Working with Torture Survivors

Join the Conversation

Tuesday, July 7th to Wednesday, September 30th

Please join us in an online, open forum on telehealth. NCB is providing an opportunity for clinicians to ask each other questions, share observations and adapted telehealth protocols for the SoT population via an online forum and technical exchange. This conversation will be a forum for peer-led informational exchange. NCB staff will assist in facilitating and monitoring the conversation.

Directions: Please watch Eugene Augusterfer’s presentation and interview Telemedicine in Mental Health first. Then feel free to join us in this open forum. All are welcome to join this forum, whether you have an account on or not. For more information on using the forum, please read the directions on the first post. Please keep your comments respectful, relevant, factual, and do not share identifying information about clients per client privacy and HIPAA regulations. This forum will be open from July 6, 2020 through September 30, 2020.

Use the menu at right to explore all of the mental health evaluator training resources in this section.

Click the title of a resource below to read or leave comments, or easily share the resource.

Chapter 3: Core Competencies in Working with Survivors

Attachment(s): PDF icon Healing_the_Hurt_Ch3.pdf

When providers are familiar with and respect the culture, language, and trauma experience of their clients, they create bridges of understanding. In order to provide appropriate and effective services, professionals need to develop a degree of expertise in the following four core fields of competency: KNOWLEDGE of the life experiences and resettlement issues of refugees, asylum seekers and asylees before, during, and after the violence; COMPREHENSION of torture and its long-term effects on survivors, their families, their community, and professionals who work with them; CULTURAL COMPETENCE with traumatized people; WORKING EFFECTIVELY with interpreters. This chapter provides information on the four competency areas that apply to providers in all disciplines and service domains.

Communicating Effectively Through an Interpreter

Cross Cultural Health Care Program (1998)

This excellent 28-minute video helps providers with: choosing an appropriate interpreter; recognizing the signs of professional and unprofessional interpretation; working effectively with a trained interpreter; guiding an untrained interpreter.
Note: Available for purchase; cost $150 in 2012


General Considerations for Interviews

Physicians for Human Rights (2001), Physicians for Human Rights Tools and Resources


Improving patient–provider communication: insights from interpreters

Hudelson, Patricia. (2005) in Family Practice 2005; 22: 311–316.

The article focuses on effective patient-provider communication as a way to ensure high quality medical care, and the role interpreters play in translating cultural cues.