Rwandans Teach the World to Heal
Suzanne M. Connolly, LCSW, LMFT
People in Rwanda are helping one another heal using a form of energy psychology called Thought Field Therapy (TFT). TFT is the original form of energy psychology and the original tapping therapy. It was developed in the early 1980s by psychologist Dr. Roger Callahan. It has continued to be refined and updated through the years. It is the first energy psychology technique to be recognized by the National Registry of Evidenced-based Practices and Procedures (NREEP) as being evidence-based.
Rwandan community leaders, professionals and para-professionals have treated at least 20,000 members of their communities for symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In most cases, the PTSD has been directly or indirectly the result of atrocities com- mitted during the 1994 genocide in which between 800,000 and one million persons were killed in a matter of ten weeks.
Suspicious at first, former subjects in a research project have reported that they thought the professionals were “evil” and “from Satan” when they were asked to think about what happened to them and/or their families during the 1994 genocide and then tap on themselves in a particular way. They said things like, “At first we took it as an opportunity to hang out.” Then they thought the professionals “were crazy” and this could not possibly work. Some of these same skeptics later became TFT facilitators, helping their neighbors to heal using TFT.
Many of the survivors of the Rwandan genocide have suffered from PTSD in the more than twenty years since this tragedy. People suffering PTSD often experience flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive memories, anger, rage, hypervigilance, shame, anxiety, depression and sometimes even suicide. Overwhelmed, they feel there is no way out. They often turn to alcohol and drugs. Individuals and families, and often entire communities and countries, can be devastated.
Small groups of professionals from the non-profit organization the Thought Field Therapy Foundation* have made seven trips to Rwanda, beginning in 2005, teaching community leaders to heal themselves and then to train others in their communities to heal themselves using TFT. Continue reading “Rwandans Teach the World to Heal”