Those best moments of life

“I have woken up from my nightmares” says former child soldier Kasimi after learning the tapping technique.

There are moments in life that leaves these extra strong images in the mind. Some painful – others beautiful or enjoyable. I will tell about one of those beautiful ones…

The story is from Bukavu in DR Congo. The capital of South Kivu. One of the mineral rich and therefore conflict prone areas in the world. Where greed and guns tear lives, families and communities apart.

Since four years back I have been coming to a center for rehabilitation of former child soldiers in Bukavu. It is called BVES and is managed by Namegabe Murhabazi, a true hero of children´s rights. He rightly so he did win the World´s Children´s Prize 2011. (

I have done trainings in TTT with the staff of BVES. And murhabazi is one of those people who have really understood the value of this technique. This last time we had another two day workshop. And then practicing with the kids at the center. That is the most enjoyable part of this work: teaching TTT to those who really need it and see the change.

 This was one of those best practices. A room full of 30 boys fro the age of 11 to 18. All former child soldiers. All somewhat expressing uneasiness by being laud, talkative, coming and going, laughing nervously or like Kasimi : being from time to time completely shut off. Staring in front of him out into something that nobody else sees. But he feels and sees it very clearly. Very painful to see. But still he would participate in the training.

After one round of doing the tapping together most of them have got the sequence. Kids learn fast even when traumatized. And the atmosphere changes. Things get calmer. Voices lower. Movement less. Smiles and comments. “This is good…”

Kasimi comes to me after we finished. Asks me to tap him. Just there in the meeting room while people move and talk. He sits down and before I start he says: You know, sometimes I am just not here. You can see that I look at you, but I don´t see you. It is like living in a dream of horror. I see those memories of the time when I was in the bush”. I tap him. He receives and gets calm. He says “Thank you” and leaves.

 Two days later when I am on my way in the bves car passing through downtown – I hear somebody calling out my name: “Gunilla!!!!” I turn towards the voice and I see Kasimi dressed in working clothes outside a mechanic workshop. He waves to me with a great smile. I get hilariously happy to see him smiling like that. We stop the car. Kasimi comes running up to us.

 “Habari gani” I ask – “How are you?”

 “I have woken up from those dreams” he says hastily. “I am present now. Even in school I can follow and I sleep without nightmares!”

That is for me one of those most beautiful moments of life. 


TTT clinic in Bukavu, Eastern DR Congo

Peaceful Heart Network is starting a clinic for de-traumatisation with TTT in Bukavu in DR Congo in co-operation with the psychology department of the Université Libre des Pays des Grands Lacs (ULPGL).  The rector of this university, Mr Victor Nabino, is very dedicated to do something for his countrymen of whom so many  are traumatised after years of conflict and war (and a history of slavery, colonialism and dictatorship). According to him the society becomes more and more dangerous as a result of all the trauma that people are carrying inside. Aggression grows out of trauma. After a training that we held at the  university last February 2010 rector Nabino wrote:

“Many students continue to use the method of TTT for detraumatisation and the results are good according the testimonies of the beneficiaries. From my point of view I have also found that the level of aggression among the students have diminished after applying the technique.”

The clinic will start from the beginning of 2011. Apart from Mr Nabino our Trauma Tapping colleague Germando Moine Kagomba Barathi is responsible for the clinic. Mr Germando is a nurse and works with psychosocial support at BVES a well known organization rescuing and rehabilitating child soldiers and street children in Eastern Congo. BVES and it´s founder Mr Murhabazi Namegabe has also been nominated for The World´s Children´s Prize of 2011 (see:

We are now mobilizing funds to be able to buy the equipment needed for the clinic. If you can contribute with some resources, please let us know. Thank you!

phnsmallPeaceful Heart Network´s  TTT-clinic in Bukavu is managed by Mr Germando Moine Kagomba Barathi. Here together with two former child soldiers at the BVES transit center where he works with psychosocial support.

TTT workshops in DR Congo

During a couple of months myself and my colleague Ntabwoba Robert have been working as consultants for the Norwegian Church Aid/NCA  (an international NGO with support from among others SIDA- Swedish Development Aid). We have given trainings in Trauma Tapping Treatment to NCA´s partner organizations in the eastern part of DR Congo. That means in the conflict and war ridden provinces of North and South Kivu. Presently the situation is somewhat calm. Presidential election is to be held in June 2011 which can be a source for escalating tension. But we put our hope to PEACE for the Congolese people in the new year of 2011!!!

We held three-day workshops at seven different locations – from Goma in the north to Uvira in the south. A lot of traveling along rough roads (not always very safe), but also crossing the Lake Kivu to reach Goma (the capital of North Kivu)  from Bukavu (the capital of South Kivu). All of the participants work with different vulnerable groups: women who have been raped, widows, former child soldiers, people living with hiv/aids, Bambuti pygmies (who are heavily discriminated) and others.

The first journey out from Bukavu towards the place called Walungu did not start very well Just after some kilometres we met a truck – that at the same time is a “bus” –  all the  passengers on the back waving screaming: “Rudia! Rudia!!!!” (Go back! Go back!!) and making a sign with the side of the hand over their throats – meaning: they are killing people further along this road. The driver did turn back. Very fast. But after a kilometer somebody from Walungu called and said that now it was over. The attackers were gone. So the driver turned again! I can tell we did not feel safe. But for the Congolese in this area they are  like used  to situations like this. Ten minutes later “it is fine”. But inside you feel: roads are not always for transport, sometimes they are just a trap.

We treated ourselves there in the car, trying to calm down. And nothing happened . The attackers were gone. Nobody had been killed this time, “only” armed robbery . Two days before all passengers of a car were killed almost on the same spot. Poor Congolese. This is the reality.

The trainings were well appreciated. We had time enough to make sure that the participants knew how to treat with TTT and how to teach others how to do it. This was so called Training of Trainers. The last day of the workshops was done in the field with the respective organiZation´s beneficiaries. The Robert and myself were there as facilitators in the background just assisting if needed. Most of the times it went very well and everybody surprised how simple and efficient this method is.
A comment that appeared more than ones was: ”With this training we have realized that we are all traumatised” since also the participants themselves live under difficult and insecure circumstances. And they listen to many, many horrific stories told by their beneficiaries which makes them suffer from what is called “secondary trauma”.
Apart from TTT we also teach DO-In, a Japanese self-massage method (both methods are shown on video at the website
When we did a follow up after some weeks we were more than astonished by how many people the participants had already treated and trained: for example in a place called Kalehe the 20 participants had treated at least 500 people in ten days time.

Here is a comment from one evaluation:
“In general we can say that all members of our association have been de-traumatised by and trained in TTT.
We must say that the advantages with this method are huge and its impact remarkable in the social lives of our members.
Some people who were sick and using medicines to ease the tension of their mind are now healed and thank greatly the initiators of this method. Other testify that they now feel relaxed and that they can have hope for the future” (from an organization called ASEFM, supporting vulnerable women, in Walungu, South Kivu)


Bukavu by Lake Kivu, the capital of South Kivu province.

trafik-bukavuTraffic jam in Bukavu.


Participant from LAV – “Let Africa Live”- in Bukavu practicing the TTT with girls rescued from the armed groups.


LAV in the town of Uvira give training to street children, former child soldiers and other vulnerable children.


Etienne, former child soldier, treating his teacher and trainer Mr Primo at LAV in Uvira.


A successful treatment! Congratulations!


The TTT is easy enough for a child to do it. They often learn it faster than the adults.



Discussing the drawing with the treatment points.


On the way to Kalehe where horrific stories of violence and atrocities are told.


Ntabwoba instruct the participants in Kalehe how to tap the healing points.


Do-In, a japanese self-massage, is very popular and releases tension in the body.


Exchanging treatment.


A curious spectator.


David presenting group work on how the TTT and Do-In can be used in the acitivies of  his organizations.


Participants from the training in Luhwindja, a distant place that have suffered from conflicting armed groups fighting, killing and looting.


With stiff fingers from hard work in the fields it is not always so easy to tap the right point.

Ulf Sandström – an active Trauma Tapper

One of the trauma tappers in Peaceful Heart Network, Ulf Sandström, is a great initiator. He came to Rwanda in October to start filming the activities of the trauma treatment. This film will help spreading the method even more and show its results. Below are some of the photos from that journey.
He initiated also the production of a wall calender showing the Trauma Tapping Treatment , to be distributed in Rwanda and Congo. If you also like it you can download it from the website
We are also planning for a proper research study on TTT to take steps towards making it so called “evidence based” which will make the method available also within the established health care systems of the western societies.


Trauma Tappers of Peaceful Heart Network, Ulf Sandström and Ntabwoba Robert, in Kiziguro, Rwanda.


The group of vulnerable women in Kiziguro supported by our partner organization Sevota. All of them are trauma tappers.


Robert Ntabwoba discussing issues of poverty and trauma with the women´s group in Kiziguro.


Tapping session in Cyuve, Rwanda.


Madame Nadine, the president of the Sevota women´s group in Musanze. She was the one to take initiative to extend the trauma treatment trainings to the remote village of Cuyve where she knew many people were in need of healing after years of atrocities.


Dance in Cyuve after tapping training.


Christine, the president of the women´s group in Cyuve and Gunilla Hamne celebrating joint efforts.


Ulf Sandström is documenting the activities of Trauma Tapping work in the Great Lakes region. Here in good company descending from Cyuve, below the Virunga vulcanoes.

Back to Rwanda and DR Congo

Long time since I  wrote for the blog. Have been absorbed by the practical work of trainings in TTT – Trauma Tapping Treatment – as we have named the version of Energy Psychology that we work with (see the short video further down or at the website

In Sweden we – my colleague Ntabwoba Robert and myself -have had seminars at the Folke Bernadotte Academy course “Reconciliation as Practice and Process” and at the Network for Work with Trauma and Secondary Traumatisation at Uppsala University. Right now we are on our way to Kalehe in eastern DR Congo to conduct a 3 day seminar for some of the local partner organsations of the Norwegian Church Aid.

Will tell more when there is an internet connection to be found next time. For now: this beautiful picture below of two gentle-men doing TTT in the village of Cyuve in Rwanda near the border to DR Congo. This village was very badly hit even after the genocide of 1994 since the Interhamwe (the militia that executed the genocide) fled to DR Congo and from there did raids into the country the years that followed.  The photo was taken by Ulf Sandström, a dear friend and colleague who came to film the work with TTT in Rwanda. More will come on the website.


Two gentle-men treating each other with TTT- Trauma Tapping Treatment in Cyuve, Rwanda. Photo: Ulf Sandström

A comment on Energy Psychology

I would like to share with you some words from psychologist, PhD David Feinstein. He is one of the best (from my point of view) investigators and writers when it comes to energy psychology (in which domain all the treatments of TFT, EFT, SET, TAT etc belongs):

“The fate of  our culture may literally hang on the way we deal with our vulnerabilities and our anxieties about them. And energy psychology may have a significant role in that global challenge.
Energy psychology is, among other things, a way of managing anxiety. This is not to suggest that energy psychology is the road to world peace or humanity´s salvation. But it is to suggest that by helping people recognize the role of anxiety in bad personal and collective decisions and habits, and by giving them tools to reduce the anxious response in their bodies, they can make better choices. And that is a substantial contribution to a better life and a better world.”
(from ”The Promise of Energy Psychology”… p 273)

I do agree on this and since these tapping treatments are so easy to learn and give so good results they are very ”handy” tools for each and everyone. And since anybody can do these treatments it is a very cost efficient way to reduce suffering. They also give a high level of ”well-being-independence” since you don´t get dependent on a therapist or doctor since you can tap yourself or let somebody in the family or a friend do the tapping.  This is why the Peaceful Heart Network that we are building has the subtitle: ”To ease suffering and prevent violence”. Join us!

Tapping Children and Doctors

At my latest visit in Bukavu I held two workshops in TFT – tapping on the same hill overlooking Lake Kivu: one at the psychiatric hospital Sosame and the other one hour walk higher up at ASO – Association de Soutiene de l´opprime´ – (Association to Support the Oppressed). ASO use participatory theater,  music and dance in their work with street children. I did the workshops together with my collegue Germando, who is a musician, nurse and employed at the organisation called BVES who rehabilitate former child soldiers and street children. Two very different groups, but the tapping tool works for both.







My collegue Germando and Doctor Eric Kwakya at the Sosame Psychiatric Hospital in Bukavu, DRC. Doctor Eric started using the tapping for a patient the same morning we had the training.



In Rwanda my collegue Robert Ntabwoba and myself  had tapping sessions with two groups of children. One of them a group of children of rape. Children learn the tapping very fast and easily. “It is relaxing and helps when you have those heavy thoughts” said one of the boys, living with his mother not knowing who the father is except that he was “a bad person”.






A better life?


Dancing after a TFT – training in Ruhengeri. Nothing makes me more happy.

“The fate of our culture may literally hang on the way we deal with our vulnerabilities and our anxieties about them. And energy psychology may have a significant role in the global challenge. Energy psychology is, among other things, a way of managing anxiety. This is not to suggest that energy psychology is the road to world peace or humanity´s salvation.
But it is to suggest that by helping people recognize the role of anxiety in bad personal and collective decisions and habits, and by giving them tools to reduce the anxious response in their bodies once they´ve gleaned the message the anxiety is there to deliver, they can make better choices. And that is a substantial contribution to a better life and a better world.”

Feinstein, Eden & Craig – ”The promise of Energy Psychology”, p 273


Var i Ruhengeri häromdagen. Det är därifrån de flesta utgår som ska upp till Virungavulkanerna och kolla bergsgorillor som klappar sig för bröstet. Det var där Diane Fossey höll till. Hon som fick betala med sitt liv för att hon skyddade gorillorna från tjyvskyttar. Men vi – jag och mina kollegor Robert och Speciose – har kommit för att träffa en grupp kvinnor för en andra omgång med träning i traumabehandling. Vi träffas i deras minimala lite halvskruttiga samlingshus. De ska ordna en butik för diverse nödvändigheter här så småningom. Sånt där som tvätt-tvål, mjölk och batterier.

Det är en suverän samling fruntimmer. De flesta är änkor. Men vilken power! Första gången vi var där fick de en expresskurs i fokuserad akupressur för vi hade så knappt med tid. Men de var otroligt mottagliga och fattade genast behandlingens potential och lärde sig snabbt. Redan då sa en av kvinnorna, Nadine,:

”Det här är verkligen en medicin som alla borde ha tillgång till”

när vi nu frågar om någon försökt sig på att behandla någon räcker i princip alla 20 upp sina händer för att berätta. Det hörär fick jag höra:

” Jag behandlade min syster som varit sjuk från och till ända sedan folkmordet. Hon har varit till sjukhuset flera gånger. Nu är hon till och med glad! Det är helt fantastiskt”

”Jag känner mig som ny. Som om en frisk vind blåst in i mina sinnen. Förut har jag varit förföljd av det jag såg under folkmordet. Vi bodde vid floden och varje dag kom lik flytande förbi vårt hus. Jag har mått väldigt dåligt av de där bilderna som ständigt dykt upp i mitt minne. Men nu kan jag tänka på det utan att bli sjuk, som om det inte berör mig på samma sätt längre. Jag är lugn inuti. Jag berättade för flera av mina vänner vad jag hade lärt mig och behandlade dom som ville ha hjälp. Och det fungerar! Det hjälper verkligen! ”

”När jag hade varit här förra gången frågade min man mig vad vi hade gjort. ”Vad har hänt med dig? sa han ”Du är ju så förändrad, du är ju glad! ” Jag berättade vad vi hade lärt oss och han bad att jag skulle behandla honom också.”

”En av mina vänner hade bråkat så mycket med sin man. “Han är alltid arg”, sa hon. Mannen hennes gjorde ingenting på huset trots att taket var trasigt och väggarna behövde bättras på. Hon ville skilja sig. Men jag frågade om jag fick behandla hennes ilska. Mannen tittade på. Han bara skrattade och tyckte det såg löjligt ut. Men han ville ändå pröva han med. Efteråt var han så förvånad: ”Jag känner mig annorlunda”, sa han, “lugn på något sätt.” Nu är dom vänner och mannen har redan börjat fixa taket. De har bestämt sig för fortsätta leva tillsammans”

”Ni borde starta en traumaklinik här i Ruhengeri” säger jag, ”Ni tillhör nu världens bästa, inse det. Få kan bota trauma så bra som ni kan”. Kvinnorna skrattar och tycker iden är strålande. Så dansar de mellan bänkarna och klappar i händerna. Empowerment. Är det inte så det kallas att gå från att vara offer till att kunna förändra sin situation.


En annan gång var vi i Ngororero högt uppe vid molnen där ljuset är skarpt. Där skedde knackträningen under ett avokadoträd. Snart var hela byn där och kollade vad vi hade för oss. Massundervisning. Fniss och mummel.


Annan typ av massundervisning…


Diplomutdelning paa Panzisjukhuset, i Bukavu, Kongo. Sifa, en av de saa kallade “psychosocial assistants” som tar hand om patienterna som till stoersta delen aer kvinnor som blivit vaaldtagna under kriget.  Suveraen knackare.

All is well in my world


Läser en bok som stod länge i min bokhylla. Tyckte liksom titeln var lite för mycket: ”You can heal your life” skriven av Louis Hay. Min ångest tyckte inte om att höra såna titlar då. Så den blev stående. Men tillstånd förändras ju och slutligen blev boken befriad från hyllan. Nu har jag den med på resan.

”You can heal your life” är ursprungligen skriven 1984 men sedan dess tryckt i massor av upplagor. För många är den en klassiker. Vet inte om den innehåller så mycket nytt egentligen (för dom som läser den här typen av böcker om livsutveckling eller vad man ska kalla det), men tonen tilltalar mig och jag märker att jag fogar in en hel del av Louis Hays tankar och förhållningssätt i mitt eget liv. Läs den gärna. Här är ett utdrag:

”There is no beginning and no end, only a constant cycling and recycling of substance and experiences. Life is never stuck or stale, for each moment is ever new and fresh. I am one with the very Power that created me, and this power has given me the power to create my own circumstances. I rejoice in the knowledge that I have the power of my own mind to use in any way I choose. Every moment of life is a new beginning point as we move from the old. This moment is a new point of beginning for me right here and now. All is well in my world.”<-->