Founder & CEO Dr. David Berceli
David Berceli, Ph.D. is an international expert in the areas of trauma intervention and conflict resolution. He is also the energetic and creative founder and CEO of Trauma Recovery Services (1998). For the past 22 years he has lived and worked in nine countries providing trauma relief workshops and designing recovery programs for international organizations around the world. Dave has lived and worked extensively in Israel/Palestine, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Yemen, Egypt, and Lebanon. Fluent in English and Arabic, David brings a keen understanding of the intertwining dynamics of religion and ethnic customs and has developed specific processes to enable people to manage personal trauma as well as bring healing and reconciliation between diverse groups. He is the creator of a revolutionary and unique set of Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE®) that help release the deep chronic tension created in the body during a traumatic experience. David continues to be involved in trauma recovery programs not solely for the sake of reducing the suffering caused by trauma but because he has recognized globally that trauma possesses unique possibilities of transformation in the individual if they pursue their recovery process to its ultimate end.
Trauma as a paradigm shift
The human animal is designed to experience, endure and survive traumatic episodes.
If we did not possess this ability the human species would have become extinct shortly after it was born. This natural ability to let go of and resolve post traumatic reactions is genetically encoded in us to complete one process and begin something new as a part of our unending cycle of evolution. When a traumatic event occurs, the individual feels overwhelmed and the experience seems unbearable.
However it is precisely because of this overwhelming experience that the individual is forced out of their old way of thinking into a new way of being in the universe. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, all experienced trauma and used their painful encounters to develop a more moral and ethical response to their traumatic circumstances. Their lives demonstrate to us that the trauma recovery process contains the possibility of helping the human person develop into a more moral and ethical species. If we can repeat this process for thousands or millions of people, we can use the transforming power inherent in the trauma recovery process to transform the ethical and moral foundations of the human person… Mass trauma may be the process whereby the human species is evolving into a more ethical species. The trauma survivors of the third world may be the harbingers of a morality necessary to temper the technology of the first world. These survivors may be evidence of the natural evolution of the human species from the Age of Technology to the Age of Wisdom.
Wisdom born of trauma
“I do not wish tragedy on anyone but ever since that accident, I never fail to tell my wife I love her. I kiss my children every day. Life is richer, fuller and deeper than I have ever experienced. It has more meaning and depth than it ever had before.”
This type of transformation of life after surviving a traumatic experience is very common. The questions that beg to be asked here are: How and why does a traumatic experience cause us to live a more profound life than we previously had? Why don’t we simply choose to live life at its deepest level before a tragedy? Why do we need to have a traumatic experience to wake up to appreciating life to its fullest?
As a human species, we are biologically designed to experience, endure and survive trauma. No different from other living organisms on this planet, we are genetically encoded to let go of and recover from trauma as a way of ridding ourselves of any experience that obstructs or interferes with the natural evolutionary process of the human body.
Resolving past traumas delivers us into the future. Through the unending cycle of trauma recovery, the human species learns how to adapt to life threatening situations. This process of adaptation makes the species stronger and wiser to protect it from future traumatic episodes. If we did not possess this natural evolutionary instinct, we would have died as a species shortly after we were born. Trauma recovery is as natural and common as trauma itself. Accepting this sometimes unpleasant fact of life allows us to see trauma in a new light… Only by letting go can we unlock ourselves from the past, be delivered into the future and prepare ourselves for our next evolutionary experience.
Once a trauma befalls us we are forced, whether we like it or not, whether we want to or not, to follow its life-altering path. At times, this process often leads us through episodes of helplessness and hopelessness. It can terrify us by unveiling the fragility, precariousness and vulnerability of our humanity. It exposes us to the rawness of life as a living species on this planet. It tears at the very fabric of our identity and radically redefines our view of life. However, it is precisely because this experience has burned the bridges of our past ways of thinking that we are forced into a new way of being in life. The old ways of thinking and relating no longer suffice and a new way of being begins to emerge. We discover that on the other side of this frightening journey we have the potential of emerging into a new life of maturity, compassion and wisdom.
The goal of this organization is to provide specialized trauma recovery assistance to international and local organizations whose employees are living and working in trauma inducing environments. For the past 25 years he has lived in nine countries and worked in over 30 countries providing trauma relief workshops and designing recovery programs for international organizations around the world.
Fluent in several languages, David brings a keen understanding of the interwoven dynamics of that stress and trauma can have in cultural, religious and ethnic dimensions. Through this comprehensive understanding he has developed specific processes to enable people to manage personal stress, anxiety and trauma as well as bring healing and reconciliation between diverse groups and individuals. He is the creator of a revolutionary and unique set of Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE®) that release the deep chronic tension created in the body during stressful or traumatic experiences.