Self-Help Action Supporting Survivors of Torture and Trauma on Bougainville

A Plan of Small Generalisable Actions
Long Version


Posted 21 Nov 1998. Last Updated April 2014.


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Wider Plan

Self Help Action Rebuilding Wellbeing - A Micro-Project

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This document is expressed in very tentative terms because nothing contained in this document could happen unless local Bougainville people want it.



o   Brief Summary

o   Who we are

o   The Aftermath of Torture and Trauma

o   Participatory Self Help

o   Laceweb Funding And Evaluation Protocols

o   Stretching Expert Resources Beyond Effectiveness

o   Themes for Adapting Micro-experiences - Healing Support for Children, adolescents, Women, Men, Families and Combatants

o   Getting a good nights sleep - children, adolescents and adults

o   Eliminating torture and trauma associated phobias, obsessions, compulsions and panic attacks and problematic behaviours

o   Reducing, interrupting, resolving and stopping anger and violence

o   Reconciling, rehabilitating and healing of torture and trauma survivors

o   Specific issues and needs for healing local people

o   Issues for enablers, healers, supporters, and carers

o   Healing Processes

o   Issues for skill-sharers

o   A Framework for Intercultural Healing

o   Healing micro-experiences

o   Conceptual backgrounds for wellbeing action

o   Conclusion




This document is about possibilities for small local mutual-help and self-help action supporting survivors of torture and trauma in Bougainville. It is based on a model that indigenous, small minority and intercultural people in an informal network in the SE Asia Oceania Australasia Region have been successfully evolving and using in increasing our own wellbeing for over 50 years.


This action has demonstrated that traumatised people can provide a healing support to each other as part of a healing community. It is mutual-help and self-help. This is not discussing a 'service'. Refer Interfacing Document

People may heal themselves and pass on what works to others within voluntary informal networks. We understand the self-help healing network is already evolving in Bougainville. Uncompromising funding support can see it blossom. The possibility is that the further evolving of these healing networks will not only help bring healing to a war ravaged people, it may well be the major process for consolidating the peace process.

Bougainville people and others in the Region who have been massively affected by being forced to watch atrocity have experienced Laceweb healing ways and have found that no longer do they have emotional pain immediately activated by memories of past awful experiences. They still may remember. They may still experience the range of human emotion. The processes we are exploring are not suppressing anything. Natural processes interrupt the invariable fast linking between for example visual memory and awful feeling.

This document is an example of a component of a Laceweb Combined Macro-Project - refer the Wider Plan. This component contains possibilities for sharing healing processes and nurturing microexperiences. The processes and possible action may be generalisable throughout Region. For example, everything contained in this page may possibly apply in the East Timor, Irian Jaya and other contexts. Also refer the Laceweb Micro-Project as a starter process.

Support for Affected People

This Plan is about rebuilding Well-being in all its forms including:

o    Clan

o    Community

o    Cultural

o    Economic

o    Emotional

o    Environmental

o    Family

o    Habitat

o    Inter-clan

o    Intercultural

o    International

o    Mental

o    Mindbody

o    Psycho-social

o    Physical

o    Relational

o    Spiritual

(no priority implied)

Who We Are

The Intercultural Wellbeing Foundation and the Bougainville Development Foundation are functional matrices - part of an informal network of wellbeing people and community-based groups engaging in mutual-help and self-help well-being action. This network is known by some as the Laceweb. Also refer Laceweb Map.

This network/movement commenced in Australia and had its precursors in the 1940's. It has been evolving through small local mutual-help and self-help well-being action among, Australian Aboriginals Torres Strait Islanders, Australian South Sea Islanders and Bougainvillians. It is now spreading among indigenous, small disadvantaged minority and intercultural people in remote and rural areas throughout the Oceania SE Asia Australasia Region.

The Bougainville Development Foundation been formed by Bougainvillian and other intercultural healers to support Bougainville wellbeing development and survivors of torture and trauma.

People from the Laceweb who have supported themselves and other locals in mutual-help and self-help on many occasions, may be available to support survivors of torture and trauma among Bougainvillian people both in Bougainville and elsewhere (refer the Micro-Project). Actions may address relief from trauma, oppression, poverty, sickness, misfortune, destitution, and illness. As well, it may help sufferers of the following forms of pressures and trauma:

o    domestic

o    economic

o    emotional

o    mental

o    physical

o    social

Neither the Foundations nor the Laceweb is connected with any political group, faction or religion. They all respect spiritual and cultural diversity and humane caring ways.

The Laceweb enables actions and support for torture and trauma survivors using healing ways that may form a basis for evolving culturally appropriate healing.

The Laceweb has, for over thirty years, demonstrated that traumatised people can provide a healing support to each other as part of a healing community. It is participatory self help. This is not discussing a 'service'. People may heal themselves and pass on what works to others. This help and support may be passed on within an expanding network, and thus support may grow exponentially.

Extensive historical and research material on the Laceweb is available. This has been prepared in part by Laceweb person and the Bougainville Development Foundation's Chairperson for their respective Ph.D. research into the Laceweb and participatory self help models (refer The Laceweb Timeline).

Laceweb people, via the linking role of the Foundations and various networks of networks, may take an enabling role in evolving Bougainville mutual-help and self-help support networks.


Bougainville folk have been massively affected by the Conflict.. As Bougainvillians seeking to provide support, we are faced with potentially over 150,000 traumatised people - a massive challenge. As reported by the UN Inter-Agency Report on Bougainville - 17 May 1995, the following are top priority issues:

o    trauma

o    a culture of payback

o    pervasive fear, and

o    'warzone' mentality

The above report suggested that these four issues be resolved as a central part of any move to normalising and reconciling. It goes without saying that traumatised people have 'normal' functioning impaired.


It is noted that the PNG Government representative, in opening the talks as part of the final drafting of the UN Inter-Agency Report, stated that both 'the participating of local people' and 'self helping' processes are crucial to any meaningful normalising, and that both should be incorporated into what the drafters of the Report are recommending. The final Report also held out these two aspects as critical.

'Participating by local people' and 'self helping' were again reiterated by a recent statement by Bougainville Member of the PNG Parliament, John Momis. He noted that all sorts of Australian organisations were wanting to come into Bougainville and provide various 'services' - in effect, to capitalise on opportunity. He cautioned against this. The Bougainville people want to help themselves to return to normalcy.

Bougainville people are very cautious of outsiders who want to come in to fix things for us. Massive needs exist in health, education, and infrastructure to name a few. We virtually need to start from scratch. Outside help is needed. However we do not believe that having a massive range of 'services' devised and provided across the board by outside experts is the way.

It is noted from a careful reading of the UN Inter-Agency Report that the drafters own recommending contain virtually nothing which falls within the PNG Government's and the Report's own guidelines requiring 'participatory self helping action by locals'.

There is a dearth of genuine 'participatory self help models' among both Government bodies and NGO's. Actions may claim to be fostering self helping when what is actually intended is delivery of services. Many services may be very useful. To reiterate - this plan is not about service delivery.

In the UN Inter-Agency Report, while there was 'lip service' to 'self help' and 'participating by locals', there was little evidence of the use of participatory self helping action models. Virtually everything the drafters of the Report recommended were 'centralised' 'uniform' programs that were to be 'devised', 'controlled' and 'implemented' by outsiders, and via 'top down', 'bureaucratically organised', 'service delivery' processes. This is prescribing forms of governance when 'governance' is a prime point of contention! It is not surprising. This is the 'way' of the mainstream. All mainstream funding uses 'top down service delivery' models as a starting point. This is never questioned. Both funding 'policy' and 'programs' are based on this 'service delivery' model. It is the model used at every level of government. All Program funding 'criteria' and 'evaluation' are also based on the 'service delivery' model. Any 'sense of participation in mutual-help’ and self help' is skewed into the service delivery model. The aim is at best to give a sense of participating, never actual participating. Giving locals a 'sense of participation' when they are not participating and are having no say in what is happening is a typical ploy of service providers.

There is a real dilemma in all of this. Our Bougainville people have been cut off from the World for almost a decade. We are traumatised. We are very sceptical of outsiders. The last thing we want is someone coming in and running our lives for us. And yet the only model that aid and funding governments and NGO's have is 'service delivery'. Service delivery typically means, We decide and do things for you'. We run large parts of your lives and keep you dependent.

The Laceweb 'participatory self help action' model does not meet either the typical funding criteria or the evaluation criteria of the 'service delivery' model. The Laceweb model does fully meet 'participatory mutual-help and self-help action' funding and evaluation criteria.

Service Delivery and Self-Help models belong in different worlds. To attempt to place a top down service delivery organisation in a watchdog role over us, that uses 'service delivery' criteria to 'ensure we are doing things 'properly', is cultural imposition and unacceptable and unworkable in respect of this Plan and the accompanying Micro-proposal. It would inevitably compromise the participatory self help process.

For example, a Laceweb proposal (or 'submission' - read in this context as 'submit', meaning 'to surrender to the will or authority of another') to the Australian Federal Government Health Department's 'Rural Health Support and Education Section (RHSET)' in 1993 was prepared based on 'participatory self helping'. The proposal was extremely appealing to the Department though deemed to be 'poorly written' - translate this as 'not using service delivery' frameworks. The Laceweb received a further 52 questions to be answered so that they could evaluate us. All of these questions assumed 'service delivery' and 'service delivery frameworks, contexts and criteria'. While all the questions 'made sense' within the service delivery' model, around 45 of the 52 questions made no sense within the 'participatory self help' model.

Examples of questions that the Australian Government's RHSET asked the Laceweb:


Specify the services that you will be delivering?


None. The focus of action is self help not service delivery as specified in our Proposal


Who will be delivering the services?


No services will be delivered. The Proposal is for self help healing action through informal networks.


How will services be delivered?


There's no service delivery. Action evolves self help healing networks - see Proposal


What is the roll-out timetable?


This isn't one. Action is a function of local inclination and action. Locals have the energy and inclination.


What fixed training agenda do you have?


We are enablers, not trainers. We have no fixed agenda and there is no fixed agenda. There is however an open agenda with the themes specified in the proposal. What happens during our time together may be a function of local operative concerns and needs


What are the qualifications of outside experts being used to research the current need?


No outside experts are being used. Actions are based on local people's knowings and wisdoms about what is missing in the local people's wellbeing. Self help is based on action research by locals. Outside enablers, differ from 'experts', as detailed in the proposal.

The RHSET Program had an extensive set of criteria that had to be met for proposals to be 'acceptable'. The criteria presupposed that certain pre-specified things must and will happen. Participatory self help is not pre-specified - rather it 'organically unfolds'. With our model, nothing has to happen. Action is inherently tentative and at the same time, with this tentativeness, local self help energy may do what service delivery can never do!

Within RHSET frameworks, the world was divided into sectors - for example, youth, the disabled, family, the aged etc; certain aspects of wellbeing were clumped together; others were excluded. The Laceweb proposal was all about holistic wellbeing action (everything interlinked) that was fundamentally different to the 'what, why, when, where, and how of 'sectorised service delivery'.

An offer was made by RHSET to waive their normal criteria, though they would use their normal criteria to evaluate progressive action. The Laceweb declined funding (understood to be a large amount ) to ensure that existing Laceweb momentum was not compromised.

The Internet page Government and Facilitating Community Grassroots Wellbeing Action was prepared by Laceweb Enablers as a response to the RHSET department.


For implementing proposals under this Plan we would accept covision - rather than supervision - from international academic intellectual/research groups known to be skilled in participatory self help models. 'Covision' is a concept borrowed from transnational management consulting.

The term 'covision' encapsulates contexts where trainers find that feedback from trainees train and change them so much that they have to change their training to fit the wisdom of the trainees. The concept equally applies to ‘enabling' contexts.

The Laceweb realises that it may participate in activities funded by others. It recognises the value of cross-cultural, cross-national and international guidance, co-vision and support in such circumstances. The principles it favours are that in this wider context of humanitarian activities:

o    Funding entities monitor finance

o    Humanitarian (caring) people and entities skilled in participatory self help action monitor ethics and nurturant process

o    Intellectual/academic entities carry out/monitor research - the research to be benchmarking, assessing and action in approach.

o    The principles of balanced wide representation of stakeholder entities can be continuously explored.

o    Disadvantaged Small Minority and Indigenous people assist in developing good results

We will be fully accountable for funds. However to tie funds to doing participatory self help' according to 'service delivery' criteria is unacceptable - it is a contradiction in terms and action.

Evaluation is built into every participatory self help action. However, it will be evaluation using 'participatory self help criteria of local people', not service delivery' criteria.

If funding bodies are so tied to 'service delivery' that they insist that it be used, then funds will not be accepted for this Plan and the Micro-proposal, and our progress will be so much slower.

And it was for good reason that Austrade and AusAid jointly ran the conferences in Melbourne and Sydney a couple of years ago called 'Aid Business is Good Business'. The recollection of Members of our Foundations from attending the Melbourne Conference is that more than 90% of Australian Aid money returns to Australian organisations who do the work; that every dollar of aid generates a further six dollars of follow-on business, and that about 75% of aid projects fall down either completely or partly. The reasons given for this failure was because there is only central government involvement by the recipient country, and because of lack of substantive participating by grassroots people at the local level. Put this record in front of a war traumatised, sceptical people who are very wary of outsiders, with the Panguna mine hovering in the background, and no wonder people are wary of those bringing gifts! 'Just what is it that you intend to do for us, eh?'


It is possible that in large scale disasters, healing self help is the only process that may work with the large number of traumatised people involved. It is understood that the model of delivery of care and support by 'experts' almost invariably falls down in contexts where large scale disasters occur.

This is because the sheer size of the task to be done stretches expert resources beyond effectiveness. Typically, you cannot get the numbers of experts that would be needed to help tens of thousands of people. The cost would be enormous.

We understand that AusAid has put substantial money into 'service based' trauma support for Palestinians. Sure there are different contexts and issues in that part of the World, and yet after a couple of years only a few hundred have been supported. In the Bougainville context we are talking about substantive support to around 150,000 people!

What we are suggesting is that in large scale disasters, with the large number of traumatised people involved, healing through voluntary informal networks by skilled locals, enabled to engage in self-help healing action, is the only process that may work.

An evolving skilled voluntary self help network holds forth the possibility of placing healing and nurturing skills and behaviours out in the local communities. Here they may be spread and incorporated into every aspect of communal life as people go about their daily lives. Some people may desire to take on the enabling, skill sharing, nurturing and/or caring roles. People in these roles may develop further nurturing carers within the communities in evolving the self helping support network.

Following many years of discussions among Bougainvillian people, Laceweb enablers and our Foundations, self help healing networks are already evolving in a number of areas of Bougainville and elsewhere - Intercultural Normative Model Areas (INMAs); for example, in Far North Queensland, Australia - refer the Laceweb Micro-proposal.


Healing Support for:

o    Children

o    Adolescents

o    Women

o    Men

o    Families

o    Communities

Themes and contexts for healing within and between the above groups:

o    Establishing rapport

o    Gaining acceptance of the healing support role

o    Identifying specific issues to be resolved, including 'being safe' and 'exploiting of sexual identity'

o    Resolving anger and violent behaviour

o    Resolving the effects of psycho-social, physical and sexual abuse - feeling safe again

o    Identifying and using existing psycho-social resources

o    Healing grief, shame and loss

o    Letting go 'war zone' mentality - feeling safe again

o    Using individual, family and community healing processes

o    Healing play, games, fantasy and fun

o    Enabling well-being resources

o    Empowering well-being

o    Enabling the building of community; developing resources; forming support coalitions and fostering support networks and friendship

Getting a good night’s sleep

Resolving the following:

o    Difficulty in getting to sleep

o    Having nightmares

o    Panicking attacks - night/day

o    Fearing the dark

o    Needing to urinate frequently

o    Bedwetting

o    Sleep being disturbed

o    Racing thoughts

o    Massive tensing of the body

o    Aversive body sensations, e.g. being choked up, stomach churning

o    Waking early in the morning

o    Continual sleeping

o    Being tired, exhausted but wide awake

o    Breathing difficulties interrupting sleeping

A set of micro-experiences and processes for resolving the above issues

Eliminating torture and trauma associated issues - being phobic, obsessive, compulsive, having panic attacks and using problematic behaviours

Examples - being:

o    phobic

o    obsessive

o    Compulsive

o    Panicking

o    Agoraphobic

Resolving psycho-social issues associated with disfigurement

Reducing, Interrupting, Resolving and Stopping Anger and Violence

o    The roots of violence

o    The psycho-physiology of anger, fear and violence

o    Using healing Relational Mediating to resolve anger, fear, payback and other violence; stopping property damage and destruction

o    Body approaches in resolving anger

o    Resolving anger and violent behaviour in and within each of the above groups


o    Healing the suffering from torture and trauma

o    Working through grief for adults, adolescents and children

o    Artistic expression for diagnosis and healing

o    Cultural healing artistry

o    Resolving the effects of psycho-social, physical and sexual abuse in children, adolescents and adults, - feeling safe again

o    Sensory submodalities - change patterns

o    Re/empowering identity; Re/creating hope

Actions may evolve according to local operative needs, concerns and issues.

Healing Themes

The following may be possible broader healing themes:

Reconciling, Rehabilitating and Healing of Torture and Trauma Survivors

o    Negotiating priorities and needs.

o    Displaced, dispossessed and refugee issues.

o    Longer term effects of torture and trauma on the person and society.

o    Trauma and torture related disorders in the context of civil strife, warfare and the trauma of those caught in the cross-fire.

o    The painful experiences of exile, migration and re/settlement.

o    Introducing healing issues.

o    Issues for supporters and carers in the field of torture and trauma.

Specific issues and needs for healing local people

o    Issues in setting up a healing network among torture and trauma survivors.

o    Models of healing among torture and trauma survivors.

o    Supporting refugee and displaced communities.

o    Strategies for developing healing networks among torture and trauma survivors

Issues for Enablers, Healers, Supporters, and Carers

o    Enabling the Gifts of Intercultural Healing

o    The loving nurturer

o    Understanding the effects of exposure to torture and trauma in the context of civil strife and the refugee experience.

o    Effects on the children and adolescents.

o    Effects on the women

o    Effects on the family.

o    Effects on men

o    Effects on children, family and friends of torture and trauma sufferers

o    Effects on combatants, issues relating to re-habilitating combatants back into their communities (issues for combatants and other locals)

o    Rehabilitating, healing and reconciling of torture and trauma survivors in the local, national and global context.

Healing Processes

·         Forgiving - freeing blocked love - Inma

·         Principals of Healing

·         Healing Models

·         Individual Care and Caring

·         Family Community Therapy

·         Group Approaches

·         Crisis intervening and debriefing

·         Evolving local healing networks

·         Transferring and Projecting: Clearing misunderstanding transferred from the past, and projected on to the other side.

·         Anti-burnout strategies, debriefing and self-healing

·         Enabling and Guiding Enablers, Healers, Supporters and Carers

·         Ethics

Issues for skill-sharers

·         Evolving torture and trauma issues in differing contexts.

·         Developing skill-sharing possibilities.

·         Enabling contexts with possibilities for skill sharing.

·         Exercises for different purposes.

·         Enabling and guiding enablers, healers, supporters, carers.

·         Clearing transferred bias, prejudice, misunderstanding in micro-experience-sharers (counter-transference).

·         Building self help therapeutic community models of 'torture and trauma healing' in rural and remote settings.

·         Building the self-help network.

·         Debriefing enablers, carers, supporters and healers

A Framework for Intercultural Healing

·         Locals nurturers helping themselves and each other

·         Well-being for self, family, community and surrounding communities

·         Caring for land, air and seas

·         Good relating between people and with the environment.

·         Openness, fairness and love are healthier than force.

·         Using local humane caring self governance of the wellbeing process



·         Healing

·         Being a Nurturing Resource

·         Relational and Mediation Healing

·         Resolving Issues

For an extensive review of healing ways, you may want to have a look at the following pages:

Healing Ways

Healing the Mindbody

Healing Storytelling

Healing Ways of Old Man


Because of the holistic nature of people and the following healing processes, there are pervasive inter-relationships and mergings in and between the healing ways. The following healing ways are pervasively used in mediation therapy, mediation healing and other healing ways for wellbeing:

Rapport Building - flow, moving together, being at one. Ganma. A wide range of verbal and non-verbal rapport building processes can be explored.

Gathering information, monitoring and precision questioning - Using simple language models and other forms of expression that enable helpers to gently and caringly assist others to express themselves.

Accurate clues reading: survivors/disputants and their body language. Enables helpers to notice discrepancies between verbal and non-verbal behaviours as well as other unspoken indicators as an aid to resolving issues.

Language skills: Big and small chunks, Yothu-Yindi. Enables helpers to use simple, graceful, caring and healing language to foster healing.

Assessing the client's internal states, strategic and sorting patterns, and external relationships - Enables helpers to identify and use the unique aspects of how a client behaves and experiences life and makes internal representations of this experience - for enabling healing.

Well-formed outcomes in healing, mediating and problem-solving; Ebb (returning) Galtha. Enables helpers to maintain a nurturing outcomes focus.

Anchoring - Few or one-trial re/learning - This is an easy to learn process with wide applicability in healing that enables clients to expand flexibility and choice in their emotions, internal experience, personal resourcefulness and actions - towards Well-being.

Creative vagueness - This healing process enables the other person to bypass aspects of self that may hold back healing.

Reframing/de-framing - finding constructive meanings, resolving internal and external conflicts, seeing trouble in a better light. We all make our own representations of our experience, sometimes in ways that prolong pain and suffering. 'De-framing' frees up fixed ways of experiencing the world. 'Reframing' allows clients to place past and present experience within more helpful and healing frameworks.

Sensory submodalities change patterns - We all use our various senses in special ways to make sense of our lives. An extensive set of very simple processes can be explored allowing people to make profound and lasting changes in their lives and how they respond to past events.

Dissociation - separating memories from bad or violent or other aversive feelings. Simple processes can be introduced that allow people to break the previous inevitable link between recall of trauma and the re-experiencing of the associated pain. These dissociating skills reintroduce flexibility and choice back into lives; prepares participants for a subsequent experience-set relating to emotional choice.

Accessing and re-accessing psycho-social resource states - We all have a differing set of psycho-social resources states such as joy, calmness, tranquillity, engrossment and energy. Often people have a range of resource states that they have not linked into for many years. A set of experiences may be explored that enable others to tap into their resource states, enhance them, and to build new ones.

Creating healing futures - People vary in the way they use their senses to make representations of possible futures. Some people have no processes for making representations of the future. They literally can't see a future for themselves. Others can only see bleak futures. Skills can be explored that allow people to build internal representations of healing futures that can sustain and enrich.

Changing personal history, re-imprinting, creating hopeful futures - evolving Well-being perspectives on previous painful or angry attitudes. People make representations or 'maps' of their experience and use their senses in specific ways to 'file' experience. For example, some recall 'good' times as very small hazy grey two dimensional images that are seen at a great distance in the mind's eye, whereas awful experiences are recalled larger than life in full color right before one's eyes. For these people, to 'recall' is to relive and re-experience the pain and anguish or anger and vengeance. At the same time both the present and past good times can be devalued and no source of pleasure. Such processes can continually traumatize. Experience has demonstrated that helping people explore and change how they use their brain and senses can have profound healing value.

Altering emotional states - A set of processes can be explored that allow people to readily enter and leave any emotional state at will, towards having emotional flexibility and choice.

Accessing states and chaining - resourceful habits and good moods; dramatic pattern-interrupt. Life scenes. This is a set of skills that allows some of the prior skills to be used together to obtain healing outcomes.

Mediating Metaphor - storytelling, performance and image writing as parables for healthy tolerance and cooperative living. Throughout time stories and other forms of metaphor have been used for promoting healing change. A set of specific skills can be explored for creating simple though powerful healing metaphors.

Caring and sharing the Aboriginal way - home, street and rural therapeutic, relational and Healing Mediating. An extensive set of micro-skills and processes can be explored that foster relationship building and healing happening between people in conflict within a Healing Mediating frame.

Conversational change - This skill allows healing Action to take place 'on the run' as it were, as one goes about relating with other people in day-to-day contexts.

Context counselling, street mediation and group story performance - Draws on indigenous healing process, corroboree, therapeutic communities, dance movement and Keyline organic farming concepts and processes. Uses natural and evolving contexts as healing possibilities. Embraces Mediation Therapy and Relational Healing.

Mapping Across - freeing limiting beliefs and attitudes. A set of processes and skills can be explored that allow clients to free up limiting beliefs and attitudes towards more flexibility and choice.

Increasing flexibility and choice relating to use of bad or rigid habits - Releasing over-dependence and blocked emotion. These are a set of skills and processes that are simple to use and profound in effect. They involve using language and sensory experience in specific ways that can loosen up recurrent unpleasant body sensations such as chest and throat constriction, churning stomachs as well as stop compulsive, obsessive and phobic behaviours.

Self-Mediating skills for criticism and argument - The friendly voice. This set of skills and processes again uses shifts in the particular way people use words and their senses to make sense of the world.

Healing Movement and Somatic Processes - Many body approaches to change are available that involve becoming aware of how we move and tense our bodies. People who are depressed typically look depressed. They literally are low. Often they have shoulders slumped forward. The spine is shortened. They may pull their heads in. Anyone adopting this set of body holding patterns could soon start to feel awful! This hints that we can change states by moving away from problematic postures. Healing Movement process involves very simple movement with awareness of the movement. These simple processes allow graceful and elegant movement towards sustainable Well-being.

Outdoor Action play - Individual and group experiences, processes, initiatives and rituals for building trust in self and others, in building cooperation, community enrichment, self resourcefulness, self reliance, group support and in improving dispute solving.

Intercultural and inter-ethnic consensus - respect for cultural diversity; negotiation of meaning; joint authority; the principles of humanitarian (caring) law. Processes and skills for establishing healing relating between differing cultures and ethnic groupings.

Developing ethnic and cultural self esteem - resolving shame and guilt. Many of the above skills can be used in resolving these issues.

The Australian Bliss-symbols system - the blissful picture writing view - re-viewing and imaging; uses processes adapted from Aboriginal bark and sand painting and drawing, iconic images, healing artistry and the Australian Bliss-symbols system.

Cultural healing Action - Processes drawing on influences from traditional and other cultures around the world, especially from the Oceania Region. Refer the Cultural Healing Action Page.

Cultural Healing Action can run from less than an hour to several days (or weeks). People are involved in energetic and not so energetic games and activities - in drama, music, creative writing, dance, visual arts, theatre, group dynamics and the like.

Enablers have a broad concept of activities and possibilities for the time together. Typically, the process starts out structured. After a time, activities and games begin to emerge out of the spontaneous responding of the participants, with Action evolving from the energy and inclination of the moment. In a very real sense, the participants evolve their own experience together.

Participants of all ages explore creative and artistic ways of examining their local cultural Well-being issues of concern to the participants and their communities; for example: sexual, alcohol and drug abuse, violence, torture, trauma, grief, suicide and correctional healing experiences. They may create short plays, songs and rhythms, poems, stories, dances, murals and postcards, and other materials about these issues.

The healing cultural activities as well as the dynamic group relating provide corrective, remedial, and generative emotional experiences that lead to personal and group issues actually being healed/resolved during the process of exploring them. At the same time participants are gaining competencies that they can use in the future.

Cultural healing Action in general terms involves actively fostering and sustaining cultural Well-being. It fosters people extending their own culture as a balance to other cultures that may be dominant, elitist and oppressive. As well, it is a movement for intercultural reconciliation and Well-being. It fosters the developing of Quick Response Healing Teams to resolve local community and international conflict (peacehealing). It provides scope for people to actively engender and promote values, language, practices, modes of Action, arts and other aspects of a way of life (culture). These in turn facilitate social emancipation, intercultural healing, cultural justice, as well as social and environmental well-being, caring lore and humane governance.


The loving nurturing includes heartfelt stirrings of Inma - the maternal and universal love of and from the Aboriginal Women of the Centre, and Bougainvillian Rataiku 'haharusingo' meaning 'loving wisdom in action'.

The healing mediation balance level is extended from family therapy, the Family Mediation Services of Ontario, Canada, and the sociohealing ways of the Tikopia.

Context counselling, street mediation and group story performance includes origins from corroboree, therapeutic communities, Nelpful analysis (neurolinguistic programming), dance movement and Keyline organic farming.

Intercultural consensus includes Arnhem land Yolngu negotiation of meaning, joint-authority, and concepts such as Ganma, Galtha and Yothu-yindi. It is informed by principles of humanitarian law.

The blissful picture writing view is adapted from aboriginal bark and sand painting, iconic images, and the Australian Bliss-symbols system.

Cultural Healing Action is adapted from Oceania experience and applications among Aboriginal and small minority people.

The Action approach is modified from mountaineering ropes courses, wilderness leadership, and the work of Scout Lee. She is a native American doctor of education who has used ropes and ritual in improving dispute solving and community enrichment.


The experiential process that may be used in this Plan are set out in the Micro-experiences for Sharing Healing Ways Page.

This Plan and the Micro-proposal may well form a model for wider support by government, non government organisations and community based organisations.

The above organic process is resonant with our local ways within Bougainville and with both the Foundations and the Laceweb enablers' desire firstly, to use 'self help' processes and secondly, to stay clear of a kind of pseudo-help that disempowers and leaves control of process and content to outside 'experts'.

Our Foundations and Laceweb enablers, both Bougainvillians and others have worked closely with people from Bougainville in evolving this Plan and the associated Micro-proposal. Both are based on the 'participatory mutual-help and self-help' model and on evolving informal local healing support networks. They are pervasively keeping to the processes we Bougainville people are asking for. They draw on the practical experience and skill base of Laceweb self help in remote areas of Australia and the SE Asia Oceania Region. Uncompromising funding support can see the self help healing network that's already evolving within Bougainville blossom.

The possibility is that the further evolving of these healing networks will not only help bring healing to a war ravaged people, it may well be the major process for consolidating the peace process.


Perhaps you may want to support this Micro-Action and be part of an extra-ordinary healing Odyssey.

Other links:


Wider Plan


Laceweb Home Page


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