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Group Treatment for Survivors of Torture and Severe Trauma: A Literature Review

This new literature review was coauthored by The National Capacity Building Project at the Center for Victims of Torture, the National Partnership for Community Training at Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, and an expert in the torture rehabilitation field. It was published in Torture Journal (Vol. 26 No. 1).

Group treatment is an approach that can be used with larger groups of survivors and addresses a range of treatment issues. The authors examined key clinical practice issues for group treatment, including group composition and content, facilitation, and measurement strategies. The article points to a growing interest in the topic of group treatment for survivors of torture and severe violence, providing a comprehensive picture of group-based interventions, and highlighting the need for additional research and knowledge-building.

Manual on Brief Ethnographic Interviewing: Understanding an Issue, Problem or Idea from a Local Perspective

The brief ethnographic interviewing methods described in this manual were originally developed for use by NGO’s providing psychosocial and mental health interventions to address two recurring needs - how to quickly and systematically gather and organize information (needs, problems, beliefs, strengths, etc.) when implementing programs with new populations or communities or develop culturally relevant indicators for evaluating the effectiveness of psychosocial and mental health interventions.
The technique involves using a brief semi-structured interview, framed around a question, to

You told me your story without words

Seeking asylum,

You were new in my country.
Your lawyer brought you to see me.
In his suit, he was flustered.
He spoke to you in your language and motioned to me.
There, he seemed to say, she is a woman.
You can talk to her.
I made tea.

The three of us sat in donated chairs at a child size table.
He did the talking.
He told me the story of your day in court.
How you cried and could not answer the questions:
“What happened when you were interrogated for the second time?”
You could not say.
Listening on your little chair, you looked down at your hands.
You curled


Group Treatment with Survivors of Torture 1 - The Orientation Group: PSOT's Approach to Welcoming and Further Resourcing

With this webinar, the NCB Project began a series:  Group Treatment with Survivors of Torture.
Survivors of Torture programs across the US are creating and using innovative and effective techniques in providing treatment services through groups. In this series, we will feature three torture rehabilitation programs that are conducting group treatment, within Judith Herman's three-staged framework - as written about in her book, Trauma and Recovery.
The first session in this series took place on March 18th at 2:00 PM EDT and features Melba Sullivan of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of

Selection & Implementation of Evidence Based Practices: Clinical Worldviews in the Care of Torture Survivors: Part 1 of Mollica Series

Dr. Mollica leads this webinar on the imprtance of understanding differing worldviews in the treatment of survivors of torture. As physicians treat patients from traditional societies, understanding their background it critical. Because many patients are not familiar with western medicine, it is important for the service provider to implement numerous components (biological/medical, psychological, social, and spiritual). To accomplish this, Mollica suggests developing a relationship with the patient, gaining their trust, and empathizing with the patient’s personal conditions.

Torture Survivors and their Power: Strengths-based Treatment

Individuals who have been tortured have lost their power during their experiences. The right to stop pain, make choices, and direct one's life are taken away during torture. Using strengths-based approaches, providers can prevent taking their power away again. We can recognize that they are the expert in what they need; they have all that is necessary to survive; and that the power to grow is innate within them. In this webinar we'll discuss some of the theory and methods behind strengths-based care. After participating in the Webinar participants will be able to: 1) Describe the theory and methods used in strengths-based care. 2) Recognize how strengths-based approaches can inform their own interactions with their clients

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