To follow the progress of the remarkable film that documents the profound healing and transformation of Rwandan individuals and communities severely traumatized by genocide, go to http://www.trauma2peace.com.
…from the perspective of the Norwegian team members, Mats Uldal and Bitta Wiese
By Bitta Wiese, Reg. Thought Field Therapist MNLH, Oslo, Norway
For Mats Uldal and myself it all started in June 2011. We had travelled from Norway
to attend the ACEP [Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology] conference in Reston, Virginia, and we split up to visit the different presenters/workshops and reported to each other afterwards. I chose to be the one visiting the session of Caroline Sakai and Suzanne Connolly, knowing about their work in the trauma committee and their studies on TFT in Rwanda.
These were exactly the kind of projects I had been dreaming of, being a co-founder and CEO of our brand new Mats Uldal Humanitarian Foundation. I also knew that Mats himself had wanted to start a foundation like ours long before I even knew what TFT was, and that he was eager to contribute in any way. After their brilliant presentation, I stood up and introduced myself and the foundation. Mats they knew already. There and then I eagerly suggested collaboration, and offered both Mats and me to come with them to the next project in Uganda in 2012.
12 months after the conference, our team was ready to go. We had frequent Skype meetings between USA, UK and Norway, led by Howard Robson, together with Joanne Callahan and Suzanne Connolly to plan and organize the trip. The team going to Uganda were Roger Ludwig from USA, Phyll and Howard Robson from UK and the two of us from Norway.
TFT Foundation USA suggested inviting Father JMV (Jean Marie Vianney), Celestine Mitabu, Deacon Augustin and Adrienne Nahayo from Rwanda to come, having experience previous studies in Rwanda. Howard would be in overall charge of the team and specific responsibility for the research study, and Phyll would be in charge of the trainings.
The Association for Thought Field Therapy (ATFT) Foundation* has been working in Rwanda for the last five years, the last three years being devoted to the development of a model of efficient and effective com- munity based intervention following large scale trauma. The ATFT Foundation’s first two years of trauma relief deployments in Rwanda were led by psychologist Dr. Paul Oas and included team members treating the orphans, clinical social worker and marriage and family therapist Suzanne Connolly leading the training of community leaders, and psychologist Caroline Sakai leading a pilot study, which has now been published in the International Journal of Emergency Mental Health.
ATFT Foundation Trauma Relief Committee Chair, Suzanne, being a social worker and systems therapist, began thinking in terms of community involvement and sustainability and together with a colleague, Arizona State University professor Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, developed a model and a research design to explore this model, in a country well known to have experienced such a large-scale trauma. This model would begin with two day training in TFT and Energy Psychology, presented to carefully selected community leaders and followed by a random controlled study in which the newly trained community leaders assist in implementing the research and the newly trained Rwandan community leaders deliver the therapeutic intervention. The next three ATFT Foundation deployments to Rwanda were devoted to the study of this model and were led by Suzanne Connolly. The research from 2008 has been accepted for publication but has not been published to date. The 2009 and 2010 research is waiting in the pipeline.
After participating in five successful ATFT Foundation trauma relief missions to Rwanda, Dr. Caroline Sakai, of Honolulu, took the helm as ATFT Foundation team leader, and led a sixth Rwandan ATFT trauma relief mission in Hawaii. Four trained, English speaking Rwandan TFT practitioners arrived in Hawaii early in September and attended advanced trainings in TFT. Funds and air miles provided by ATFT Foundation donors delivered the four men to beautiful Oahu and back to their beloved Rwanda. ATFT Foundation members also raised funds for in country transportation, meals, a computer and printer, and other needed supplies, and local Hawaiian therapists warmly welcomed their Rwandan visitors.
In Hawaii, the Rwandans received a Diagnostic Level TFT training from Dr. Sakai. The four Rwandans then trained Hawaiian therapists who work with vulnerable groups to use TFT. Later, at the pro bono clinics, the four Rwandans supervised the newly trained Hawaiian therapists as they treated clients in their vulnerable population groups.
Dr. Roger Callahan and Joanne Callahan, founders of TFT, arrived for the last week of the pro bono clinics. Dr. Callahan received two special awards at the farewell dinner, which officially closed the ATFT Foundation deployment. Dr. Callahan was awarded a beautiful crystal globe designed by Stephanie Sakai, who is a Diagnostic Level TFT practitioner, engraved with “Lifetime Humanitarian Award presented to Roger J. Callahan, PhD, for healing the world with TFT, October 20, 2011” from the Hawaii-Rwanda Project. The Rwandans presented Roger a crystal picture frame with a picture of the four Rwandan men with Roger and the engraved words, “In gratitude and honor as we spread the gift of TFT throughout our beloved Africa (engraved with the names of the four Rwandans) Father Jean Marie Vianey, Deacon Augustin Nzabonimana, Reverend Celestin Mitabu, and Prosper Ishimwe.”
And, as during the last five ATFT trauma relief deployments, research was begun during this ATFT Foundation deployment that will enrich both the ATFT Foundation and ACEP. The ATFT Foundation looks forward to working together with ACEP in a shared future.
Excerpted from The Energy Field, Winter 2011,
published by ACEP (Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology)
Peace IS within our grasp. It is at the tip of our fingers…literally. The upcoming documentary “From Trauma to Peace” will shock you in how quickly and easily people can be relieved of the devastating effects of trauma through the safe and effective “tapping” technique of Thought Field Therapy (TFT). AND how the impact of that emotional freedom not only brings peace of mind to the individual, but facilitates peace within and among communities.
Instructions for the TFT trauma technique can be found through links on the right side of this page.
For information about the TFT Foundation (funding, research, and humanitarian work), or how you can participate in sharing in these Trauma Relief projects, go to http://www.TFTFoundation.org.
We are pleased to announce that we now have three videos narrated in Sign Language (ASL) for the benefit of those who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Many thanks to Chrissy Mayhew for producing these videos and to Doris Millios for narrating them.
The videos can be accessed by clicking below or on the appropriate page listed at the right of this page. They include: