TRE® frequently asked question: Should I have an individual session or join a group?

TRE® frequently asked question:  Should I have an individual session or join a group?
Photo by Diego PH / Unsplash

If you are curious about TRE®, there are a range of options for learning the practice. Learning through watching David Berceli's excellent YouTube videos or reading his publications is an option but this article covers in person learning (whether that is face-to-face or online).

Working with a practitioner really does give you the best start to your TRE® journey as they can hold a safe space for you, demonstrate the exercises correctly ensuring they are undertaken in a self-regulated or c0-regulated way and guide the tremoring process e.g. supporting what is happening to your body during the session, with stopping the tremors and suggesting interventions to allow the tremors to move around the body if appropriate.

For those looking for a summary of what TRE® is, and what happens in a session, the video below provides a useful animation. This is a common approach whether the session is provided on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting.

What are the benefits of a one-to one session?

A one-to-one session, where you work with a practitioner individually, gives an opportunity to clearly focus on your specific tremoring in a private capacity. It allows the practitioner to introduce you to TRE®, discuss any specific needs and intentions, understand how relaxed/grounded you are, get to know your body's responses to the exercises and tailor the session specifically to you and only you. It requires more financial investment as you are not sharing the space.

These sessions give you a brilliant start to your TRE® journey, especially if you feel self-conscious about the idea of shaking in front of others. Often people choose to do a few one-to-one sessions to support them to feel comfortable with the tremoring process (for some people one session is enough; others may, typically, choose to have 3-5 one-to-one sessions).

In addition, people who have experienced significant trauma benefit from individual sessions due to the opportunity to work in a more supported environment. It allows the person tremoring to go slower and be carefully monitored during their shaking for signs of freezing, flooding or dissociation.

As a one-to-one session allows an individual focus, this can also be useful when someone has been tremoring for a while and wishes to have a practitioner see where they are tremoring and give support to move the tremors via interventions, if the body is ready.

What about a group?

Once you feel comfortable with the practice of TRE®, you might decide to join a group. I provide small group sessions (typically no more than 6 people) so that I can still provide plenty of individual support and focus. These require a smaller financial investment but still allow a very supported TRE® experience.

Each session is tailored to the individuals present and how long they have been doing TRE® so no two sessions are identical. Typically, we chat about intentions people have for the session and how grounded/relaxed those attending feel in their bodies that day; we then do a range of 'grounding' activities and work through all or some of the set of exercises; participants shake, integrate their tremors during rest and there is an opportunity for questions and comments at the end.

TRE® was designed to be an incredible group intervention. In countries that have faced natural disasters or collective trauma such as wars, TRE® has been used successfully to support group recovery. In the Western world, large scale sessions of TRE® involving tens of people is less common. However, some practitioners work in this way and with larger groups, for example military personnel. Our nervous systems really do 'talk' to each other and, as a result, group sessions can be a powerful opportunity to find collective calm and social engagement, key in stress, tension and trauma release. Following group sessions, people often feel calmer, more at ease and more connected to others and their environment.

It depends what is right for you....

As you can see above, whether you attend a one-to-one or group session very much depends on your personal circumstances and preferences. It is also possible to mix and match e.g. by having a one-to-one sessions every now and again to explore patterns in your shaking that you have experienced during group sessions. Whatever your preference, I'd love to welcome you to a mat to start your TRE® journey. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions by using the details on the contact page. Kate ❤️