Sunday, August 21, 2011

I'm Back! - The reason I disappeared

So I privatised my blog for two weeks. I needed to get rid of someone and basically correct a massive oversight on my part, regarding a post I wrote over a year ago. I have always believed that honesty is the best policy so I will be laying bare exactly what happened. It started with  a comment that I received on a post about the TRE exercises. Unfortunately when I deleted the post, the comment went with it otherwise I would have put it in this post. The comment was from Dr Melanie Salmon, the National TRE co-ordinator for Africa. She titled the comment with STEPHI and FELLOW BLOGGERS BEWARE! and then proceeded to write that the TRE exercises should only be considered several weeks in therapy and with the approval of a doctor. She continued to say that TRE should not be done by people with "certain conditions" (she didn't specify what). She went on to say that TRE should ONLY be practiced with a qualified TRE pactitioner and the patient should only be allowed to do the TRE exercises on their own after several sessions. The reason for this she said that TRE could produce some reactions that could alarm a person if they were not in a controlled environment. She then went on (and on...) about the TRE exercise material being under strict copyright and basically said that I was risking being sued.

I published this comment because I thought that if what she was saying was true people who had read this post needed to know. I wasted half a day at work where I did a massive google search trying find any possible dangers of TRE. I found none. The day after this message was posted I was rather alarmed when I received a call from my psychologist. I couldn't answer because I was at work. In her voice message she asked me to call her back urgently about the "TRE training". This is where I became furious because I realised that this Dr Salmon had traced my identity and was in contact with my psychologist about my blog post. I immediately deleted the post. I realised that this woman had been reading my blog extensively (judging by the amount of information she had on me) and since she was knew who I really was, I privatised this blog to rid of her and her employees. I then got HER e-mail address, copied my Dad on it (since his legal knowledge is boundless) and sent her the nice e-mail below:

Dear Dr. Salmon,

I am the person who posted the step-by-step instructions on my blog. Thank -you for the information you gave me. I want you to know that I have deleted that post and will be making my blog private. I will also do a post about the possible dangers of the TRE exercises. I do apologise for my irresponsibility but the post was written nearly a year ago during an extremely emotionally difficult and traumatizing time and I admit I was none the wiser to the copyright restrictions. I thought since stuff like yoga and relaxation exercises etc are available every where on the net.

I must tell you am very upset and disturbed not only because my privacy was violated by you tracking down my identity through my psychologist ( I would have deleted that post regardless) but also because I was not, at any time warned about the dangers of TRE when I was taught the exercises. Had I known that TRE could be harmful I would never have posted it on my blog, I would have questioned twice about doing the exercises myself and I would not have done these exercises with my six- year old cousin. My psychologist (who by the way was an excellent practitioner) has been in contact with me and says she should have been more explicit. However I don't feel that it is her fault. It is the responsibility of whoever trained her to make her aware of the dangers of doing TRE without supervision and how to inform potential clients. As you are the National TRE co- ordinator I would think that would be your responsibility. It seems that you are more worried about the copyright. Patients should be given more information and be WELL informed before they start of what they can experience with TRE and what they can and cannot do with the information. I question twice about this information being available to the mass on DVD's.


And the Dr Salmon herself sent be an equally lovely reply:

Dear Stephanie

Thank you for your email and for removing the step-by-step Trauma Release Exercise instructions from your blog.

Just to let you know that I did not track your identity through your psychologist. My Admin Manager did a Google search on 'Trauma Release Exercises' and came across your very public blog. On your web site your refer to Dr Shaw and therefore it was obvious as to whom you had done TRE with, as all our Practitioners are well known to us.

All our Trainees go through extensive training, which includes potential problems that can arise from doing TRE with or without a Practitioner. Our Practitioners are trained as to what they should do should a problem arise during a session with a client. Clients should be seen through several appointments before they are given the exercises to do on their own. The reasoning behind this is to ensure that the Client has reached a safe place with TRE and that they will be able to tremor on their own without a major problem arising. This is basic Level 1 Training, which all our Trainees receive, without fail.

Berceli TRE Booklet, which you probably received from your Psychologist in order to do the exercises at home. Secondly the reason our Admin Manager does regular searches on the world wide web is because our main concern is that TRE is practiced by Trained Practitioners in a safe and responsible manner.

With regards to the DVD - you will note that if you go to our web page that we in South Africa do not make the TRE DVD available to our Community and neither are step-by-step instructions posted there either.

Yours Sincerely

Dr. Melanie Salmon
It may be pretty clear what I think of Dr Salmon and how she handled this situation both professionally and ethically. But I will keep that to myself. But just to make things clear....I NEVER received any booklet when I started my TRE sessions. I was actually my psychologist's case study while she was training to become a TRE practitioner. I had had several sessions with her and we had gone quite far into my history and medical problems before I started the TRE training. I do believe that the TRE training is not as water tight as Dr Salmon thinks it is.

But for my was thoughtless and irresponsible of me to post the step by step instructions on this blog. I can say that I had no knowledge of TRE causing adverse reactions. I had found something really great and I wanted to share it. It is very upseting that my actions could have caused someone harm.  For that I am truly sorry. When I posted this a year ago I did have some knowledge of plagiarism and  how a copyright works, but in my rather naive mind I thought that since clear instructions of yoga, Pilate's, diets, any exercise etc. is freely available anywhere, I thought that TRE is was no different. As there is nothing on the internet or any of the TRE dvd's and books as to what dangers involve TRE I will leave it up to the reader as to whether this is a marketing ploy just to buy the material.

I have personally found the benefits to TRE HUGE!!. And yes, I still do them at myself. If you are interested in TRE then please go to Dr. Berceli's website where this is a list of TRE practitioners around the world. Do as much research as you can on TRE and consult your GP before you start.

Lastly I would like to advise Dr. Salmon to go after the several youtube users who have videos on how to do the TRE exercises.



  1. I still can't believe this happened. I can only imagine how you felt when your therapist contacted you about having been contacted. I found that extremely unethical on the part of Dr. Salmon. I hope you are doing okay.

    Seriously, I think in your place I would feel violate, like I had a stalker. I know having a blog puts me out there, but to call your therapist? Inappropriate!

    Good luck.

  2. Yep, I felt very violated and very angry, but in the end I did put myself into that situation with my carelessness. Still it hasn't put me off blogging... We live and learnYep, I felt very violated and very angry, but in the end I did put myself into that situation with my carelessness. Still it hasn't put me off blogging... We live and learn

  3. GOOD for you Stephi for replying back to this Dr. in such a clear and still respectful way. We all write posts that we either later retract or amend and it takes a lot of courage to share with others our own process. I know that when I DO get my Bipolar Blog up and running (someday ;) I'm going to write a disclaimer about my experiences and the therapies/meds. that I'm on.

    I think it's extremely unprofessional and unethical in how this Dr. searched you out. And IF she was a true professional who dealt with trauma than she would have realized how detrimental it is to invade another person's privacy in such a way, esp. if we have mood disorders and health issues! I'm really proud of you for how you handled the whole situation,Stephi :0

  4. Utterly ridiculous of her to say that, because...

    ALL THE EXERCISES ARE IN THE BOOK, WHICH YOU CAN BUY FREELY ON AMAZON (and has no disclaimer in it atall, other than "slow down if you feel uncomfortable emotions"). So for her to say it's only taught in person is absurd.

    The thing with TRE is Berceli is genuinely passionate about getting it out to as many people as possible, so he put it in book form - and it's probably the case that most people do self-regulate with it.

    There are probably a few cases of people overdoing it though, and perhaps they're now realising that that could come back to bite them, especially if someone sued.

    I love TRE and it's changing my life - and Dr Berceli and other trainers have been extremely helpful to me. I'm surprised she acted like that though; definitely overzealous and poorly handled. If I were you I'd reply, remind her that the book is freely available, and CC the whole thing to Berceli, who you can contact via the contact form on her site. She's certainly behaved poorly here IMO.

    Good luck with the exercises and your continued recovery.

  5. I am replying several months after you posted this but if you happen to read this,I just want to say please do not feel bad about what you did. You didn't harm anyone at all with your generous spirit: you simply discovered something marvellous and you wanted others to benefit just as you did.As you so rightly pointed out in the email Dr.Salmon seemed more concerned about copyright then anything else, so you hit the nail on the head.
    The exercises cannot be found anywhere on the web which means the business takes strict measures to ensure the copyright aspect is protected, which they are entitled to do, even if this somewhat a bit strange these days, as most information is freely available on the web.But then it occurred to me:the books sold with the exercises aren't very cheap and the reason for that (I assume) is because David B. obviously relies on this revenue.If the exercises are freely available online then he loses the revenue from selling the books.Why would anyone spend £15 on a book when they can get the contents free online? Plus it is a bit unclear as to what possible situations could arise that could be dangerous when doing the exercises seeing as the exercises are controlled by the person doing it.The worse that can happen is that a person might get overwhelmed if an intense emotion comes up and if it is too overpowering one can either suppress it again and stop the exercise or the person can give themselves over to it, seeing as the stuck emotion needs to be expressed/felt to be released. You cannot get traumatised again because the emotion comes up and suppression occurs.So what is the danger in physical terms?I could find no information that would tell me what negative impact it would have on the body if things went wrong seeing as David rightfully claims inducing tremors is inducing a natural body function/response, which we have learnt to suppress.What I can deduce is that the courses are very costly and practitioners must be encouraged to tell people to come and see them and have the exercises done under supervision.However here's the contradiction: in alot of the information available it does state TRE is safe to do alone. I have personally bought the book and followed the exercises and have had amazing benefits from it. I did need a bit of assistance in the beginning, but it's nothing that a bit of persistence and intelligent self regulating couldn't put right.So Steph, I think Dr.Salmon was guarding the revenue aspect of the business and not really guarding against people getting themselves into a dangerous position should they attempt it themselves.If that were the case the instructional DVDs would not be available at all.But here's the odd thing,I have noticed that the DVDs are becoming harder to obtain and again I believe this is because there have bee complaints from people that have paid for the courses and who probably find that alot of people find the DVD particularly helpful and don't need further sessions with qualified practitioners. Certainly as you pointed out if there is any REAL danger either emotional or physical, this is not made very clear in any official information released.Personally I think this whole concept is brilliant and so helpful but the business aspect of it has been handled in a rather amateurish manner. Personally I would have made the information available for free and asked people to donate to TRE for work done and continuing work to improve the lives of others. This approach somehow seems much more appropriate. But these comments are just my opinion, and I trust that unlike yourself I will not be tracked down for simply verbalising the obvious.

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