Great article in the South African Sunday Times by Dave Chambers. Academics at Stellenbosch University have found TRE® can help reduce vicarious trauma in teaching staff working in“high-risk” schools
Unemployment‚ poverty‚ crime‚ violence and gangs are leaving teachers on the Cape Flats traumatised.
Now academics at Stellenbosch University have found that a technique that involves inducing “shivers and shakes‚ quivers and quakes” can help them to deal with the stress of working in “high-risk” schools
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The psychologists‚ Sharon Johnson and Anthony Naidoo‚ tested three stress-relief approaches on 43 teachers from four schools.
All the techniques had benefits‚ but the “neurogenic tremors” — advocated by US doctor David Berceli and depicted in numerous YouTube videos — “yielded a significant reduction in teacher stress”.
The so-called trauma release exercises induce tremors. The physiological changes are said to have a psychological knock-on.
The other stress-relief techniques in the study‚ taught in group sessions for a total of 15 hours over 10 weeks‚ focused on stimulating the limbic system in the brain with song‚ dance and massage “to bring about heart coherence and calmness”; and a more traditional cognitive and behavioural approach that involved group discussions and role-playing.
Writing in the South African Journal of Psychology‚ Johnson and Naidoo said: “All interventions were designed to deal primarily with issues of learner discipline‚ the greatest reported stressor of teachers in the study’s high-risk schools.
“The trauma release exercises allowed teachers to release tension in their bodies and perceived stress levels to be reduced. They were better able to handle learners in a more prosocial classroom.”
Source: South African Sunday Times