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Hawaii Training Project for ATFT Rwanda at Izere Center in Byumba

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BACKGROUND
Thought Field Therapy (TFT) is a self-treatment that combines tapping of acupuncture treatment points with mental focusing on the targeted symptoms or traumatic memories. It was developed by clinical psychologist Roger Callahan over 30 years ago and has had no reported negative side effects. It has been found to be effective in treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with adults and adolescents, including recently completed randomized controlled studies with genocide survivors in Rwanda. and helpful with anxiety, anger, phobia, rage, excessive guilt, grief, depression, addictive urges, and chronic pain management.

For the past five years, the Association of Thought Field Therapy Foundation has sent teams of TFT practitioners to Rwanda to treat and train Rwandan genocide survivors in using TFT. At the Izere Center in Byumba, a TFT treatment center office was recently opened. It treats about 30 people a day, two days a week.

There are still hundreds of thousands of yet untreated genocide survivors who suffer from PTSD in Rwanda. The Rwandans need to be trained as TFT trainers so they could train others to use TFT in their homeland.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT
In September 2011 four Rwandan TFT practitioners from Byumba and Kigali will come to Hawaii for a month of intense training. They will review TFT skills and learn to train others to use it. As part of their training, the Rwandans will train 8-12 trainees in Hawaii for 2 days and then supervise them in clinical practice.

With the help of the Coalition for a Drug-Free Hawaii, we are establishing free clinics for field training in areas of high need throughout Oahu for the newly trained local TFT practitioners and Rwandan trainers. We would like at least two days at each site. Ideally, each of the 8-12 trainees would treat 3 people in the morning, and 3 people in the afternoon under the supervision of the Rwandan trainers. For example, if there are 8 trainees, 24 people would be treated in the morning, and 24 people treated in the afternoon each day. Supervision of the Rwandan trainers would be provided by TFT practitioners in Hawaii who are also licensed psychotherapists. We will also provide training on recognizing and addressing high-risk situations (e.g., substance abuse, trauma, mood disorders, suicidal risks).

All of the trainings will be provided free of charge. The TFT training will be limited to 8-12 trainees, but the training on high-risk situations is open to other practitioners. We are asking all who would like to sponsor a free clinic to help provide water, lunch for the Rwandans and trainees, and water and light snacks for the clients.

BENEFITS
1) Rwandans moving to self-sufficiency in continuing to train, treat and follow-up on their TFT treatments of wide-scale trauma, and empowered to expand geometrically the benefits of TFT across Rwanda and to neighboring countries.

2) Free treatment for the homeless, veterans, people in recovery and many others who do not have access or the means to obtain treatment.

3) Locally trained TFT practitioners prepared to work with the people with high needs and limited resources in Hawai`i.

Explanatory presentation of the work with wide-scale trauma and the model for community treatment with TFT was given in September 2010, with a follow-up initial planning meeting of those interested in participating in this collaborative effort held in October 2010. Regular planning and subcommittee meetings will be held over the course of the next several months.
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Sakai, C., Paperny, D., Mathews, M., Tanida, G., Boyd, G., Simons, A., Yamamoto, C., Mau, C., & Nitter, L. (2001). Thought field therapy clinical applications: Utilization in an HMO in behavioral medicine and behavioral health services. J Clin Psychol, 57(10), pp. 1215-1227.

Sakai, C., Connolly, S.M., & Oas, P. (Winter 2010). Treatment of PTSD in Rwandan child genocide survivors using thought field therapy. Int J Emergency Mental Health, 12(1), ISSN: 1522-4821, pp 41-49.

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