Healing and Human Rights: A Blog by the Center for Victims of Torture

Showing all blog posts in Center for Victims of Torture

Curt Goering

Curt Goering, CVT's executive director, calls on all Americans to remember that torture is, in fact, a crime.

Veronica Lavet

In our international projects, our healing work for torture and war trauma survivors is conducted through group counseling. Groups typically meet for 10 weeks. This is the eighth in a series of posts by Veronica Laveta as she follows the counseling group cycle in Jordan. Veronica Laveta is CVT’s clinical advisor for the Jordan project.

Read previous entries.

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Veronica Lavet

In our international projects, our healing work for torture and war trauma survivors is conducted through group counseling. Groups typically meet for 10 weeks. This is the sixth in a series of posts by Veronica Laveta as she follows the counseling group cycle in Jordan. Veronica Laveta is CVT’s clinical advisor for the Jordan project.

Read other entries in the series.

Veronica Lavet

After building a sense of safety and confidence in the survivors during the first three counseling sessions, we slowly enter the trauma processing phase of the group cycle. In session four, we have them first imagine themselves as birds flying over rivers that represent their lives. They draw their rivers of life, starting with birth, placing symbols and labels for traumatic events and for times when life was calm or happy.

Veronica Lavet

With trauma, we often lose touch of our bodies. Our breathing and body movements contract, which reduces our ability to cope. With a focused attention breathing exercise, we are helping survivors learn how to calm their thoughts and emotions by paying attention to their breathing. The body map exercise deepens survivors’ awareness of where trauma “lives” in the body and how to use coping strategies and strengths to help counteract the physical and emotional pain.

With trauma, we often lose touch of our bodies. Our breathing and body movements contract, which reduces our ability to cope. With a focused attention breathing exercise, we are helping survivors learn how to calm their thoughts and emotions by paying attention to their breathing. The body map exercise deepens survivors’ awareness of where trauma “lives” in the body and how to use coping strategies and strengths to help counteract the physical and emotional pain. - See more at: http://www.cvt.org/blog/healing-and-human-rights/jordan-counseling-group... With trauma, we often lose touch of our bodies. Our breathing and body movements contract, which reduces our ability to cope. With a focused attention breathing exercise, we are helping survivors learn how to calm their thoughts and emotions by paying attention to their breathing. The body map exercise deepens survivors’ awareness of where trauma “lives” in the body and how to use coping strategies and strengths to help counteract the physical and emotional pain. - See more at: http://www.cvt.org/blog/healing-and-human-rights/jordan-counseling-group...
Veronica Lavet

In our international projects, our healing work for torture and war trauma survivors is conducted through group counseling. Groups typically meet for ten weeks. This is the first in a series of posts following the counseling group cycle in Jordan.

Veronica Laveta is CVT’s clinical advisor for the Jordan project.

Read other entries in this series.

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Ben Kohler

It was in the early 1980s that Ben Kohler read about Governor Rudy Perpich’s proposal to create a center for torture survivors. “I learned about the center before it was even a center.”  He remembers reading articles and letters in the newspaper in opposition to the idea and his sense of shock. “I just couldn’t understand how anyone could oppose something so good and so needed.”  It motivated him to start supporting CVT’s work shortly after it became a reality.

Judy Twala

Judith Twala, MA, is a psychotherapist/trainer with the Center for Victims of Torture in Dadaab, Kenya. Dadaab is the world’s largest refugee camp in the northeast region of Kenya, close to the Somali border. Most refugees in this complex of camps are from Somalia with others from South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries.

 

As a psychotherapist /trainer with the CVT Dadaab project, I have been interacting with war and torture survivors from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Ethiopia, Southern Sudan and Somalia for more than two years. Though from different mother countries, these survivors share one thing in common and that is ambiguous loss.

A brief look back at the founding of the Center for Victims of Torture.

Many may not be ready to tell their story in front of a truth commission or international tribunal—some may never be ready. They may not even be ready to tell their story confidentially to a clinician to begin the process of healing. But if and when they are ready, the choice should be their own. The international community, governments and non-governmental organizations alike, should be there to offer support and expertise. The truth that must emerge must be the survivor’s own.

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Healing

We heal victims of torture through unique services and professional care worldwide.

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Training

We strengthen partners who heal torture survivors and work to prevent torture.

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Advocacy

We advocate for the protection & care of torture survivors and an end to torture.

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