Integrating The Brain, Emotions And The Body To Achieve The Optimum In Life

Where It Begins

Cassandra Nadira Lee is a Somatic coach and TRE® practitioner

Cassandra Nadira Lee from Singapore knows more than a thing or two about resilience and overcoming challenges. 18 years ago, she fell into a deep clinical depression – so deep, that meeting up with a psychiatrist and taking medications did not help. 

Several years later, after giving birth to her second son, she was diagnosed with a medical condition called severe eclampsia, which robbed her eyesight.

The inspiring tale is that she eventually recovered from both setbacks. Today, she is an executive coach who helps individuals, families and organisations to eliminate stress and increase performance through MindBody connection via her organisation COMB.

In short, she is a Somatic coach and TRE® practitioner. 

Stemming from the Greek word “soma”, which means the body as a whole (not just skin and bones), Somatic coaching is what Clare Myatt, a leading coach, describes as “seeing the client as a whole person, more than their intellect, more than their capabilities … working with who they are as a whole, vital, interactive, living being.”

Meanwhile, TRE® stands for Trauma and Tension Release Exercises and was founded by David Berceli, Ph.D.

Challenges And Setbacks

Cassandra was blind after the birth of her 2nd son due to severe eclampsia

When Cassandra fell into a deep depression, she did what most people do: consult a professional. But she realised that talking to a psychiatrist and taking medications did not make her better. “It was then that I realised that I had the absolute power to overcome this and that’s when I started embarking on my first personal development course, which is known as Asia Work Singapore,” she told

“And since then, my whole life changed. I realised that by overcoming myself, rather than sitting down and taking medication, I did much better. And since then, I have believed in the power of coaching and the power of personal development.”

“That depression was not the only challenge I have had to overcome in my life,” she continued. “Several years later, after I gave birth to my second son, I was diagnosed with a medical condition called severe eclampsia which my gynaecologist did not diagnose. I lost both my eyes. I lost both my eyesight. I was totally blind.”

Cassandra took steroids to strengthen her retina, followed by a lot of natural supplements and eventually regained her eyesight, but she also pins her recovery to her strong will and her faith in God. “It was truly due to the grace of God that I have my sights back because the statistic is that 70% of women who lost their sight from severe eclampsia can never regain it.”

The Power Of Coaching

Cassandra during one of her speaking engagements

It began when Cassandra was headhunted by a personal development training company to work on their team. As part of the professional development, they offered her the Ontological Coaching certification. “In Ontological Coaching, we actually explore all three parts, which is the body, the emotions, as well as the language. So that’s where I was exposed and trained in somatics, which is the body part.”

Cassandra believes deeply that all of us need to deepen our relationship with our bodies. “There is a natural healing force within each one of us and by tapping into your innate body wisdom, you can experience immediate and life-altering results,” she said.

Somatic coaching helps clients get in touch with where and how different emotions show up inside their bodies, and this increases their emotional awareness and emotional intelligence. 

Among the clients that Cassandra works with are executives, as well as professionals from middle to higher-level management, which includes the board of directors as well as stakeholders and shareholders of companies. Cassandra has built such a good reputation that she gets clients through human resource directors, or simply word of mouth.

Different organisations have different challenges, but Cassandra narrows it down to three: “Usually it can be scoped down to leadership, transition and performances,” she said.

“For me, I always believe every human has unlimited potential. However, sometimes they lack the opportunity, or they lack someone who can actually trust them, as well as create the belief in them, that they can do better than what they believe they can do. That sometimes is the missing link,” she said further. 

This is why she believes coaching, and not simply training, is important.  “In my profession, because of the work I do, I believe that practices and actions are the sustainable steps for someone to actually grow professionally or personally. So that’s why I always believe training alone itself is not as attainable. It must be training plus coaching, and it must be skewed towards the individual rather than the team or you know, the class of 20 to 25. Because I believe everyone is unique.”

After an initial assessment is done whereby a potential client tells Cassandra what they are experiencing and what they would like to achieve from the coaching, they are asked to sign papers to get on board. After that, they are asked to write their coaching goals. Cassandra then begins the shaking mechanism, and then the releasing and discharging process. Sessions usually last one-and-a-half hours to two hours.

“You don’t have a typical workday,” Cassandra said. “My days are very different. If you want a more typical one, I would start as early as 8 a.m, whereby I already am coaching and training clients. And then after that, I would sometimes have six sessions, and in between, I will have meetings with my team or even my business partners in Singapore or in Indonesia.”

TRE®: Trauma And Tension Release Exercises

She uses TRE® as one of the tools to coach and work with people for better performance and better leadership

Cassandra’s coaching helps people navigate through complex emotions and challenges, including feelings of loss, inadequacy, anger and fear – all those emotions that she said she herself felt while going through her setbacks of falling into depression and then her experience of becoming blind temporarily.

And five years ago, one of her two sons, who was nine at that time and in primary three, came back severely dejected and acting out of character. “The moment he walked through the door, I knew something had happened. I was guessing either he was bullied or was beaten up or something like that, because his whole body, I could tell something was wrong. His whole body was loud. He did not have any spirit or energy.”

“He said, ‘Mama, I’m a failure. I’m like, ‘What? No, you’re not a failure. There’s no way you are a failure’. He told me one of his teachers told him that he was a failure because he was not doing very well academically.”

“And you know, at nine years old, you want to impress a teacher, you want your teachers to like you and have things set,” Cassandra said further.  She said that incident affected her son’s belief, his value, his confidence and in fact made him doubt himself.

Angered by what happened to her son, Cassandra decided she needed to be trained in TRE® to help him. She flew to Thailand and in one-and-a-half years, got her certification. “Since then, I’ve been using TRE® as one of the tools to coach and work with people for better performance and better leadership,” she said.

Coming Full Circle

“If life is a bed of roses, you will not learn what you’re supposed to learn,” Cassandra

Cassandra thanks her setbacks and challenges in building her into the powerful, resilient woman that she is today. “I would say personally, my overcoming depression, and my total blindness has definitely fortified me,” she said. 

“If life is a bed of roses, you will not learn what you’re supposed to learn,” she said further. “There must be something for us to learn through our trials, challenges and setbacks, so that we can become stronger and become better for ourselves, for our family and for the community.”

To know more about Cassandra or her coaching, follow her on LinkedIn


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