter whether the loss was of a pet or a person.

 

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Grief can be so painful that at times we feel unable to cope. Being overwhelmed like this affects our functioning at all levels. This sense is not just emotional but is deeply rooted in the physical body. That’s why people use words like “heartbroken” and “gut-wrenching”. Studies have shown that newly bereaved people are at risk for major health crises, and that extra support can be crucial during the first year.

 

TRE® can help us through this time of loss and change. By gently stimulating the vagus nerve, we can regulate our digestive system, heart, breathing, and mental processes. We can find the eye of the storm, where peace and love still exist. The TRE® exercises are adapted for simplicity at a time of feeling overwhelmed.

 

Social anxiety

 

Social anxiety, also called social phobia, can be debilitating. People who experience this problem often avoid employment, relationships, and important daily activities, and they might become depressed and isolated. An estimated 7% of people in the US and UK have social anxiety and the statistics in South Africa are probably similar.

 

Two main causes of social anxiety are 1) unresolved trauma and 2) some degree of autism. These might sound like unrelated issues, but they share important features. Trauma survivors are often highly sensitive to things like loud noises and crowds, and social engagement becomes difficult. Autism, too, implies hypersensitivity and difficulty in relationships. Things get quite technical here, with a small muscle in the middle ear playing a crucial role.

 

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In this Healing Zone group, nobody is expected to speak or interact, but participation is always welcomed. Through TRE® and somatic focus, group members can rediscover the wisdom of their mind-body system. We’ll also focus on managing hyperarousal. Insight into neurodiversity is essential for learning to cope in social situations.

 

As your group facilitator, I bring not only academic expertise to this topic but also a history of severe social phobia as a young adult.

I have found TRE® to be very helpful for others and myself. I have seen it enable many people to eliminate issues that are stored in their bodies due to rape, war, accidents, and all other sorts of trauma. Many people I work with have already been through years of therapy and processing and TRE® goes right to the core of their issues and releases them in one session many times. I think it’s one of the great tools that everyone should have at their disposal.

– Dr Jeff McCombs, Founder of McCombs Candida Plan

 

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