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.
In 2009, following a request from Professor Mevludin Hasanovic from the Institute of Psychiatry in Tuzla to help local mental health professionals learn EMDR, Trauma Aid UK started its Bosnia Project. 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 140 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. The website for the Association is www.emdr.ba and their President is Professor Mevludin Hasanovic. They now have 10 EMDR Accredited Practitioners and 2 EMDR Accredited Consultants. They also have their own Accreditation Committee.
Trauma Aid UK is continuing to provide training and supervision and Continuing Professional Development in Bosnia (see our Continuing Professional Development page). Sanja Oakley is the Trauma Aid UK Co-ordinator working closely with our Bosnian colleagues to provide research and development projects nationally.
The on-going supervision via Skype or Zoom is provided by our UK based volunteer EMDR Accredited Consultants has been vital to the success of this project and the continual development of expertise of our Bosnian colleagues. We are now have 8 Consultants in Training who will continue to provide this support to their compatriots.
Many of these supervisory relationships have extended over several years and our volunteer Supervisors have built long-term personal and professional relationships with their supervisees. Our colleagues in Bosnia are part of the worldwide EMDR community with whom we have an abiding friendship.
Summary: In Bosnia so far, Trauma Aid UK has:
• Trained over 140 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 so that the Association of Bosnia-Hercegovina can be self-sustaining.
• Provided a programme of Continuing Professional Development to enhance the knowledge and experience of Bosnian trainees so that we can build capacity on the ground
• Set up a trauma response network that can be mobilised to deal with unforeseen traumatic events.
• Sponsored Bosnian clinicians attendance at EMDR Europe conferences
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 Trainers and Facilitators who have contributed to the EMDR programme:
Sanja Oakley; Sandi Richman; Sian Morgan; Dr. Michael Patterson; Joanne Morris-Smith; John Henry; Asko Sallihovic; Dr. Bridget O’Rawe; Keith Piper; and the team of Volunteer EMDR Supervisors providing on-going supervision to Bosnian clinicians for the duration of the project.
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.
At the Second National Conference in 2018 in Sarajevo, the focus was on the future. Trauma Aid UK focuses on the ultimate aim that national organisations will become self-sustaining.
Over the last 10 years we have built up experience and capacity and we now have 10 EMDR Accredited Practitioners, some of whom are nearly at Consultant status. In order to facilitate this next stage 2019 has focussed on providing CPD so that knowledge and experience can be built on.
In collaboration with the EMDR Association of Bosnia-Hercegovina we provided:
2nd & 3rd March 2019
Volunteer Consultants Soraia and Cornelia had supervised EMDR clinicians in Bosnia for some time. This year we started a programme of Volunteer EMDR Consultants taking their expertise to Bosnia and providing face to face CPD.
The weekend included input about EMDR and working with Children and EMDR and Mourning as well as groups supervision and practice.
JIM KNIPE COMPLEX TRAUMA TRAINING COMES TO BOSNIA!
This is the first time Trauma Aid UK has used video streaming as part of our CPD programme for Trauma Aid UK Trainees. Jim Knipe very generously offered his complete two-day training to us and Sonya Farrell was on hand to guide trainees through the programme, with Selvira Draganovic and Semsa Sabanovic providing simultaneous translation.tant to those working towards accreditation.
Our Bosnian colleagues gave rave reviews of the training.
We are indebted to Jim and Sonya who will also be following up the training with supervision.
This is a big step forward for our Bosnian colleagues and particularly important to those working towards accreditation.
Sonya Farrell and Professor Meludin Hasanovic, President of the EMDR Association of Bosnia-Hercegovina with training participants.
A team of Bosnian therapists led by Selvira Draganovic have been working on a Bosnian translation of Jim Knipe’s book so that all Bosnian clinicians can take advantage of this excellent book.
Richard and Sally have been volunteering as supervisors in Bosnia for many years. They are not new to Bosnia having worked there during the 1990’s during and in the aftermath of the war.
The weekend included face to face supervision, a presentation on EMDR and Family Therapy and showcasing of some EMDR videos available on their website www.EMDRgateway.com