Bosnia-Hercegovina Project

Bosnia Project

Trainees, Trainers, Facilitators

and the 1st National Conference

1st Bosnian National Conference

This event marked the fruition of 8 years of collaboration between Trauma Aid UK and the now President of EMDR Association of Bosnia, Professor Mevludin Hasanovic. Since 2009, we have fully trained 5 cohorts of local mental health professionals in EMDR. This was an opportunity for  15 of them to present papers and showcase their learning and skills in EMDR. Fittingly the Keynote Speaker for this two-day event was Sandi Richman, who has trained 3 of the cohorts. Dr Jane Ware and Debra May presented on working with children in EMDR. For many years in some cases, our Bosnian colleagues have been supported by volunteer consultants from the UK. Some of them were also able to attend. These personal and professional relationships are the backbone to our work and a testimony to the consistent and long-term support and development that is required to reach a point where national associations are fully independent.


Between 1992 and 1995, a large percentage of the 4.5m population of Bosnia-Hercegovina (BiH) people were traumatised by genocide. This includes what chillingly became known as ethnic cleansing; by mass rape, displacement and all the other atrocities of war.

The scars of trauma are still very evident in Bosnian society, and the resources to deal with it remain scarce.

Trauma Aid UK started its Bosnia Project in 2009, after a local request for help from mental health professionals. This is a long-term project, aiming ultimately to bring BiH to the point where its trauma professionals can continue the training themselves under the banner if their national EMDR Association of Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Since 2009, Trauma Aid UK has fully trained over 128 professionals in EMDR and estimates that more than 1,000 Bosnians have benefited from the process and are no longer suffering from psychological symptoms. Twenty-six of these clinicians have also completed Parts 1 and 2 EMDR Child Training provided by Joanne Morris-Smith.

In 2015, the newly-founded EMDR Association of Bosnia-Hercegovina became a full member of EMDR Europe. Trauma Aid UK is continuing to provide training and supervision support in Bosnia and six clinicians are now EMDR Accredited Practitioners. Professor Mevludin Hasanovic of the Institute of Psychiatry in Tuzla is the first EMDR Europe Accredited Consultant in Bosnia-Hercegovina and President of the National Association.

Sanja Oakley is the Trauma Aid UK Co-ordinator working closely with our Bosnian colleages to provide research and development projects nationally.

The on-going supervision via Skype provided by our UK based volunteer EMDR Accredited Consultants has been vital to the success of this project and the continual development of expaertise of our Bosnian colleagues.

Summary: In Bosnia so far, Trauma Aid UK has:

  • Trained over 120 clinicians
  • Treated over a thousand traumatised people with EMDR
  • Supported the establishment of the EMDR Association of Bosnia-Hercegovina
  • Developed a significant number of EMDR Accredited Practitioners who in turn we hope to develop to become Consultants and Trainers

Trauma Aid UK is pleased that EMDR has been greeted so enthusiastically in Bosnia, and looks forward to continuing working closely with our colleagues there.

Trauma Aid UK Trustees would like to express their thanks to the following contributors who have provided their time so freely:

  • Sandi Richman
  • Sanja Oakley
  • Sian Morgan
  • Dr. Michael Patterson, OBE
  • Dr. Joanne Morris-Smith
  • John Henry
  • Asko Sallihovic
  • Dr. Bridget O’Rawe
  • Keith Piper
  • and the team of EMDR Consultants providing on-going supervision.