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Jim Knipe - Elizabeth Snyker Award

Created by Trauma Recovery, EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs

Jim Knipe - Elizabeth Snyker Award

Please join us in congratulating Jim Knipe for receiving the 2021 Elizabeth Snyker Award!

About Jim:

Jim Knipe has been a part of the Trauma Recovery/HAP volunteer community since the organization first got started in 1995. He was a member of Sandra Wilson’s training team for the first HAP Project: EMDR Part I and Part II training in Oklahoma City after the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in 1995.

Then from October, 1999 – June, 2005 Jim was Coordinator for the HAP response to the August, 1999 Marmara, Turkey, earthquake in which 25,000 people died, and hundreds of thousands more were witnesses to the destruction. A Turkish friend, Emre Konuk called to ask if Jim could “just come over for a few days and talk to us about how to do EMDR.” With the help of Emre’s funding and organizational skills, and email (a new thing at the time), a 16 member international EMDR training team was organized. Phil Manfield and Jim went into Istanbul a few days before the training, and with the help of translators, made EMDR demonstration tapes to show to the 60+ Turkish therapists. At the recommendation of Elan Shapiro from Israel, the training time was extended to six days. Since many of the training participants were themselves experiencing posttraumatic stress from the earthquake, the time of the supervised practicum was doubled, and then the team traveled to the tent cities throughout the earthquake zone to supervise the newly trained therapists who were working with traumatized people.

For an additional 5 ½ years, HAP trainings continued 2x per year, and then continued from that time with Israeli trainers and facilitators. More than 15,000 people with earthquake PTSD were eventually treated in the tent city clinics. Currently, EMDR Turkey is a thriving organization with one of the largest memberships within EMDR Europe.

In 2001, Jim coordinated the first HAP trainings in Palestine, with programs in Bethlehem and in Ramallah. These trainings occurred at the time of the intifada, and participants often overcame significant dangers and obstacles in order to attend. The sponsor for these HAP programs, Mona Zaghrout, of the Beit Sahour YMCA clinic, has done research on how EMDR creates resilience in traumatized children. Mona is today the first EMDR trainer in Arabic, with trainings not only for Palestinian therapists, but also for Egyptian, Iraqi and Lebanese therapists, with additional trainings planned all through the Middle East.

Jim returned from the first trainings in Palestine on September 8, 2001, three days before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He and Barbara Korzun, Gina Colleli and William Zangwell organized a program in October in the New York/New Jersey area – an EMDR refresher course for previously trained therapists (very well attended, standing room only!) and a pro bono program of therapy for people traumatized by the attacks or those involved in cleanup of the attack site. The published report describing this program was one of the first showing the efficacy of EMDR following a widespread disaster.

In 2000, Francine Shapiro received a request from UNICEF to explore the possibility of EMDR trainings for therapists in the areas of Indonesia in civil war. Jim went to Indonesia, with Michael Keller and Rehana Sedat, to make contacts and pave the way for a series of HAP trainings that took place in Banda Ache during the next two years.

Then, in December 2004, Indonesia and all coastal areas of the Indian Ocean experienced a historically devastating tsunami. Jim, as HAP Director of Programs and Research, together with Bob Gelbach, Rosalie Thomas, Nancy Errebo, Karen Forte, Carol Forgash and many other volunteers, organized EMDR training programs for not only Indonesia, but also for the earthquake-affected areas of Sri Lanka, Thailand and India.

Since 2007, following this work for HAP, Jim, through writings and trainings, has described a set of EMDR “Tools” - specific interventions and methods for treating Complex PTSD and dissociative disorders. In 2015, Jim's two-day training in Olympia Washington was videotaped, and made available as a fundraiser for HAP. This video has frequently been viewed by therapists in developing countries with many newly trained therapists, with Jim providing pro bono consultation following this video.

From 1995 to present day, Jim has been a dedicated and vital part of Trauma Recovery/HAP’s efforts to bring EMDR to those in need worldwide.

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