Providing TRE Workshops at a festival

A couple of years ago I was delighted to connect with the organisers of The Wildheart Gathering and persuade them to introduce TRE into their workshop schedule.  It’s been a long held dream of mine to work as a therapist at festivals – and also a great way to holiday as a single parent and connect with like-minded  people.

Wildheart is a very open and spiritual gathering set in the beautiful Sussex countryside with a cross-section of workshops from drumming and bush craft to shamanism and tantric dance….very much the perfect open minded audience for some somatic body release.  Additionally Bhakti Rasa from TRE London came along to assist which was a huge help.  It was great to connect with him and we were able support each other with any challenges.

Our workspace was a lovely traditional tipi – no wall space (!) so I was going to have to be adaptive in my approach and also the floor space was limited so numbers would have to be monitored.

On the first day however this wasn’t a problem as I only had one customer!  As the festival was just ‘waking up’ and people were still arriving I’m not sure many knew I was there. However, it was a lovely gentle start and got me used to working in the space.  The client was experienced with TRE and was able to get deeply into her process and we were able to use some touch interventions to move the tremors up her body.

The second day we had an explosion of customers as 25 turned up and squeezed into the Tipi all very keen and ready to shake it all out!  As this was too much for the space and we were reluctant to turn people away we split into two groups and Bhakti took a few outside into the sunshine.  As Wildheart is a peaceful, quiet, family festival we felt that was safe and would also connect them to nature and help to ground them even more. As TRE is such a natural process, it felt, in this environment, an enhancement rather than a challenge to be outside.

Both groups had a resounding and positive experience. As sometimes happens one client  flooded with strong emotion, but I was able to bring him back into the space and ground him very quickly. I also observed this participant over the course of the weekend and he was on a mission to go deep and ‘let go’ – although I’m not sure he (or his partner) quite expected the intensity he reached so quickly with the process.  Regardless of this, something about being in nature and the shape of the tipi really helped – working in a soft natural circle in soft light really facilitated building a nurturing space.

On the final day we had 12 clients and that was the perfect number for the Tipi and was the most profound session for us as facilitators. The group was strong, connected and cohesive and even though quite a few had intense emotional reactions, their process was comfortable to hold and the feedback we received at the end was phenomenal.

‘I feel like there was a mist in front of my eyes – and now it’s been lifted and I can see clearly for the first time’ ‘I can feel parts of my body have woken up’ ‘I feel alive in a way I never have before’ ‘everything is brighter and clearer’ ‘ I can forgive myself for shaking now – and know that this is a normal process, I feel more in touch with my body’.

I suggested some further grounding exercises and many of the group went to sit back to back (which can be a very supportive and comforting grounding technique after TRE) in a quiet spot or by the fire. We continued to get extremely positive feedback during the day and evening.

I took huge learnings and development from the experience now regularly teach TRE at festivals. My son is very used to being with people who shake and he generally wanders in and out to check in with me while I teach.

I will be at Into The Wild Festival this year 4-7 May 2018, DO come and join me for transformational TRE in a Tipi!

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