Origins of TRP—from the bedside
of the terminally ill
The skills and values taught in TRP workshops developed out of a unique, all-volunteer organization in Winston-Salem, NC, in which Sanford Danziger, MD and Thomas White, JD, cofounders of TRP Enterprises, and their wives were active.
During 14 years, from 1987 to 2000, the volunteers cared for over 350 terminally ill people around-the-clock, seven days a week: bathing, feeding, toileting, hand-holding and all the caregiving tasks that are needed in the last months of life.
In a separate project, this group of volunteers also cared for children with severe developmental disabilities, such as cerebral palsy and autism. The children were brought to us on the weekends, giving their parents a much needed “respite” break from their demanding care-giving tasks.
When these two programs were started we, the volunteers, realized that to be of true service we needed to learn how to stay positive and effective, no matter what the circumstances. So we developed and tested a method to do this—voluntarily adopting TRP values and attitudes—and this worked even better than we expected. We learned that we could, indeed, remain positive when we needed to change a person’s bed linen, soiled for the third time within an hour, or when an autistic child spit on us.
At work and at home
Even more, we soon discovered that this method worked equally well at our regular, paying jobs, and also in our personal lives with spouse, children, relatives and friends.
We could stay positive, productive and effective, no matter what the circumstances. We could chuckle when we caught ourselves falling into victim mentality. Our relationships improved at work and at home. Our productivity and teamwork increased along with our enjoyment of everyday living.
Based on this success, Sanford and Thomas formed TRP Enterprises, Inc. and began sharing the TRP model in workshops across the country. They also trained others to lead workshops. People who attend TRP training describe it as paradigm-shifting and even life-changing, with lasting effects.