Community Connections
TREM Overview
 
The Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model (TREM) group intervention was developed at Community Connections in the 1990s by clinicians led by Dr. Maxine Harris. In the years since then, more than 1500 clinicians in over twenty states have been trained in this model. Based in both clinical experience and the research literature, TREM has become one of the major trauma recovery interventions for women. (See http://nrepp.samhsa.gov regarding its evidence base.)
 
TREM and M-TREM are fully manualized group interventions for women (TREM) and men (M-TREM) who are trauma survivors.  These groups, developed with and for members of the target population at Community Connections, are interventions that address a broad range of trauma sequelae among people with severe mental disorders and/or substance abuse problems. Both use cognitive restructuring, psychoeducation, and coping skills training, weaving each of these techniques throughout the intervention, which incorporates a specific recovery topic in each weekly 75-minute session.  The current version of TREM is 29 sessions long while M-TREM comprises 24 sessions. TREM groups are for women only with female co-leaders; M-TREM groups are for men and routinely have male co-leaders.  Both groups are designed for 8-10 members.  TREM is organized into three major parts:  empowerment, trauma education, and skill-building.  In the empowerment section topics focus on helping women to learn strategies for self-comfort and accurate self-monitoring as well as how to establish safe emotional and physical boundaries.  In the education part, women address issues of abuse directly.  Discussions cover topics of sexual, physical, emotional, and institutional abuse, and women explore and reframe the connection between abuse experiences and other current difficulties.  In the skill-building part, the focus shifts more explicitly to problem-solving and skills training, as group members address communication style, decision-making, managing out-of-control feelings, and developing safer relationships.  M-TREM is similarly organized but differs in the content of the three major parts.  In M-TREM, the first section focuses on emotions and relationships, helping men to develop a shared emotional vocabulary and increased capacities to address relationship dynamics.  The second section is similar to that of TREM, addressing emotional, physical, and sexual abuse directly.  The third part of M-TREM, like TREM, centers most directly on skill-building and problem-solving but addresses different content issues in a different order than the TREM group.
 
To arrange a training or consultation in your agency or service system, please contact Rebecca Wolfson Berley, MSW, Director of Trauma Education at (202) 608-4735 or rwolfson@ccdc1.org.
 
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