Agenda template

This template is meant for you to find tips and recommendations on how to plan your own training - feel free to adapt any elements to your own situation, venue, survivor group, etc.

How to schedule your training

Welcome to our agenda template page based on our training manual. Here you can find a template for three full days of training, based on an agenda for a session we held in 2016. Click here to get the full pdf.

DAY 1: Introduction to training – Trauma and the Butterfly Woman

This training material has been written for the many people who in different ways provide direct assistance to women who survive gender-based and sexual trauma during disasters, wars and conflicts, where helpers have limited or no access to specialized health services

Several highly relevant manuals and guidelines cover aspects of gender-based violence, including the prevention of GBV, the education of men and boys, and GBV in emergency settings. The goal of this training is to fill a gap by providing more information on how to engage with survivors of GBV and how GBV, as a trauma, affects mental health. We hope that it will help trainers to identify and understand signs of distress, and deal with the different responses that women display after they experience traumatic events.


The importance of respect, willingness to help and listen, readiness to allow survivors to control their stories, respect for their self-determination as well as, the need to know how to manage closeness and distance, how to give positive support and tolerate silence is important. The training includes elements of theory, but focuses on practical training techniques that directly assist survivors.  We hope this gives helpers tools they can use to assist survivors of gender-based violence to rebuild their lives and rediscover their sense of dignity.  NB This is a suggestive time table, if we need breaks more often we will allow time for that, or if we need more time to discuss an issue we will expand the schedule for that.

Module objectives

  1. Introductions and training expectations – get to know the participants.
  2. Identify and understand key concepts related to trauma.
  3. Increased awareness of the consequences of violence against women and the impact on mental health.



DAY 2: Butterfly Woman and the good life, triggers (trauma-reminders) and flashbacks

We explain the healing paths out of trauma, and show that the reactions and symptoms are natural reactions and symptoms that are to be expected. Through the Butterfly Woman we can explain methods to regulate responses. Because the metaphor enables the survivor to distance herself, and she does not talk directly about herself, that allows her not to have flashbacks or feel ashamed as she might otherwise. Together with the helper, the survivor will be able to reflect, and not feeling lonely. We will understand how people behave when they experience trauma, and feel less shameful.

Having guided the routes to healing after trauma, and provided motives for learning the tools and techniques, we enter a new and practical phase of the training. The participants will learn different techniques, addressing different symptoms, and experience for themselves how we can use our senses to regulate responses in the body, thoughts, breathing, feelings and heart.

Module objectives

  1. Explain the healing paths out of trauma
  2. Through the Butterfly Woman we explain methods to regulate responses
  3. And introducing recovery skills




DAY 3: Stabilization, reporting, back to community, closing

Discuss further techniques of stabilization. Stabilization is a slow process. We will also focus on how to deal with a survivor’s story without waking up her trauma ex, when reporting. Emphasizing our core elements of recovery and continue practicing the techniques. How can survivors return to society with a sense of dignity?

Module objectives

  1. Repeating stabilization techniques
  2. How to bring someone back out to the society.
  3. Key issues to bring back to our daily work


About Trainers

Dr. Nora Sveaass, Clinical psychologist. Ass Professor at the University of Oslo, she is head of Health and Human Rights Info, member of UN Committee against torture. Sveaass has worked for many years with victims of violence at the Psychosocial Center for Refugees at the University Oslo. She directs a research project on transitional justice in Peru and Argentina, and has taken part in the development of the training manual on mental health consequences of GBV and ways of dealing with this.

Helen Christie, Clinical psychologist, special advisor at the Regional Centre for Children and Adolescent Mental Health, East and South (R-BUP). She has long working experience with sexual abuse of children and patients with late effects as adults, refugee children in Norway, children in war zones and trauma. She has taken part in the development of the training manual on mental health consequences of GBV.