First Nation Healing in Canada

The west coast of Canada is a stunningly beautiful place, with huge, tall rain forest trees, open seas where whales jump, otters play and seals appear in the harbours. But under the beauty there are many of the native people living in distress with transgenerational traumas in need of relief. Thanks to an invitation to a conference, PHN got the chance to plant seeds of healing to some of the First Nation communities.

Pacheedaht First Nation Kanada

Peaceful Heart Network was invited to Victoria in British Columbia in the far west of Canada by our colleague Karen Ledger, a great supporter of our work and EFT practitioner since 25 years. She sent us an email: “The CAIET conference (the Canadian Association for Integrative and Energy Therapies will be here in my hometown Victoria. Take the chance and come and promote your book! “

We could not miss this opportunity to bring out Resolving Yesterday, do networking and last but not least meet one of the world´s trauma experts Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk who turned out to be the key note speaker (if you haven´t read his book The Body Keeps the Score – order it!) (link)

“Without tapping I could not do my work”, he commented during his speech. Afterwards we asked him for a comment about tapping and trauma.

”I have been studying trauma for the past 40 years or so. I find Tapping acupressure points extraordinary helpful to calm people down and make people more focused. It is a very integrate part in the work I do with traumatized individuals.” (link)

Before we decided to participate in the CAIET conference we made sure there would be able to teach TTT to people in need of stress and trauma relief. We asked Karen to contact the First Nation communities on Vancouver Island where Victoria is situated. It turned out to be a very well received initiative.

Last time in Canada we learnt about the struggle of the native people there. Many of them have been deprived during generations. Especially those who were taken away from their families to be brought up in the so-called Residential Schools, often run by Catholic priests and nuns. There they were not allowed to speak their language, have contact with their families or use their traditions. They were stripped off their culture and lost the belonging to family and community. This – in combination with other forms of discrimination – has given deep psychological effects to a large part of the native population,.

Today the suicide rate and levels of depression and anxiety are much higher than among the majority population.

Every Child Matters

Monique Pat and Penny Cooper, aboriginal nurses at Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, BC.

Lately the First Nations in British Columbia have been allowed to develop more of their own health system. This makes a big difference. That made it also easier for them to invite us to do the TTT stress and trauma trainings.

At one of the hospitals (Victoria Jubilee Hospital) there is now a ceremonial room where traditional forms of healing may be arranged. That was where we held the workshop. One of the Aboriginal nurses, Monique Pat, introduced the workshop by smudging us all with sage.

“Thank you for bringing this tool to us. We can now begin to work on the traumas with a different approach” she said.

“It actually works! It will be very useful in our communities where there is a lot of suffering.”

One of the participants in the workshop in Pacheedaht commented:

“We have had eleven suicides just in our family. I am myself a survivor of sexual abuse and suicide. Now I want to help others in the community. I hope to be able to use this tool of TTT”

TTT participants in the Sun

TTT participants from the Health Center in Pacheedaht First Nation community.

Hands to the Sky

Glenn Patterson and Gilbert J at Victoria Native Friendship Center.

Thank you all for the confidence!

Shortly after our visit in Canada, Mr Justin Trudeau was elected prime minister. He took initiative to ask forgiveness to what the First Nation people have been exposed to.



The First Nations of Pacheedaht and Tseycum, the Aboriginal Health Team of  and the staff of  all took the opportunity to learn TTT.



Lesbos – gateway of despair & hope

boat and live jackets

During decades the island of Lesbos in Greece has been a gateway of despair and hope for refugees coming from Syria, Afghanistan, Africa and other places of turmoil. During the fall of 2015 several thousands of refugees risk their lives in small rubber boats made for 10 people, paying over 1000 Euros each to traffickers, filling up with 80 at best, venturing over the dark waters to the rocky coasts of the nearest island with two lighthouses to guide them.

When they get ashore they are greeted by volunteers at best, with luck by doctors from one of the larger NGO’s. It is cold and hypothermia is a big risk for the elderly and small. The whole situation is a monument to the failure of humanity driving these people from their homes into an unstructured rocky coast and the wonder of humanity in the volunteers traveling at their own cost to help.

We travelled to Lesbos by invitation from the Lighthouse Refugee Relief Project to train volunteers and staff in stress and trauma management. During the last months up to 3000 refugees could land by boat every night and the turnover of staff has been large and anybody who stays around for more than a couple of weeks is considered a veteran. Volunteer burnout is common already after a few days due to a number of reasons.

  • There is a constant sense of alert “when is the next boat coming?”
  • The need for sleep, food and water is underestimated because of lack of training.
  • Some of the landings can be pretty chaotic with people passing out in hypothermia
  • There is no training in how to relate to the impact of human suffering exposed


Among things we heard people there say about the art of volunteering the following stay on our radar:

“You need to think about every person as somebody you know, a family member, how would you like somebody talking to your mother in this situation?” A volunteer about greeting refugees

“As a volunteer you need to ask yourself if you are coming from a sense of guilt or a sense of abundance” A volunteer about volunteer motivation

“I remember a father with his children singing at the top of their voices during the long walk from the landing, simply because they made it ashore” Volunteer about meetings


Advice for volunteers

Here is some advice for those of you finding yourselves in a mass incident situation:

“You need to have a plan in mind and you need to be able to improvise”
“You need a coordinator”
“Maintain your role or make your change known to the incident coordinator”
“You need an easy way out for the wounded – a car with headlights can be great or a block”
“You need to tell the difference between anxiety/stroke/heart attack”

“The need for stress and trauma management for those working with the endless stream of refugees, in any area, is not to be taken lightly. All of you who care and reach out should be aware of the risk for incorporating the emotional distress of others. Learn the signs and the techniques that can be used to create resilience to counter them!”

“Some years ago my daughter got Leukemia and I made a deal with God, if he took care of my baby I will gladly offer a month a year wherever he wants me to go, so I volunteer for things like this and it had changed my life, I want to do even more of this in the future…” A Volunteer in Lesbos Lighthouse Refugee Relief camp – one of many who have travelled privately to make a difference.


Summing up our experience

As we travelled back to Sweden the truce between the EU and Turkey should have stopped the boats. At the airport somebody said on that side of the island it was one boat per hour since 11pm the night before. Here are some video clips of people we worked with about stress management with the tools of TTT and the Peaceful Heart toolbox.

“Sometimes all it takes is one person who is able, willing and knows what to do” Dr Siyana, volunteer medical doctor at the Moira camp.


“At times up to 70% of the people on location helping out during an incident can be unknown volunteers.” Kate Letheren, Medical coordinator at the Lighthouse Refugee Relief Project.



Adrenaline Blow-Out

Training adrenaline blow-out on the beach. “It was a great stress management workshop, actually we were surprised that it worked that well” Kevin, Volunteer, about the workshop.


Man in the dark with hed lamp

The Lighthouse Refugee Relief Project were donated a microphone for detecting boats at a distance, the team huddled around the fireplace in the ruins around one of the actual lighthouses take turns listening for the sound of a boat with a broken engine floating in the dark – a better giveaway than the infrared camera and less battery dependent.

overcrowded Rubber Boat

“We hid with animals 24 hours without food, police was looking out, we waited for the boat and when we loaded I saw it was bad but nobody listened. My friend stayed, it looked too dangerous. We packed bags and 80 people and started. First the engine broke then the boat started to sink. We threw all our bags overboard, everything. Children were crying, and some women, everybody was praying. We called friends who called police and Coast Guard but they said it is not their side of the water. Both on Turkey and the Greek side. Finally somebody from Lesbos came to our rescue. All I have now is my belt pouch. I even lost my shoes.”



See The Lighthouse Refugee Relief Project

Peace of heart behind a closed gate

Bugasera Correctional Street

The road to Bugasera prison in Rwanda.

Had a training at a prison in north of Rwanda the other day. 70 prisoners gathered in the low brick house named “Cantine” a place where you can buy soda and bread on the visiting days when relatives and friends – hopefully – come. Not everyone gets visits. Some have been rejected.

The cantine is inside the big entrance, but outside the big gate in the wall surrounding the actual detention buildings. A place in between freedom and seclusion.

The prisoners were already sitting waiting on the wooden benches when we came. Happily greetings us welcome back again. Ready with writing pads and pens and the instruction we had printed for them the first time. All dressed in their pink and orange uniforms: short sleeved shirts and kind of long shorts. Pink for those who have their verdict. Orange for those who are still waiting for their final judgement.

It was not the first time Murigo and I came here. For me the second time. For her the third. We have been doing trainings in all except one prison in Rwanda. That makes 13. More or less 3000 inmates in each prison. To some we have been coming back several times. Like Bugasera. In each prison the best educated have been chosen to participate in the workshops: teachers, medical doctors, pastors, priests etc.

They asked Murigo to tell her story again. It is fascinating to see their interest in her story of surviving the genocide and moving from hatred and vengeance to commitment and compassion for everyone, also for the prisoners, they who are the reason for her being an orphan. It is an open dialogue about their crimes and her situation that is difficult to imagine possible for many. Here it is.

When we have showed one of the videos with the TTT song performed by Mibirizi, a famous Rwandan singer, one of the participants says: “I am a musician too, I will also write a song about TTT!”

“Wow! That would be great” I respond.

Afterwards the prison Director asked us to come to the office. We sat down in the big black leather sofas. Her secretary offered us water. She was busy behind her desk.

After a while the Director joined us and commented:

“From what I have seen this technique is very helpful for our inmates. And I have to admit – also for myself. Could you do it with all the prisoners next time? That would be very good!” They are 3 000. “

I could only answer one thing: “Of course, we will do our best.” At the same time thinking how to make it possible teaching so many at one time. The date was decided.

Murigo and I prepared us with videos, projector and some orange cloth to make visible those inmates who already knew the technique so that the others would be able to see whom to look for.

We came on motorcycle taxi. The road is rough the last part, meandering through the fields and bushes. So when getting off the motorbike the backpack had obviously bounced open and all the stuff fell down to the ground. The laptop took the ground hard and didn´t wake up again. “Alas – no video. We will have to do something else…” We are allowed to pass the first gate after leaving telephones and id-cards to the guards in the boot. We get escorted by Jean Baptiste, the social secretary.

“They are all waiting for you”, he says smiling. “We are all looking forward to this.”

Some of the prisoners are working outside the wall sewing uniforms. They wave to us smiling them too. The orange and pink prison fabric shines. Others are on their way to work in the fields, carrying the hoes over the shoulder.

We walk along the wall, a monument of red brick, giving an impression of a fort.

The director welcomes us in her office while the social secretary hands over impeccably handwritten program for the visit, given in eleven points. One program in English for me and one in Kinyarwanda for Murigo. When reading it we realize that we are now the guests, and not responsible for the content of the program. The prisoners have prepared to the program to the last detail. We have just to follow and fill the points named “6. The history of TTT” and “8. Murigos testimony”. This means no laptop needed… What comes next was one of the absolute highlights of this TTT work.

We are escorted in through the high dark brown gate. On the inside there is a lot of activity going on, inmates on their way out with barrels to get water down in the lake, others carrying planks and iron sheets, mixing cement for a new building, cooking in huge pots in a tent (originally white but darkened in black by the charcoal smoke) placed in the middle of the yard. But the spot that soon brings our eyes attention is a podium with a table decorated in white cloth and an arrangement of red textile roses. In front of the podium sits “our” 70 students from last time on the low benches. They are all dressed in their well-ironed orange and pink uniforms. The rest – several hundreds sitting on benches and others standing around are all in ordinary clothes – in a scale of blackish brown. The pink and orange stand out.

We are welcomed by one of the “chief” prisoners, responsible for the TTT activities. He directs me to one of the white plastic chairs behind the table and introduces Bernard, who is appointed to be my interpreter. Murigo is there beside, the social secretary and a bit later the Director.

The program starts. More and more people gather around. Somewhere around a thousand inmates and staff. I introduce myself with my poor Kinyarwanda. “Ndishimye cyane kubaboba..” I’m happy to see you…” Already after that first sentence everybody laughs and gives me applauds. An easy way to connect and get appreciation.

The “Master of Ceremony”, inmate Mr Francis (I think he is a Pastor) takes over:

“We are grateful to have learnt this technique from Mme Gunilla and Murigo… it has helped us a lot to remember our happiness again.. We want to show our appreciation by singing some songs that our fellow musicians here at Bugasera prison have composed.”

They have two guitars, one electric base and one Inanga, a traditional string instrument similar to a lyre. The sound system is well arranged with three microphones and a mixer board. The oldest of the inmates start. How old? Quite some age since the genocide was staged 21 years ago and they were obviously old already by then. They call them Mzee – the wise old ones. They have their cow canes in their hands, wagging to and fro (seems to be no worries that anybody will start a riot. The cow sticks are in heavy wood, easy to beat and hurt someone severely).

“When you use the fingertips to heal your trauma,

the wounds inside,

you realize it was long time ago,

that you felt that happiness for dancing,

you start remembering your childhood.

TTT song with notes

Everybody hails and clap their hands. More people join around the stage, curious about the show.

Another song is performed. I get the notes: it is written as if by a computer, but it is done by hand by one of the inmates who obviously have written notes many, many times.

Feel your body, shake your body

Don´t think now you´re misfit

Even though you cry, don´t despair

Sooner or later you´ll be very happy

TTT is your chance to laugh with the world again

Yeah, yeah, yeah


For those traumatized by genocide, war crimes and rapes,

endangered by loneliness and heart broken

casualties, orphans and who ever all over the world

beleaguered by different cruelties

TTT brings to you the new alluring smile

For making you feel all right,

until you reach your seventh heaven


Then it is mine and Murigo´s turn to perform. The already TTT trained prisoners spread among all the others, showing the gestures with deep seriousness. I find a bench to stand on so that also those further back can see. I tell some stories and how impressed I am by their program and the songs. More laughter.

(I wonder would it be possible prisoners in Sweden or the US doing to do the same)

More songs. More tapping. More laughter. We do Do-In self massage. It becomes like a dance and the peak is reached. It is crazy and we all laugh while swinging the knees round, round, stepping on the toes, the heels, the outside of the feet and inside. It looks even sillier than TTT. Still it seems they cannot resist joining.

I think: Imagine that these people, in prison many of them for 20 years, some to stay there many years to come – tat they can feel relief from TTT. Then imagine what may be possible.

The Director closes the ceremony by comparing the TTT with the feeling of having had a full meal and milk “You feel calm and satisfied.” I do my best to express to all those inmates present how amazed I am by what we have been given: Mukakoze cyane! We really want to spread you songs to others. Your words and songs can help many to find peace inside”. Like a one-voice choir they exclaim: “Yego!” Yes!

We leave the stage greeting one after the other with handshakes and palm-to-palm claps. Smiles of confirmation. On the way out through the main gate I ask the Director if we could record their songs.

“I can´t say, but try to talk to the General Commissioner, as you know the rules are very strict.

We did get permission. One week later we came back Murigo and myself. We had to wait for quite some time outside the prison wall while the Director had to confirm again with the Head quarters that we really were allowed to take video of the prisoners singing. Nobody wants to risk doing something the superiors are not approving.

We sit waiting chatting in the shadow under the roofed peyote. Rows of prisoners pass in their working uniforms. Some of them greet us with a recognizing smile, doing some TTT-gestures with the hands. Others pass hardly noticing our presence.

The General Commissioner is finally available and gives clear signal to go ahead recording the songs. Yes!

We see the first group coming out of the gate. All dressed up in their “official” well-ironed uniforms. They start singing already when marching towards us. The inmate electrician is connecting the loud speakers by twining two loose cables together.

The inmates gather under the roof with us and start singing: “TTT – yewe – TTT …” Some of them dance in the traditional way with arms in the air and the largest possible smile in the face. They do two songs before the next group appears. It is hilarious

We applaud – also Director join us seeming somewhat astound him too – and praise their creative initiative and their ability to feel change in spite of their condition.

“Your songs can help many to understand the possibility to heal. Bravo!” I say and shake their hands as many as I can.

A heart can find peace also behind a closed gate.

Help us Spread Ripples of Healing with TTT

Every now and then we get news from our TTT colleagues and in the world, and from people who want to learn and spread waves of healing.

We do our best to encourage and engage their initiatives and make it possible for those who want to learn by linking them to those who already know TTT in that area and offer Skype sessions. (see Ripples of Healing in Sierra Leone and Ripples of Healing in Kenya)

Our goal is to build a strong group of certified Trauma Tappers worldwide who can multiply the technique.


From South Sudan

Here is a email from Maketh Kuot Deng in South Sudan. He was one of the participants in the Trauma Tapping workshop for  Peace Mobilizers in the capital Juba last year (see blog TTT pioneers of South Sudan)  He has since been spreading TTT, even during the violent conflict that started in December 2013 and spread to large parts of the country until a peace agreement was signed in May 2014.

“This is to let you know that me and the others are playing an important role in counseling the people who are very traumatized and have lost hope in their lives.

Like this young man in the photo who is a cattle herder who used to have a lot of cattle.  This can be seen by his brown colored hair which is a sign of his cultural identity: A Dinka who is very rich in cows,

But during a raid by another tribe all his cattle was stolen and his senior parents left dead. Cattle raiding is a huge problem in South Sudan. The young man spent many days without eating, just sustaining his life by drinking water and talking to nobody.

When I met him he told me his condition. He said: “The only thought that keeps coming to my mind is to commit suicide to avoid this world of suffering. We talked and when I told him about my own experiences with the tapping he accepted to try.

Two men sitting och chairs

When I had finished  he looked at me and said he felt that the tapping had really changed his state of mind and had made it able for him to relax. In the picture you can see that his eyes are open, and you see a faint smile on his face. He is shaking hands with me as a sign of saying he was much better after the treatment. All thanks to the TTT.


Some weeks later another message came from Maketh:

“I met a man who was in Bor in Jonglei state with his family, when shooting and fighting started. He and his wife with their little baby had to run and hide in the bush near the bank of the river Nile.

The following morning  the fighting came closer  and all those who had been hiding by the riverbank  tried to cross the Nile to get to the other, hopefully safer, side. There were not enough boats to take people across, so it became a competition of life and death to get on board. This man´s wife managed to get on a boat with their baby, but had to go back on land to fetch some luggage that had been left behind. Meanwhile many other people desperately made their way on board this same boat. They didn´t see the baby, and stepped without caution, piling their luggage on top of the baby.

When the wife came back to the boat she could´t´t find her baby. She desperately removed all the luggage and finally found the baby under so many things, dead from suffocation. At the same time the severely overloaded boat left the shore to cross the river. The wife was horrified, mourning the  child she had just lost. The man did his best to comfort her, and himself.

Suddenly, in the middle of the river, the boat got caught by a stream and capsized.  People tried to hold on to some of their luggage, which was floating, but few managed to stay above the water. Most of the passengers drowned, including the wife of the man. He could´t save her. He was able to swim while holding on to some reeds and managed to get to the shore. Also some of the crew survived.

This man lost his whole family in a couple of hours, when they were trying to find a safe place from the fighting.

When I met this man in Juba, his mind was full of fearful images of what had happened to his wife and child. He had problems sleeping at night, with nightmares and the ever present image of his wife haunting him. I offered him TTT, and he accepted. After a while he said he felt a bit relieved in his body, and his mind felt more sound and reflective. The next day I met him he explained that all the bad memories had been treated, and he was sleeping well.”

Ripples of Healing in Sierra Leone

An email came from EFT practitioner Jenny Vestey in the United Kingdom.

“Hi, I found your information on youtube and hoping you can help.

I am involved with a small charity called Alive and Well that installs wells in villages in Sierra Leone, I am also employed by the National Health Service working in oncology where I treat patients for various psychological issues surrounding cancer using EFT (one of the tapping techniques) and I am a great believer in the benefits that these techniques can bring about.

I will be going to Sierra Leone at the end of this month and while there hoping to talk about Tapping to the local school etc. which will hopefully lead to more healing for this country. I see from your webpage there is someone from Fambul Tok practising TTT in Sierra Leone, I love to get in touch with them. “.

With the best of all wishes

Jenny Vestey

Complementary Therapist and EFT Practitioner Level 3

We connected with Jenny and gave her a TTT session over Skype so that she could experience the difference between EFT and TTT.  She got the contacts to the ones of Fambul Tok (an organization engaged in reconciliation and who invited us to come and do TTT trainings some years ago). After a couple of weeks Jenny reported:

“It was very helpful to speak to you over Skype about TTT before traveling. I also printed out your manual and photocopied it so that I could leave it with people there. So I think with your help the visit was a great success.


Masu Sesay and Jenny Vestey

I managed to meet Masu Sesay from Fambul Tok who you trained when you were here. It was good, such a lovely lady. Masu did a video about TTT for me in Mende, the local language, which was great to show the various people I did TTT with. By the way, I must say: TTT is so much easier than EFT in getting round the language problem.

I gave a TTT demonstration with instructions and got them to do it in:

1. a girls school,

2. a village meeting,

3. an orphanage and at

4. a centre for war widows.

Sierra Leone :jenny 2:blog

They seemed to love doing it and I only hope they keep doing it, they seem to be grateful for any help.

So thank you once again for your help and if I can be of any help please let me know, no doubt I will be going out again next year.

Please keep in touch and keep tapping!!

Love and Best Wishes

Jenny Vestey”


Hopefully this and the other examples can inspire you to learn TTT, get certified and give trainings. You can help us make this world a happier place, by spreading ripples of healing with TTT.


Ripples of Healing in Kenya

An email came from Kerstin Gabrielsson, who lives in the north of Sweden:

“I have heard about your work with TTT in Africa and read on your blog about the good results. I will be going to Kenya in February. Is it possible to link up with anybody there who you have trained in TTT to experience the work in the field? 

Our answer was:

“Yes, you can contact some people from our workshop in Eldoret  in the west of the country last november, especially Emmily Korir  who has been doing a lot of TTT trainings since then. She probably has something going on.” (see blog  Reconciliation in Kenya)

We gave Kerstin a Skype-session of TTT before she traveled. In Kenya she met Emmily and also Jeremy, another local trauma tapper, and

“I am in Eldoret where I met Emmily and Jeremy (another local Trauma Tapper). They persuaded me to run a workshop with some adolescents by my own. It went fine and the reaction was very posiitve. I also took part in TTTtrainings with single mothers and widows and in the primary school that Emmily runs in Kapsaret. She says the children concentrate much better now when we use TTT. It is obvious that Emmily has developed TTT into an everyday tool. Everybody around her knows it. She is very active in spreading the technique. Thank you for the connection. I really want to continue this work with TTT.”

Some weeks later Emmily wrote an sms to us saying she was planning some more workshops with hundreds of children. Yes, she is very active and has realized and experienced the possibilities with TTT.


Hopefully this and the other examples can inspire you to learn TTT, get certified and give trainings.You can help us make this world a happier place, by spreading ripples of healing with TTT.


Honoring A Five thousand year tradition in India

“I attended the sessions given by your team. It was a great experience. I hope to use it  in my therapy. I could see in your team a prefect blending of stage art, music and simple & logical use  of Trauma Tapping Techniques. I appreciate very much your desire to help people in distress. Hope to keep in touch with you.”

Rev.Dr.Jose Puthenveed. St.Joseph’s Guidance & Counseling Centre, Kollam, Kerala

From St Vincent CMI School, Kerala

We were three from Peaceful Heart Network who were invited to the National Conference on Hypnotherapy in New Delhi in India last October: Gunilla Hamne, Ulf Sandström and Fredrik Praesto.

From the 9th National Conference of Hypnotherapy in Delhi

We did several workshops using our generated knowledge on Trauma Tapping (TTT),  Hypnosis as well as other exercises including music. It turned out to be the most popular seminars, probably because we mix theory and practice with our joyful performances on stage. 

Extra workshop Under The Tree

On request held one extraTTT workshop. Since there was no room available we said: ”Let´s meet under the tree outside the conference center.” That was a well received suggestion. Dr Rajvi Vyas, one of the organizers, came up to us under the tree and said: ”This is wonderful, you are continuing a 5000 year old tradition in India of teaching under a tree.”

Extra workshop Under The Tree

We also held two workshops in the south of India, in Kerala. with students, teachers and professional counselors, medical doctors, nuns and priests.

Geothirbhavan Counselling Centre, Kerala

TTT and dealing with mass traumatization

Jill and Aimable

I met Dr Jill Trenholm in Bukavu in eastern Congo in 2011. We both stayed at what is called the Swedish Mission, a haven in the midst of a kind of chaotic city. It used to be the Swedish Consulate but has since long been managed by Swedish and Norwegian missionaries as a guest house. It is a great meeting place. Many connections have been established there. So with jill Trenholm.

Jill is by now “Doctor” but by then she was still doing her research for what now is an approved thesis.  She is a nurse by profession and her research  is about the very complex phenomena of war rape and its consequences in eastern Congo.

Since her theme for the research goes hand in hand with the work of Peaceful Heart Network we exchanged a lot of thoughts and experiences. I also introduced her to some of the people and organizations we have been working with giving trainings in how to relieve symptoms of trauma caused by acts of war. 

During her research Jill recognized the importance of finding  tools for dealing with mass traumatization, and finding TTT as one possible way. She mentions therefore the work of Peaceful Heart Network in her thesis  “Women Survivors, Lost Children and Traumatized Masculinities- The Phenomena of rape and War in Eastern Republic of Congo” (Uppsala University, 2013):

“I would lastly like to recount observations made while accompanying a Swedish therapist /Gunilla Hamne/ of alternative therapy using a technique called Trauma Tapping Technique (TTT) (, whom I met in Bukavu. She travels around Africa, teaching, free of charge, TTT which is very similar to what is known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) (Ruden , 2011). 

She first introduced this technique in Rwanda with genocide survivors. The technique consists of a series of tapping using the fingertips on certain parts of the face and body or so called meridians accompanied by deep breathing while thinking about the traumatic event. It is believed that it disarms the body´s stress response originating from the amygdala thereby relieving symptoms of post traumatic stress (Ruden 2011). 

It is unique in that it requires no equipment or medications, is easy to learn with minimum verbal communication and can be self administered as well as be performed on another person making it always accessible, once learnt. I accompanied her and several local people trained to teach TTT to several of their teaching sessions amongst diverse groups.

I witnessed the ease at which the technique was learnt. I also returned to some of the groups to see, for example, the boy ex-child soldiers´use of the technique independently. Women affected by violence claimed they slept well for the first time following a tapping treatment. There are other variables that could have influenced their relief notwithstanding human attention and touch. However with increasing anecdotal evidence of its positive effects on wellbeing, it seemed to be something worth further investigation in settings suffering from mass traumatization.” (p 32-33 )


If you want to read more about Jill Trenhom´s research on women survivors of sexual abuse, child soldiers and traumatized masculinities in the conflict area of eastern Congo pls check these links:,8&typ=pm&na=&lang=en;jsessionid=bce380dcb7a138a1897c288dc420?pid=diva2:639033


Reconciliation in Kenya

“You know, my head was full of thoughts like prejudices and hate when I came to this meeting. I got irritated even when trying to talk to the women sitting outside when they didn´t understand my tribal language. I thought to myself: What kind of meeting is this? Why am I supposed to sit with these people?

But after that tapping exercise my mind got clear. Then I could suddenly listen to the others and even get the message from the film that was shown.” (The film shown was An African Answer – about reconciliation after the post election violence 2008 in the area. Link to trailer). 


Eldoret TTT Group

“It was a very strange but comfortable feeling of being relaxed.”

Emmily Korir (in blue and white dress) belongs to the kalenji tribe in western Kenya. During different occasions there have been clashes between kalenjin and the other tribes in the area especially the kikuyus and the luos. The conflicts have grown out of different views on how to share land resources and other conflicting interests and lack of good communication.

Joseph Wainana and his Mother

The meeting she is mentioning was organized by Joseph Wainana – as part of a program on reconciliation initiated by USIP and Initiatives of Change. Wainaina (i the picture together with his mother) had invited representatives from  different tribes and counties, youth and elders to discuss and communicate on how to build and sustain peace in the area.

Two days later came an sms from Emmily:

“Thank you for educating us in that activity. I did it with 32 women yesterday, and that were very happy about it. They said they would go home and do it with family and neighbors, she commented. Tomorrow I will do it with single mothers.The school is closed, so with the children I will do it in January. For youth I will do it next week when we have a Youth Forum. Actually I also did it with a passenger who was in the same bus yesterday. Otherwise, thank you so much for your concern. Have a good night.”

Imagine the possibilities!

Working with refugees in Finland

It seems authorities working with refugees in our neighbor country Finland are more open to new approaches than what is the case in for example Sweden.

This last months we have been invited to two different municipalities In Finland to present workshops on trauma and ways to relieve the symptoms of trauma.  

When coming to a new country carrying the memories of past atrocities and dealing with symptoms of trauma like insomnia, headache and difficulties to concentrate – it is very hard to learn skills like a new language or participate in trainings or be able to do what the authorities expect from you. The past is always present and interferes with the ability to concentrate.

Tapping session in Borgå Finland

Like one of the Congolese refugees participating in the training in Borgå said:

“We call it Peace-sickness. We didn’t know we were sick until we came here to Finland. While we were still struggling to survive we didn´t have these symptoms. But here where it is calm, the past caught up with us.”

TTT is a simple way to give arriving people a possibility to have a better start in the new country.