As TRE Providers, we see powerful results on a regular basis, but nothing speaks louder than hard data. We recently conducted a 10-week program for 74 clinical and administrative staff at a community mental health organization. Due to the demanding nature and context of this work, staff often experience high rates of psychological stress, burnout, and secondary trauma. So we decided to measure just how staff was doing on these variables before and after the TRE program using two widely used and well-validated research instruments (the Perceived Stress Scale 10 and Professional Quality of Life 5). We added compassion satisfaction to the assessment, because it is widely known to mitigate some of the costs of caregiving. And we also conducted a content analysis of the qualitative program evaluation.

The participants received theoretical and experiential TRE instruction in group settings at weekly intervals over a 10-week period, for a total of 7 contact hours. We provided education on the biopsychosocial effects of the stress-trauma continuum at the first session. Each session involved demonstration and practice of the TRE movement sequence and participants were encouraged to independently practice TRE at home.

All along the program facilitators heard good reports from participants, so we were expecting some excellent results by the program’s end. But when the statistician, John Hughes PhD, ran the numbers, the outcomes exceeded everyone’s expectations. There was a statistically significant increase in compassion satisfaction, and decreases in perceived stress, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress. For those who like the numbers, the p values were all less than .009 (see Table 1). Qualitative data showed participants experienced relaxation, greater equanimity, less pain, and more capacity (see Table 2 for participants’ quotes). A mixed-method program evaluation demonstrated high satisfaction rates, with participants stating that the program skills and information were useful for their personal and work lives. 22% requested longer weekly sessions and/or a longer program entirely. As one participant requested, “Make it a longer process. I enjoyed it too much.”

Overall the program was so successful, that the organization has hired us to run another 10-week program, and is sending 6 staff members to be certified. Hard data does indeed speak volumes!

Table 1 – Contrast of Pre and Post for Perceived Stress (PS), Compassion Satisfaction (CS), Burnout (BO), and Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS)


Table 2 – Qualitative Themes

Showing 14 comments
  • Richmond Heath

    Congratulations and thank you to all involved.

  • Sandy kaufmann

    Congratulations and excellent work!!!!

  • Karen Vestergaard

    Congratulations. Thank you for sharing this, and sharing TRE.

  • Steve Haines

    Fantastic work

  • Jessica Schaffer

    Thanks for sharing the results of this work. This will help all of us who are working to get TRE® represented in more community-wide programs and agencies.

  • Ingrid Regenass

    Fantastic work – Nkem! Thanks for sharing this. It is SO rewarding to share TRE and witness the benefits.:)

  • Jude Driscoll OT Reg PEI

    Awesome work. Congratulations to you all!
    I will be looking up those scales. Is there a possibility of re-testing the first group at 6 month post ?
    It would be quite amazing if we had some consistent outcome measures to use.
    In May I plan to use the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure.
    Best regards.

  • Brooke Deputy

    Great job Nkem and team! And thanks so much for sharing.

  • Raymond Lambert

    Well done Nkem and team. Now we’re talking !

  • Debbie Brown

    Wonderful to see!

  • Jill Beattie

    Is it possible to have a copy for the full report please? I am a researcher here is Australia and a leve 1 trainer, doing level 2. I have always researched my own practice and the clients I work with with. This is a relatively easy way to gradually build up research in practice as we go so to speak. I would like to look in more detail at the methodology and instru,tens. I already use the PSS in my work,. Can look up the prof QoL scale, but neocon compassion instrument did you use. Further, how was the qualitative data collective, what questions were devised etc. An important reasons for this is that it is better to reproduce work in the field that has already been done to add to the developing database.. Great that you have done this looking forward to hearing for, you kind regards Jill

    • trelosangeles

      Hello Jill, Thank you for your inquiry! It’s great to hear that you are interested in researching TRE. This project was done for a private company and we are not at liberty to release it in it’s entirety. We will be publishing a blog with results from the replication project. The tables give you the PSS and ProQoL raw scores, so those can be compared to your results. If you’d like to discuss further, please email us at

  • Jill Beattie

    Sorry about the typos!

  • Nienja Brouwer

    So happy to see this publication about TRE!!!

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