Tina Borg


Nobel Peace Prize Winner Desmond M. Tutu and Tina at his and wife Leah's 50th Wedding Anniversary

 - Soweto, South Africa - 2005 

X-PAIN-T® has been developed by Tina during 20 years. As a Finn with a past in Switzerland and the PR and business world - including Formula 1 and film festivals - she made a radical change and studied Fine Arts in New Zealand before entering prisons around the world with X-PAIN-T®. It is based on well-being, emotions and the brain and how to integrate the left and right hemispheres by bilateral painting, i.e. both hands. With a strong belief in the effectiveness of the X-PAIN-T® self-awareness process she decided to first go to South Africa in 2003 with the goal to test the method in a challenging environment, i.e. prison. Her hypothesis was that X-PAIN-T® provides tools to rehabilitate violent individuals and there is a link between abuse (incl. corporal punishment as discipline) and neglect in childhood and aggressive/violent behaviour later. Why prison? We all benefit from every rehabilitated violent offender through the ripple effect in society: less victims and violence, less children who have to fear their abusive parents. Tina  promotes a No2theBelt-Yes2Boundaries policy among prisoners – as a way of child protection in prison, to stop inmates abuse their children and create more violent individuals. Now it has come full-circle and Tina is back in Finland.

Tina Borg is now back in her native Finland after more than 20 years abroad. The combination of her curiosity of the world as well as her interest in foreign languages, made her take ”the first flight out” of Finland after finishing High School. She has mainly lived in Switzerland, but also in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the USA.

Language skills:
Swedish: native language
English, Finnish, German + Swiss German, French, Italian, Spanish, Afrikaans

With a past in the international corporate world in Switzerland including stints to Cannes film festivals and Formula 1 events, fine arts studies in New Zealand and offender rehabilitation through art-based bilateral painting in South Africa, the USA and the Philippines.

Human behavior has always intrigued Tina since her early teens, especially the reasons of offending and violent behavior as well as imprisonment, how some people persevere while others in identical circumstances give up/become worst.

More than twenty years ago, Tina had a hunch about bilateral painting as a means to better get  access to one's feelings and emotions, that is, using both the non-dominant and the dominant hands. She had basic and very limited knowledge about the brain, basically that the left hemisphere of the brain is considered to be the logic side and the right side of the brain is the feeling and creative one. Hence, it appeared to be rather logical approach for her to involve the non-dominant hand in an attempt to balance and access the whole brain. It was also about trying to stop the noisy chattering of the brain. It's only later that she learned the biology in that the language area is not where the emotions are.

Tina is totally convinced that X-PAIN-T® (initially also called: XAP and X-PAIN) would not have seen the light of the day had she followed any set curriculum such as Art Therapy. X-PAIN-T® is different in most aspects. The common nominator is that art-based mediums are being used.

believed. and saw potential in an art-based bilateral approach to rehabilitate offending behavior and began to develop her own method which finally after a few name-changes became  X-PAIN-T®. In March 1998 she made an attempt to organized the first bilateral painting workshops ...but nobody showed up.

Mostly based on her intuition/gut-feeling she felt confident that this  new and unconventional  art-based method will rehabilitate violent offenders. Old ways won't open new doors. She wanted to test the method in a challenging environment and with that in mind she decided she wanted to test it in a prison, not in her native Finland but in South Africa. Said and done.

She is convinced that her brain-child the X-PAIN-T® method  never would have seen the light of the day had she followed a set path by taking a more traditional route. Tina chose ”to go to her own university” which took her to prisons around the world, fortunately as a non-criminal.

Considering the multitude of benefits and positive effects with X-PAIN-T® Tina felt an urge to learn more about the biology and the brain why X-PAIN-T® works so well in diverse and challenging populations and settings, regardless of cognitive skills, language, age and culture.

This led her to do independent research during the past two years in order to understand the biology of the brain. The brain is the body's computer.

Tina considers the key to take a different route for the sake of bringing forward this something in me, which later took the shape of X-PAIN-T.  She is convinced that her idea and instinct  would have been destroyed had she followed any set curriculum and consequently X-PAIN-T would not have been born.

It was not until 2014 that Tina learned about the late medical pioneer Dr. John E. Sarno (d. 2018) and she felt she now had “a psychological explanation by a medical doctor” to explain one basic aspect as to the effectiveness of  X-PAIN-T® that has proven to have psychodynamic properties. - Paint Your Pain – Write Yourself Right - .Through his findings – which focus on the devastating impact of repressed and/or suppressed anger and the causes behind anger. He also focus on the effects of displaced anger (such as e.g. road rage and racism) -  The  psychodynamic theory is about how childhood experiences shape us as adults. It is about understanding oneself better. Although Tina does not have any professional medical background, she found that ”her own layman findings” based on her experience among both victims and perpetrators of violence, coincide with the views and findings of Dr. Sarno, author of various books including “The Divided Mind – The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders”.

Dr. John E. Sarno lists the following four sources of rage and emotional reactions:
- Anger, emotional pain, and sadness that can be traced back to childhood
- Anger stemming from the self-imposed pressure to be perfect and good
- Anger generated from the pressures of life




- Miscellaneous things like guilt, shame, fear, insecurity, and vulnerability that also feed the reservoir of rage

Tina considers corporal punishment and other adverse childhood experience (physical, sexual, emotional abuse and/or emotional, and/or physical neglect) as factors causing anger and that can feed the reservoir of rage and can result in violence.