Table of Contents

2016 Jan • International Training at Peace Place

International Training

at Peace Place in Pati, Central Java, Indonesia

4 – 10 January 2016

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The workshop began with Alternatives to Violence basic training and continued with Trauma Resiliency and Developmental Play to promote recovery from colonization and oppression and reconstitute a peaceful heart and functional capabilities. A special day on secondary trauma resiliency, particularly compassion fatigue, with trauma specialist Lee Norton, was included.

Updates from the training:

Greetings from Friend Peace Teams in Indonesia

Team meeting in the scorching heat with the back open to the rice fields and the fan on high. Photo: Gisele Fowle, Peace Place, Pati, Central Java, Indonesia, 2016.

Using the practice of the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) approach, the team all identified positive adjectives that began with the same sound as our names and a team name. For the International Peace Training, we were the Colorful Team (Tim Warna-Warni) and our individual affirmation names were: Gisele Gigih (indomitable), Florida, USA; Kins Kuat (strong), Bohol, Philippines; Lee Legowo (accepting), Tennessee, USA; Nadine Nyaman (comforting), from New York, USA; Vidya Wasis (wise), Canberra, Australia; and Petrus Peduli (caring), Nanik Nyata (real) and Ninok Nikmat (enjoyable), from Peace Place, Pati, Central Java, Indonesia.

We learned a great deal from each other, feeling like we were all a bit more ready to return to our various places and continue to support the slow, sometimes-inperceptible changes within us that lead to peaceful, healthy communities.


International Peace Training at Peace Place, Pati, Central Java

International Peace Training 2016: Ayis, Angito and Yufa (left to right) eating their lunch at the International Peace Training. Photo: Gisele Fowle, Peace Place, Pati, Central Java, Indonesia 2016.

The diversity of participants added much to the training this year. We welcomed two participants from West Papua, Bu Welly and Fredy, as well as participants from the Australia, the Philippines, the U.S. and Indonesia. Housewives, teachers, religious leaders, college students, and some of their children. The children attending Joglo Preschool were taken to the house for a nap when we told stories of violence or trauma, but for the most part children who attend school here were able to play quietly and peacefully together for the six hours per day of workshop sessions. One mother tried to bring her son, who had never joined our programs, but he was not able to stay calm enough without requiring lots of attention. She realized that she would not be able to bring her son, and found a sitter. But during the workshop her story of trauma was about trying to stand up for her children, that they should not be drilled, threatened and beaten at school, and when asked, “When was it over?” She looked surprised, “Yesterday, when I walked into this place and realized there was a place near me that treated children with love and respect!”


Peace Place Attracts New Families

Nanik, center, meets with new families. Photo: Gizele Fowle, Peace Place, Pati, Central Java, Indonesia 2016.

During our six-day International Peace Training, Nanik continued to received a number of families inquiring as to whether or not Peace Place would accept their children. She explained to them Peace Place’s commitment to nonviolence and inclusion. Parents have heard that Peace Place’s education is extremely successful, but she explains that our approach requires learning and change on the part of the parents and families as well as the students. The influence and affects of the parents or primary caregivers and families will always outstrip the effects of a teacher’s, so Peace Place expects the parents to be learning as well as the children. Some families light up at the opportunity, others say “yeah, yeah, just take my kid.” Working with parents often proves much harder than working with the children. Nanik and the teachers have been highly successful with children who were formally very disruptive or very withdrawn. The local hospitals now send children to Peace Place that they don’t know what to do with.

Lee Norton, from the Center for Trauma Therapy in Nashville, joining the Friends Peace Team, helped the staff understand that 80% or the time or more when a child or adult is not helped by medication, it’s because the root cause of trauma was misdiagnosed as ADD, ADHD or Hyper-active, depression, developmental delay, autism, or bi-polar disorder depending on how the nervous system became disrupted. Peace Place offers a place for adults and children to slow down and calm down and to begin to explore and interact in a safe and consistent environment, allowing astonishing healing and therefore learning and wellness to occur.


Peace Place launches a Teen-AVP Program 2016

Vidya from Canberra Australia, who’s spent the past year traveling with Friends Peace Teams in Nepal, Indonesia and briefly in Singapore doing Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops, talking with Petrus, Founder of Peace Place in Pati Central Java, Indonesia.

Vidya and Petrus discussing activities for the training programs at Peace Place. Photo: Gisele Fowle, of Vidya from Canberra, Australia and Petrus at Peace Place, Pati, Central Java, Indonesia, 2016.

Petrus realizes that to help the Javanese recognize the personal and cultural damage caused by their colonial history and to heal from it requires long-term behavioral change. Unless they can SEE signifiant enough results, adults will not commit what it takes. The place where the adults see significant change is in their children. At Peace Place we literally see three to six year olds so disrupted by trauma that no adult feels they can “handle” the child. Two or three years of consistent love, non-anxious attention and developmentally appropriate activities and the goodness and capabilities begin to shine. Petrus feels that to bring peace education to his community, the only opening is through the children. In addition, we note that through United to End Racism and the listening projects we have learned that to end entrenched violence among adults in a community, we must change the way people interact with and treat their children. People who are oppressed and people who oppress others, both oppress their own children, in both cases in order to prepare their children for the world. Those living in oppressive settings have a hard time imagining a world that is not oppressive and if you don’t want your child to become a victim, you must prepare them to avoid unfair and unnecessary power over others, or at the very least to be able to withstand oppression. People who think of themselves as very peaceful often cannot stand a “difficult child”, even for 3-5 minutes.

These breakdowns of peaceful, daily practices show up most markedly in junior high school. Many of the Junior High Schools in the area currently hire outside programs in search of people and activities that can help keep the kids active and engaged enough to avoid other problems. Vidya has been doing many school-based AVP-mini workshops in Nepal over the past few months, and Petrus is hopeful that she can assist him in designing a number of mini-workshop series that can be offered to junior high schools. We are reminded too, of the power of parent education, and hopefully parents of these children will want to come to the routine Peace Place training sessions.


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Dr. Lee Norton has over 25 years of experience in the area of anxiety and traumatic stress disorders. Among many other accomplishments, she established the Norton-Baldwin Trauma Clinic in Coron, Philippines, where she treated orphaned and abandoned children, and trained therapists to assess and treat traumatic stress disorders. Dr. Norton is founder and owner of Center for Trauma Therapy, where she is director of trauma therapy.  Her philosophy is based on the principles of self-determination and native wisdom.

We’re grateful to Lee (Legowo “Accepting”) Norton for bringing a new activity to us. The photo below shows the poster to go with this activity. We did it in Indonesian and cut up the center circle, the bottom third and the top 2/3rd as one piece and set them out in stages along with the activity below. It was very helpful to people here.


ACTIVITY: “Core Self and Distresses”

We each have a core self, but feelings and capabilities get broken off, “out of touch with the core” and become rigid distress patterns.



We each have a “Core Self” (Indonesian “nurani”) that’s original, compassionate, caring, calm, clear, confident, connected, creative, worthy, peaceful, capable, present. When young, child emotions, sensations, feelings that got rigid, distress patterns arose to protect us.

• In a circle in the center of a large piece of paper, write Core Self, remember that feeling in myself and draw it in that circle.
When we’re overwhelmed, especially in the womb or very young (hard not to be sooner or later), emotional parts that rise up as warnings to protect us can’t be met or adapted to, and so get pushed away — fear, helplessness, isolation, loneliness, neediness, shame, terror, worthlessness, immaturity, sense of permanently damaged. When these emotions intrude on one’s awareness and one “loses touch with” one’s core self.

• Below the Core Self circle, name and draw: When I “lose touch with my core”, what feeling has usually arrived?
• Do a Grounding: learn to notice that when I’m distressed, and that I can also come back to this safe time and place and to my core self.
These rigid patterns may show up as managers in order to not feel the hurt — striver, judge, perfectionist, pleaser, co-dependent, organizer, rules, compulsive care taking, anticipating needs of others, passive — or as firefighters to ward off unwanted feelings (numb or distract) — alcohol/drugs, eating, self harm, risk taking, thrill seeking, spending, sexual acting out, anger, rage, dissociation, suicide, sleep.

• Name and draw my protectors: upper left any managers and upper right any fire fighters.
• Do a Grounding: practice coming back to this safe time and place and to my core self.
Internal managers and firefighters just want to tell their story, know the core is safe and not have to do their job all the time. Rigid distress patterns return to being natural capabilities when needed rather than feeling like they have to be on alert or pressing their point all the time.

• Debrief with a companion: Each describe my picture to one another and whatever insights I gained, then what it felt like to do that and how I feel now.

Goal: To learn about one’s core self, allow the distressed parts to tell their stories, and let the distressed parts know that the current, mature self is listening, paying attention, understanding, safe and capable. The core self can lead now, the distressed part does not have to lead any longer (unburdening).


ACTIVITY: “Good Companion”

A good companion listens from one’s core self, pays attention to the other’s core self, and occasionally calls the other back to their core self with one’s voice, curiosity in their story, a light touch or other effective method.

Good Companion

==> Listen from the core self with relaxed, non-anxious attention.
==> Notice the core self of the other, s/he is good and capable.

==> Keep the other in touch with their core self: sound, questions curious in their story, light touch

==> When distracted:
Notice the distress, name it if possible.
Thank you (for coming, I know you’re here to protect me).
I’m safe right now. (here in this place and time my current age of ___).
Would it be okay to wait and I’ll come back to you later?
(Make a note in one’s journal to remember to come back.)

==> Exchange time equally to share and listen.
NOTE: DO NOT promise to come back if I do not do it. Give this distress some time and attention when it’s my turn as a companion.

Use the steps of the Good Companion Activities.
Much love,