The Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model (TREM) is a fully manualized, group-based intervention designed to facilitate trauma recovery among women with histories of exposure to sexual and physical abuse. Drawing on cognitive restructuring, psychoeducational, and skills-training techniques, the 18- to 29-session intervention emphasizes the development of coping skills and social support. It addresses both short-term and long-term consequences of violent victimization, including mental health symptoms, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, and substance abuse.
Each TREM group has 10 to 12 women members and at least two group leaders who are also women. Sessions are designed to take place weekly. TREM is available as a three- or four-part intervention. The first part addresses the empowerment needs of women and includes sessions on helping women develop such necessary skills as physical and emotional boundary-setting, self-soothing, and self-esteem. It also addresses topics such as "What It Means to be a Woman" and "What Do You Know and How Do You Feel About Your Body?" The second part addresses trauma recovery issues more directly and includes a session on "Gaining an Understanding of Trauma," which covers physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; the relationships between abuse and psychological or emotional symptoms; and the relationships between addictive or compulsive behaviors and trauma. The third part addresses topics that include family and family life; communication and decision making; feeling out of control; blame, acceptance, and forgiveness; and personal healing. The fourth and final part of the intervention is devoted to closing rituals, which includes activities that help participants process their group experiences and say good-bye to other group members. An additional fifth part provides adaptations and supplements for delivering the intervention to women diagnosed with serious mental illness, incarcerated women, women who are parents, and women who are abusers. A version of TREM for male trauma survivors (M-TREM) is also available.
TREM has been implemented across a range of service locations, including mental health, substance abuse, and criminal justice settings. It has also been implemented among various racial and ethnic populations.