Posts Tagged ‘genocide’

In April — July 1994, extremists from the ethnic majority murdered between 800,000 and 1,000,00 persons, mostly of the ethnic minority, and displaced two million more.

Children witnessed their families killed before their eyes, people left maimed and scarred. The trauma and terror of this time left the country without peace, without trust and without hope. TFT has played a large part in mending these wounds.

Every year in April, the Rwandan people have a Remembrance Day. A period of time to re-affirm a commitment to peace, understanding, hope and to never let this happen again.

The strength of TFT has become so well-known, practitioners were invited to several of the events to treat those overcome by grief, trauma and pain when remembering those days.

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One of the worst disasters is when a country or a people are subjected to genocide.

by Joanne Callahan, MBA*

Last month was the Mourning Period from the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. TFT is playing a key role in the healing of that nation through the work of the TFT Foundation. From the teachers in schools to the inmates of prisons, they are using TFT to heal from the atrocities of their past, bringing forth love and peace within their communities.

I want to share a small piece from an email I just received from Celestin Mitabu, one of our Rwandan TFT trainers in Kigali, Rwanda.

“This picture was taken during TODAY’S treatment at Kamonyi genocide site where TFT was invited officially by the District of Kamonyi to heal, assisting people traumatized with the Callahan Techniques TFT. The memorial site has got thirty-eight thousand bodies plus 36 bones recovered recently and they were buried today. This was a huge cloud of thousands of people led by many politicians, police, survivors and armies.

The thing is TFT is successful to any trauma. All the cases we faced today they were healed. We healed very strong cases of trauma and people admired. From morning hours till afternoon we worked hard to show to people that we have now a cure for trauma and people have experienced healing.”


Thank you Celestin and your team for your hard work and dedication to help so many begin to heal.

*Excerpted from “TFT e-zine – News on Tapping”, May 13, 2013

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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.

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New Rwandan TFT Trainers with Dr. Roger Callahan--Sept 2011, Hawaii

Our Dreams Become a Reality: TFT Healing Comes Full Circle

by Joanne Callahan, MBA

In 2006 and 2007 when the ATFT Foundation first began its missions to help heal the genocide survivors in Rwanda, we had no idea how great an impact TFT could have on this beautiful country. Our first team treated nearly 400 orphans at the El Shaddai orphanage, with wonderful results (PTSD study published 2010 International Journal of Emergency Mental Health).

The Foundation team went back in 2008 and 2009 to train the local community leaders to be able to use TFT to help their own country men and women. Much healing occurred and many were trained in TFT. The PTSD studies that were done had excellent results (2008 study accepted for publication and 2009 study soon to be submitted).

Entire communities were changing from sad, hopeless people, to productive and hopeful communities. The Foundation model for large scale trauma relief had succeeded both in the studies and follow-ups–and particularly in the real life experience of the Rwandan people.

Our desire to expand the reach of this healing even more led to the ATFT Foundation bringing four Rwandan TFT trainees to Hawaii to be trained to become TFT trainers back home in Rwanda. Our hope was that their ability to conduct trainings themselves would enable TFT healing to spread to surrounding communities–and even surrounding African countries.

The ATFT Foundation flew four of the Rwandan leaders, two from Byumba, Rwanda, and two from Kigali, Rwanda, to Hawaii where they spent the month of September, 2011, teaching TFT and supervising  staff at pro-bono Hawaiian clinics, treating underprivileged local people and perfecting their skills. Both the Hawaiian people and the Rwandans benefitted tremendously.

And now we see the dream of sharing TFT coming full circle. The Rwandan trainees from Byumba have already been asked to train a team in the Congo.

They have met with and provided support for 60 of the TFT trained therapists in their region and shared their Hawaiian experience with them. With the help of the ATFT Foundation, their sister Rwandan charitable organization, the IZERE Center, is treating up to 35 people per day and has already helped nearly 2000 people this year.

One of the Rwandan leaders and trainers from Kigali is the Director of the Rwandan Orphan Project (new name for El Shaddai Orphanage), and he is also expanding the reach of TFT. We just heard from him that he is training eight Counselors and Social Workers to help the disabled and retired military. He will then supervise and assist them as they treat nearly 80 wheelchair bound ex-military.

It is truly a blessing to see and hear about these hard working young leaders sharing and expanding the healing of TFT in Africa. The ATFT Foundation, the IZERE Center and the Rwandan Orphan Project need your help to continue this wonderful healing and teaching process.

Please go to www.ATFTFoundation.org  to donate to the furthering of this model of trauma relief, to www.IZEREByumba.com to help the IZERE support their TFT treatment programs, and to www.RwandanOrphansProject.org to help with their work in the community in TFT training and treatment.

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In August, 2009, Dr. Caroline Sakai and Suzanne Connolly led an ATFT Foundation Trauma Relief Team to teach community leaders in Rwanda to use TFT to help their fellow Rwandans.

This training took place at the IZERE Center for Peace and Reconciliation in Byumba, and 36 community leaders were trained over a period of two days. The newly trained Rwandan therapists then treated over 200 of their countrymen and women for symptoms of trauma, and continue to do so today with the support of the ATFT Foundation.

The Foundation is completely supported by donations and has established a sponsorship program to help support the Rwandan therapists. Sponsors will be able to get personal reports, handled through the ATFT Foundation, from their adopted therapist. The cost to sponsor one full-time therapist for one year is $2000; $300 for a part-time therapist for one year; or $150 for a part-time therapist for six months. This is a powerful opportunity to make a stand for world peace!

If you’d like to sponsor a therapist, or learn more about this program, contact sheila @ atft.org. To see a summary of self-reports (translated into English) by the Rwandan therapists three months following the ATFT Foundation training team’s departure, click here.

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The following is an article published in “The Thought Field”, Vol 15, Issue 2, by Caroline Sakai, PhD, TFT-VT:

Suzanne Connolly and I have been awed by the magnitude of the horrors that most of the genocide survivors endured and survived, with their resiliency, courage and perseverance. The women and men who were trained with TFT at the algorithm level were very caring, and reached out with their compassion and their newly learned TFT skills to treat very severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It was immediately apparent that many who were the oldest child survivors in their villages that were decimated in the genocide of 1994, and who took on the responsibilities of looking after the younger survivors, never had the time or energy to grieve, to mourn, to even address or note their own feelings. They came in with dissociated states and blank stares, and said they never thought about, and did not want to think about, the genocide and had never talked about their own experiences. (more…)

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UgandaWoman-ATFTF-0309-3358593984_b3939fb74fDr. Caroline Sakai shares the following story from the ATFT Foundation’s recent mission to Rwanda:

One older woman was hearing voices, as well as reliving the traumas and horrors of the genocide in a highly agitated state.  She was initially unable to focus, and she had a vacant yet frightened look.

She started gritting her teeth, looking around at the voices she was hearing that were threatening to kill her and her family, and talking back to the voices while rolling her eyes, or looking around at what she was experiencing internally, and waving her arms, stamping her feet on the ground, and tipping herself backwards on the bench she was sitting on.

At one point she spat as she yelled out while flailing her arms.  She stood up and was about to run away from the voices, when the psychological reversal and initiation of the trauma algorithm started getting her more grounded in the here and now.  She shook her head as she started to look directly and intently at the therapist and assisting support ATFT team therapist as if actually seeing them for the first time.

We then did a TFT diagnostic assessment, and the Rwandan therapist continued her treatment using the diagnostic treatment points.  Her agitation subsided, and she remained focused, and her body visibly relaxed, and the light went back on in her eyes.  The gritted teeth relaxed into a broad smile of release and relief.

The voices disappeared, and she remained in good eye contact and fully present.  She no longer went in and out of dissociation, and was not responding to compelling internal experiences.

Her only fear at the end of treatment when her subjective units of distress went from 10 plus to 0, was that it might come back again.  The treatment protocol was written in Kinyarwanda for her even though she could not read, since she lived with the surviving 7 of her 13 children, and a couple of them could read. She also was informed of the on-going TFT services that would be available twice a week at the Izere Center.

She stated with amazement that it was as if she had been lost far away, and she had come back to earth now.  She stated that it was now quiet in her head without the voices and painful flashbacks.  She no longer felt she was cursed, and her stabbing pains in her chest and stomach totally remitted.  She was elated and expressed her joy and gratitude for her experiencing release and relief.

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Dr. Caroline Sakai describes how TFT brought profound relief to a Rwandan elder who endured severe emotional, mental, and physical suffering since seeing his family brutally murdered, himself attacked and left for dead–and how he responded by opening his modest home to local orphans!

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Children in Rwanda who were orphaned by the genocide, AIDS and poverty comment on how TFT has relieved them of their suffering and changed their lives.

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