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Trauma Recovery Case Study #4 -Trauma and Loss from Genocide using Metaphors of Healing with TTT
For many of us, hope is what keeps us going forward in our healing journey.
To be inspired regularly with stories of healing adds to our momentum to keep doing the work. Many of our volunteers at FREA are licensed professionals that use the FREA techniques in their practice. All of us at FREA use these techniques in our own self-care practices. We have loads of stories! We are excited to share with you case studies from our team. We have changed details to protect privacy. If you have an experience of healing from sexual trauma with these techniques to share, please contact us - we would love to hear from you!
If you have been raped, abused, or assaulted recently, please get help immediately.
CASE STUDY #4 -Trauma and Loss from Genocide using Metaphors of Healing with TTT By Gunilla Hamne & Ulf Sandstrom, Excerpt from Resolving Yesterday - First Aid for Stress and Trauma with TTT, © www.peacefulheart.se / FREA's sister organization Metaphors of Healing In Africa and elsewhere people often explain their experiences of Trauma Tapping with poetic words. One of our favorite metaphors was told by a widow called Marie-Christine during a training in Kibungo, Rwanda: “I feel as if I have been walking up a mountain for many, many years. Now I can finally sit down and rest and even enjoy the view overlooking the landscape below.” Metaphors are very interesting from a healing point of view. If you can help a person find a metaphor for what is troubling them, he or she can sometimes find a solution for the troubles by changing the metaphor. For example, if a person says that he or she feels like there is a weight on the chest, pressing the air out, you could ask what kind of weight it is. This will make him or her explore it, and provide more details, like “it is like the foot of an elephant, but it is not moving”. By asking them to “Imagine something that can move that elephant!” can prompt their creative mind to come up with the solution of luring away the elephant with a bag of peanuts, and then imagining what that will feel like. This will allow their creative mind to imagine what healing can feel like in a playful way that isn’t stopped by critical and pragmatic thoughts like, “You cannot just lure away your anxiety as if it was an elephant,using a bag of peanuts – or can you?” You may be amazed at the power of metaphors once you start exploring this. There is an African metaphor for trauma: “A man who has once been tossed by a buffalo, when he sees a black ox, thinks it’s another buffalo”.
Other metaphors that we have gathered from people experiencing TTT: “It feels like a wind came through my mind “ “A burden fell off my shoulders.” “This is like anesthesia, I feel as if those problems of mine walked out of my mind.” “I feel awake for the first time since very long.” “If I do this every day I might go to heaven without dying.” “I had something hard in my heart. But now it has melted.” “It feels like water flowing in my body now, it dissolved something that was stuck there.” The Metaphor of Jacques Jacques was one of the first orphans to experience Trauma Tapping in Rwanda. Today he has a Master in Public Health. This is Jacques’ story: “Before I learned the tapping I could not think about those loved ones that I lost during the genocide. It felt like entering a dark fearful forest, not knowing what kind of danger awaited me there. I avoided the forest because it was too painful. But avoiding it also meant that I could not think about my parents and family. This made me feel very bad. Because you know for us Africans it is very important to connect with our ancestors. Therefore I felt like I betrayed them. But after getting to know this Tapping Technique things have changed. The forest has turned into a garden with flowers and different kind of trees. In this garden I can sit down with my family and feel we are all together again. It is a true relief.”