Recovering from stress and burnout with Marie Simonsen

Recovering from stress and burnout

Marie Simonsen shares her story about recovering from stress and burnout, discovering the science of trauma and self-regulation and becoming TRE instructor

Interview by Hans Holter Solhjell.


Marie is a Certified Coach and accompanies leaders and managers who suffer from stress and burnout. Her focus is to transform the destructive forces of stress into resilience and personal transformation through coaching and TRE (You can visit Marie’s website for more information about her work: ). Marie’s work is informed by her own personal experience from the stressful pace and the highly competitive environment of the international business world.

You can read more about Marie on her website,

In this interview Marie, now also a TRE instructor and previous participant in our Global online TRE instructor training shares some of her experiences with TRE, the TRE instructor training and her healing journey.

Hi Marie, and thank you for sharing your experience of TRE with us!


Can you tell us about why you became interested in TRE?

In my last professional experience, while working in Leadership Development for Harvard Business School, I met the wall and experienced the destructive forces of stress on my body. I realized that the priority of work had taken over all other aspects of my life.

Despite the position and status, I had gained and the good money I was earning I felt empty inside, numbed. I also noticed how my colleagues were suffering from the highly competitive work environment and the constant pressure we were all working under in order to reach rocket high objectives.

I was lucky to get out of this system but felt that I had become highly sensitive to stress. With my experience working with large global companies, I also knew that stress and burnout is the illness of the 21st century so I wanted to create an offer to help managers deal with their extremely stressful lives that I had myself experienced when I was working for Harvard.


How did you come to know about TRE?

I heard about TRE by coincidence when I was listening to a podcast that spoke about this method. I intuitively knew that this could be an interesting method to use with managers and leaders with regards to stress and burnout so I started the TRE training.

I did not know back then, to which degree TRE was going to introduce me to my own healing and allow me to get a deeper understanding of myself and how trauma in general affects our lives.

Furthermore, The TRE training introduced me to the world of trauma and the associated science which I have discovered a true interest in and that I am continuing to explore and build competence in.


Can you tell us about your journey to become a TRE instructor and how it developed?

When I started to practice TRE and teach it to friends as part of my training, I approached it the same way I have always approached life in general, through pushing, forcing and performing. I also noticed that I often wanted to intellectualize the process and I had difficulties with just being present in the moment and surrender to the body and being in touch with the body’s sensations. It felt uncomfortable to stay in silence and hold the space for the other. In reality what felt uncomfortable was to stay in silence with myself and to be fully present in the moment.

The feedback I received following my first recorded video where I was teaching was a true wake up call for me. I realized that I had to change my mind set. Instead of pushing my client and introducing a lot of different techniques I understood the importance of listening and staying still– to listen to the language of the body and to follow this and to hold a safe space for my client to allow for the natural tremoring process to unfold.

It was painful to receive this first feedback, I felt like a failure. I was able to sit with this feeling. I sat with it for a long while to understand the wound inside me that also needed healing. I have always, since I can remember, been an over achiever and I have attached my personal value to my achievements. I had up until now advanced fast without paying attention to my inner emotional life.

This first feedback made me reach a deeper understanding of myself and my own limits and made me understand that this was an opportunity for my own evolution and that time had come to develop new tools to deal with the challenges of life.

Pushing and forcing were no longer helping me in developing as a person, on the contrary it was making me feel empty inside. In order to help others, I understood that I had to overcome my own challenges and develop more empathy and love towards myself in order to hold space for others.

This led me on a new personal journey towards healing and growth. I started to practice TRE on a regular basis. This taught me to stay still and observe the present moment and welcome what occurs without controlling the outcome. This feeling of letting go felt liberating. I also learned to accept any type of tremoring as it manifests.

In the beginning I wanted big and intense tremoring, I had the false belief that the stronger the tremoring the better. As I advanced on my own personal healing journey, I realized that I was starting to change. I was developing more empathy for myself and this showed up in the way I was in acceptance of the natural unfolding of the TRE process.

The funny thing is that when I learned to let go and fully surrendered to my body, the tremors intensified and I experienced deep releases, muscular and emotional.

Doing TRE is like moving meditation to me and it has become part of my daily routines. I can feel how this helps me to ground and gives me a feeling of being fully present in the moment.

I now experience more empathy towards other people and can see that how I meet myself is how I meet others. Today I understand the importance in TRE to create a space of safety and to hold that space for my client. I can clearly see today how this silent approach can have incredible positive effects on healing from trauma and stress.


How did you experience the TRE training, the modules and the feedback process?

The TRE training offered by Hans and Robyn was incredible. The balance between theory, practice, sharing and dialogue allowed me to deepen my understanding about my own stress patterns and associated behavior and those of the people around me. The practice section with feedback was highly personalized, my mentor provided detailed feedback after each recorded video, which allowed me to grow as a TRE instructor but also as a person. The TRE training and the empathic approach of the very qualified teachers have allowed for a profound shift in my own life. The world of trauma has almost become a new tool with which I read the world.

Furthermore, I did the online global TRE training which was a great experience. The other students came from all over the world so the exchanges in the group were incredibly rich. The teachers created a secure space for us to feel completely safe and through the sharing with the other students I also learned a lot. I have met beautiful people in this training who have become my friends and with whom I speak on a regular basis, this is so meaningful and adds a lot of value to both my personal and professional life. Being part of this community of like-minded people allows me to continue my personal development journey in the best possible way.


How to you plan to use TRE going forward?

I am just at the start of this new journey and TRE has definitely played an important role in opening up all these new doors of interest. Gaining this knowledge has allowed me to start to approach my life differently and a strong desire is born to accompany others in navigating this complex world in new ways towards wholeness. I plan to continue using TRE in supporting leaders and managers to build resilience and to re-connect to their bodies and hearts. I believe that elevating the consciousness of today’s business leaders can have tremendous positive effects in the corporate world and beyond as these leaders will realize the importance of putting the health of their teams first as opposed to the health of the finance.

When you have a healthy workforce, the finance follow, the opposite is not the case. We need to move towards a new leadership paradigm where leaders re-connect to themselves and others in healthy and respectful ways.

My next project is to organize seminars for leaders and managers linking the practice of re-generative agriculture to the re-generation in the corporate world. I believe that re-connecting to our bodies through TRE and re-connecting to nature can transform the lens through which we see the world and re-define the way we measure success.

The TRE training opened my eyes to this perspective and has equally opened a whole new chapter in my own life. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that the transformation is actually deeper, so a more precise metaphor would be a new book as opposed to a new chapter in the old book. I highly recommend this training!


Thank you very much for sharing your journey with us Marie! It has been an honor for us to have you as a participant in the training and to follow you in the process.


You can read more about Marie on her website,

And about our Online Global TRE training on this page.

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