Simply put, trauma is the experience of being overwhelmed, with a sense that our safety, security, and survival are under threat. Our brains react with alarm, initiating lightning fast changes in virtually every body system. Many of these changes are similar to what happens during the stress response, but the magnitude is dramatically increased because the stakes are higher. We are ready to fight or flee whatever is threatening us, but if there is no way out, our bodies will freeze, fold, and collapse. Once the danger is past, our bodies will shake or tremor to discharge all of that survival energy and reset to baseline.
However, in cases where trauma is ongoing, there is no opportunity to allow the natural completion of the trauma cycle. Plus, we often suppress normal shaking because we view tremors as a problem instead of a welcome return to safety.
Nkem is truly passionate about her work in the world, and she gives 110% of herself to her trainees. I have sought out her guidance numerous times regarding course content, research, and professional development, and her feedback has been extremely valuable. I would highly recommend her to any TRE Provider looking to develop their clinical skills or other professional competencies.
Being exposed to TRE by Nkem Ndefo was extremely eye-opening and healing for myself and so many in our community. We've been exposed to so much physical and emotional trauma in our lives. And we are socialized to suppress our natural, emotional responses...It never occurred to me that my body was organically trying to heal past traumas entirely on its own. It was truly empowering to know one can embrace this healing at any time through TRE. And it is a metaphor for how we empower and heal ourselves through writing. Thank you, Nkem, for sharing this beautiful gift so generously and graciously with everyone here at Street Poets.
Nkem Ndefo, CNM, is a gifted speaker who not only educates, but truly motivates! She not only delivers information that is beneficial to providers who care for women who have experienced stress and trauma, but cleverly has participants “take a selfie” to reflect on their personal areas of stress and unreleased tension. I was floored to think that my own unresolved tension and trauma could affect the relationship with my patients and potentially influence their health outcomes. Nkem’s message that we must learn to release tension/trauma is a critical one for providers, therapists, and, frankly, for any person desirous of healthy personal and professional relationships.
TRE has been helpful to me by bringing greater integration to my activities. I feel less tense and anxious. I feel more clear in my view of life as fun and engaging. I feel freer to be more of who I am. I am less afraid.