EMDR HAP training in India in the aftermath of the tsunami


On 26th December 2005 the southern coastline of India was hit by a tsunami, which resulted in the deaths of over 28,000 people. This natural disaster caused the widespread devastation to the region. As part of the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programme as series of EMDR Levels 1 and 2 were established in Chennai, Southern India offering training to mental health workers specifically working the tsunami affected areas. The project was funded by Cerner/First Hand Foundation project with the remit primarily focusing upon the trauma impact upon children. For the purpose of this presentation, the Chennai project will be outlined, providing insight into how the trainings were carried out from a teaching and learning perspective. It will also consider trauma experiences from a cultural viewpoint, which potentially challenges western constructs of PTSD phenomena. Particular attention wil be focused upon the aspects of the Negative and Positive Cognition and how this seems to be potentially a cultural component to the EMDR protocol. Indian practitioners determined that 'mind and body' are one in the same. Yet EMDR training emphasises the importance of distinguishing between thoughts and feelings. As a result many of the trainees struggled with this aspect. Discussion will also explore more widespread trauma characteristics of the tsumani including how the trauma impacted from an individual, family, and community perspective.






Derek Farrell
Paul Keenan
J. Basil

Original Work Citation

Farrell, D., Keenan, P., & Basil, J. (2006, March). EMDR HAP training in India in the aftermath of the tsunami. Presentation at the 4th EMDR Association UK & Ireland Annual Conference, London, UK



“EMDR HAP training in India in the aftermath of the tsunami,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed September 25, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/19017.

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