Contribution by Beverley Streng
A group of Somerset West TRE Providers (Dr Melanie Salmon, Beverley Streng, Tim Knight, Donovan Brown and others) worked together during November/ December 2015 to offer a pro bono 6 week group course to a small group of Helderberg Rape Crisis volunteers. This initiative came about after discussion with the centre management and the realisation that, due to the nature of the work that they are involved with, the volunteers themselves could benefit from such a course.
At an initial meeting with some of the Helderberg Rape Crisis volunteers Desiree English delivered a lovely presentation where she explained the benefits of TRE, and the positive experience of using TRE with rape victims at the Chrysalis Academy. This information was received with great interest by the group and most of them decided to do the course.
The course ran for 6 weeks, numbers varied between 4 – 7 people per session, with 2 or 3 TRE Providers facilitating each session, rotating and sharing the work load. In order to maintain continuity most of the sessions were held at Melanie Salmon’s home and the sense of peace and calm at this venue was appreciated by everyone who attended.
By week 5 it was very encouraging to witness many of the positive shifts reported by the participants, particularly those who were able to maintain the program requirement of three TRE sessions per week. Most reported enjoying the TRE process and that they were noticing changes such as a greater sense of calm and tolerance when dealing with challenging issues, less anxiety and worry, feeling more in control of their lives, being more productive in their work environments.
The Somerset West Providers felt privileged to have had this opportunity to offer TRE to people who dedicate their time to helping others. We have equipped them with a ‘tool for life’ and we hope that their experience with TRE continues to deepen over time to help them to manage the stress that is part of the difficult work of service which they give to the Helderberg community.