Bosnia-Hercegovina Project

Reflexions on Parts 1 & 2 of

EMDR C&A training in B&H

EMDR trainings for mental health professionals in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH), with the help of EMDR Trauma Aid UK (TAUK) has resulted over 160 fully trained professionals in EMDR and estimates that more than 1,500 Bosnians have benefited from the process and are no longer suffering from psychological symptoms.

Until today, we have 14 EMDR Europe accredited practitioners, 4 EMDR Europe accredited consultants and 2 EMDR Europe accredited consultants in EMDR for children and adolescents.

The National Association of EMDR Therapists in BH, which is a member of EMDR Europe from 2015 and of the Union of Psychotherapy Associations in BH, held three conferences with international participation in BH, and established a National EMDR Committee for Accreditation, recognized by EMDR Europe, for the accreditation of its members.

Since 2009, Trauma Aid UK has two EMDR Child & Adolescents trainings provided by Joanne Morris-Smith. Twenty-six of BH EMDR clinicians have completed Parts 1 (15th-16th May 2015) and 2 (7th-8th May 2016) of the first EMDR C&A Training.

The second EMDR C&A Training has been realized in two parts provided by Joanne Morris-Smith again and supported by TAUK too. This training had international participants. Fourteen of BH EMDR clinicians have completed Part 1 (8th-9th September 2023) together with dr. Hanan El Mazahy from Egypt and four participants from Serbia: Vesna Bogdanović, Ana Busarac, Nikolina Milosavljević and Gordana Mijalković. The Part 2 of this training realized successfully (8th-9th March 2024) with twelve BH EMDR clinicians, dr. Hanan El Mazahy from Egypt, three participants from Serbia: Ana Busarac, Nikolina Milosavljević, Gordana Mijalković, and Dr. Manel Dardour from Tunisia. Šemsa Šabanović and Selvira Draganović provided simultaneous translation during the training.

This training was organized and realized to provide Ivana Trlin and Tea Vučina from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina to become Europe accredited trainers of EMDR C&A.

The participants gave us rave reviews, here are some of them.

For Part 1

“Bosnia and Herzegovina, an unprecedented, tragic end to the 2022/23 school year. After the shot, the noise of the school quieted down. Silence, fear, disbelief… We are all called..

Prof. dr. Mevludin Hasanović responds…

He looks at the situation, notes the situation and acts as the President of the Association of EMDR therapists of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In cooperation with EMDR Europe, he arranges the new (second) education “EMDR for children and adolescents Part 1” on September 8-9, 2023 in Sarajevo. Trauma Aid UK led by Shiraz Farrand in coordination with Sanja Oakley invited respected Joanne Morris-Smith accredited EMDR trainer for the education of experts in working with children and adolescents, including domestic experiences of EMDR therapists and private practice managers, Tea Vučine and Ivana Trlin, who are in training for EMDR trainers for children and adolescents.

People from BH, Serbia and Egypt responded to the invitation to participate in this education, and the good voice is heard far and wide. Never before have I seen all training participants take their seats a few minutes before the appointment. Hungry and thirsty in the desire to absorb the blessings of the true spring, the river of knowledge, skills, experience that flowed… It was a drinkable and seemingly light story in the form of experiences in the world, responses to them, good and bad experiences. What did they do well and what did they not do well? What they did that they shouldn’t have done and what they didn’t do that they should have done.

And then the main part began, which I would call a real lesson in education and a perfect training of skill acquisition. The respected Joanne Morris-Smith did not give us the opportunity to feel the transition from one content to another, from one technique to another… I saw her as a superb weaver who expertly connected the theoretical part of East and West, the theoretical and practical part that we drank in see the drink. She opened and broadened our horizons and strengthened our strength. She knew exactly and selflessly provided what we needed. I felt the perfect fusion of the theoretical and the practical, which merged into a skill. There was a sense of coming strength and a sense of power to act in support of our future in the form of children and young people.

Tea Vučina and Ivana Trlin imprinted their experiences on the mentioned canvas, all under the auspices of Prof. dr. Mevludin Hasanović, the idea leader and organizer of a very important empowerment and connection of experts in a very delicate time.

We were all happy, fulfilled and grateful for the immeasurable contribution we received from education at a time when we need to provide society with the necessary help.

Fadil Imširović, Gradačac, Bosnia&Herzegovina, 09.09.2023.”

“Dear Professor Hasanović,

If I have to describe the training, it was world-class, as it should be when Joanne Morris-Smith is the lecturer. The colleagues who participated in the lecture, I mean Ivana and Teo, are excellent! Big praise for all the colleagues who translated, I don’t need to list them, I think that they should also be told how much work they did!

Kudos to you for the organization!

In addition to everything else, the atmosphere and what I would call a real home reception meant a lot to me!

The new acquaintances and cooperation we established mean a lot to me!


Ana Busarac, Belgrade, Serfbia”

“Dear Mevludin,

Thank you for waiting for my reply. I see that you have also familiarized yourself with my automatic reply. I often don’t get to reply to everyone quickly, so I had to set up an automatic email that arrives every time someone sends me an email. Sorry if it confused you

Regarding this weekend together, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your hospitality. I am very glad to have met all of you, and I have met some of you in person (live), and I have met them before at some of the online educations. I had a great time and I can’t wait to come back to Sarajevo again

The education came at the right moment for all of us in the Balkans, and it meant a lot to me that I passed it. I heard a lot of useful things, both from Joanna, and from Ivana and Tee. Also, Joanne reminded me once again how sensitive and flexible children are, which allows them to recover quickly. Working with children and adolescents is definitely preventive work and has a great impact on the stabilization of society.

Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for this opportunity that you have given me to study with you

I greet you very much and we will stay in touch until further notice

Nikolina Milosavljević, Psychologist, RE, CBT and EMDR psychotherapist and practitioner of play therapy”

“Dear Professor Hasanović,

Thank you for your effort and organization. I am very satisfied with the education. The trainers in the training, colleagues Ivana and Tea delighted me, because everything they presented theoretically was supported by a video. This type of education is very acceptable to me because it allows me to see things that I missed but also did well in my work, which of course affects my self-confidence and desire for new knowledge. I am looking forward to the second part of the education and I am immediately applying for participation. Thank you for the pictures.

Emina Altumbabić, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina”

“Dear Mevludin,

I hope you are well. I like the training very much. I will try to mimic the regular questions:

-facilities:   Great room, audiovisual & IT person available, easily accessible hotel, excellent lunch break and drinks provided.

-Materials provided: Great materials provided in English and Bosnian, slides printout in addition to several appendices.

I liked especially the references to research additions to the field.

– Trainer: Excellent trainer with huge experience in both using EMDR with children and giving trainings. Main features I like about the training: EMDR faithfulness, thought provoking, encourages research and stimulates emotional connection.

General impression: I am inspired and glad to connect with other EMDR C&A practitioners.

I am also glad that EMDR has been started in Bosnia as it is highly needed. I am also wearing my mental health hat and thinking of how to use EMDR with large numbers of people in the community.

Thanks to God,

Hanan El-Mazahy MD, PhD,  ABMPP”

Dear and dear Professor Hasanović,

“I thank you once again for the successful organization of the training. Your opening speech in which you emphasized the presence of violence and recent tragedies in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina it gave context and special meaning to what we were dealing with. Joanna Morris Smith, as an experienced clinician and sincere humanist, brought structure and knowledge, but also optimism in these difficult moments, that we can fight for the protection of our children and overcome the feeling of helplessness. Cooperation and exchange of our opinions is especially important, because we still rely on each other, we understand each other best and we can help each other the most as good neighbors. On the other hand, as psychotherapists and professionals combined we have the same goals to help and preserve the mental health of children and families, which was also felt in our communication and the atmosphere of the entire gathering. I liked her very much the welcome of you and other colleagues, as well as the immediacy of the hotel staff, really made me feel at home.

I look forward to the continuation of education and our cooperation and I wish you all the best!


Gordana Mijalković, Belgrade, Serbia”

For Part 2:

“Dear Mevludin,

Hope this finds you well, Ramadan Kareem Mubarak. I am very grateful for having attended the two parts training in Sarajevo.

First your training logistics were immaculate with excellent training hall, audiovisual facilities and two excellent translators who are also EMDR trained.

Secondly, the training itself provided by Joanne has truly affected my thinking and influenced my practice, it has also shown me for the first time what it is like to attend a training session where I do not understand the language (delivered by Tea and Ivana) and had to rely on translation but noted the impact on the trainees listening to their own language and learned to look more for nonverbal cues in videos.

Last, but by no means the least is Sarajevo itself. The place has affected me on my first visit and is still doing so. Given the horrors occurring as we speak in Palestine, this time I could draw parallels and appreciate how your experience as humans and therapists can help our brothers and sisters in Palestine. As I told you, I also appreciate that you encouraged therapists from EMDR Bosnia who were not scholars to start publishing which is great leadership and something else to learn from you in EMDR Bosnia. Hope our plans to write together are very fruitful.

Best regards,

Hanan El-Mazahy MD, PhD,  ABMPP, Alexandria, Egypt”

“Dear Mevludin,

Thank you very much for your hospitality again.

The organization of the training was at a high level.

I have to once again praise Šemsa for the dedication and concentration she showed. Kudos to her, really. Give her a big hello from me.

As for the training itself, it exceeded my expectations. The information I received may not be completely new to me, but the examples I heard, the additional explanations I received, the energy I felt,… all this helped me to better understand my experience and I had an insight into what I could have done differently with some clients to do, as well as what I can now do additionally with my current clients. Many thanks for all that.

We stay in touch, feel free to write to me!


Nikolina Milosavljević, Belgrade, Serbia, Psychologist, RE, CBT and EMDR psychotherapist and practitioner of play therapy”

“Dear Professor,

The training was very useful and I got the impression that we got a good foundation for EMDR work with children. The educator was very structured, she tried to cover the most important things and to convey to us as much knowledge and experience as possible in a short time. A significant part was work on dissociations. I hope that Joanne will come to us again to educate us about working with children on the autistic spectrum. I am especially happy that we will have our trainers who will further spread the knowledge gained. They presented their work beautifully, and I especially liked Tea’s case and the preventive work with the child after the traumatic loss of the family. Ivana’s presentation was also very useful, so I would ask you to send it to us, because we did not have it in the materials. Also, information about potential supervisors for children would be useful to us.

Thank you for organizing education for children and for actively working to grow and develop our EMDR community. Thanks to our educator Joanne for showing interest in the book “Stories that help children overcome their fears and develop stress resistance”. I would gladly accept her offer/suggestion that part of the books be part of HAP’s professional literature that fellow therapists could use in their work with children and parents. I got in touch with a lady who lives in London and is from Bihac and who works as a translator, so I will see what the translation options and prices are, but it would definitely be good to include someone who does therapy in addition to her, if it wouldn’t be too much of a burden for him/her, if only to inspect that part.

I am looking forward to new trainings and in general to our new meetings!


Vildana Aziraj Smajić, Bihać, B&H”

“Dear Mevludin

I was glad to attend the Level II  of the EMDR Child and Adolescent Training in Sarajevo 08-09th March 2024.

It was really valuable. On a scientific level, several practical points were enlighten. The clinical cases presented were also very useful and allowed us to get a better insight of practical stages of EMDR in children, especially the use of the narrative and the different types of interweaves.

At the end of the training, the walking tour of the Old Town allowed us to discover the rich history and heritage of Sarajevo.

We were pleasantly surprised by its friendly and welcoming people and by the coexistence of Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, Slavic, Muslim, Orthodox, Catholic and Jewish cultures!

This may explain the richness of the Bosnian cuisine which was truly an excellent culinary experience.

I came back to Tunisia with beautiful memories that I shared with my family.

Thank you Bosnia and Herzegovina EMDR Association for giving me the opportunity to live this great experience.

Manel Dardour, Tunisia”

This will safeguard the national development of psychotherapy capacities in post-war (1992-1995) and post-COVID B&H. Particular importance of this continual education in EMDR clinical skills of mental health professionals in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as internationally is increased with actual war in Ukraine and the unspeakable human catastrophe of the Palestinian people that we witness 24 hours a day and we do not know when and how it will end.

Professor Mevludin Hasanović, MD, PhD

Europe accredited EMDR Practitioner and Consultant, EMDR Trainer in the training

President of Bosnia and Herzegovina EMDR Association

President of Union of Psychotherapeutic Association in Bosnia and Herzegovina


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 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.

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.

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.



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.


5th & 6th OCTOBER 2019

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