Noor Abuljood is a senior psychosocial counselor at CVT Jordan.
There are so many meaningful situations for me at CVT – some of them are reflected in things clients say and some are interactions between clients. As an example, I worked with an adolescent boy in individual counseling sessions. The counseling allowed the client to have a conversation with his father about his concerns, and they ended up hugging one another. This was the first time for both of them and led to a stronger relationship.
And many people, Sudanese clients in particular, tell me that coming to CVT was the first time they were treated like a human being. I’ve heard this many times. I hear it when they first come to CVT for their intake interviews, and I hear it during therapy. These comments show me the importance of our work.
And many people, Sudanese clients in particular, tell me that coming to CVT was the first time they were treated like a human being. I’ve heard this many times.”
I have 10 years’ experience in the counseling field, and before I came to CVT I worked in public schools and shelters, as well as with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) including International Medical Corps, and in Za’atari refugee camp with Save the Children. I first started at CVT as a psychosocial counselor (PSC) and now as a senior PSC. From my previous work with refugees, I had experience counseling regarding trauma. However, I had not worked with torture survivors directly before CVT. When I heard about an open position at CVT, it was like a dream for me. I wanted to work with torture survivors because here in Jordan, these people are vulnerable. The work is difficult – because of all that survivors of torture have experienced and survived, not everyone can work with this group. I’m happy if I can be supportive to people.
In my work at CVT, I am responsible for both tasks that are clinical, such as client screenings and group and individual counseling, as well as providing support for the team members. I provide orientation to the staff and clinical supervision for PSCs in the counseling sessions.
In addition, I sometimes work to develop and enhance programming. Most of the time, there are a number of ideas I’m working on with my supervisor, things like working to create a play therapy room, and planning to organize a comfortable, welcoming setting in the reception area. For example, I worked with another counselor painting a Tree of Life image on the reception area wall. Among the leaves, people have placed wishes and messages of hope for clients. People can read these as they wait for appointments when they come to CVT.
And the concept we are developing for a play therapy room would be to create a therapeutic room, one that is large enough to allow more space for children and sections for therapy. We are working on some challenges with this idea – at this time, we don’t have the capacity in our building and space will likely need to be shared. Nevertheless, we are considering several therapeutic activities in our plan. For example, drawing is an effective tool for children. We would like a board for drawing on the wall or moveable flip charts. We already know that the flexibility to move a drawing board will be necessary. We would like to one day have a sandbox for play therapy and shelves for the puppets and toys we use today with children. The toys help us get started building relationships. We use materials such as playdoh, balloons and a sand box for therapy.
We carefully consider the kinds of symptoms exhibited by children who have survived torture or war atrocities. For example, some children have a lot of anger. We create a comfortable and safe environment for them, with materials that give the child choices about what he wishes to use and which are appropriate for the child’s emotional state and the method used in therapy.
There is always hope at CVT. CVT is the hope, by the way.”
Clients are always the priority. In my mind, I know I have the capacity to provide support and work – I always remind myself I’m here for them. I don’t accept the idea that if client reaches CVT, that they would ever go home without service. In my role, I do a lot of documentation and paperwork at the office, but I always put it aside for each client. Other tasks are delayed if I need to help a client, but I believe that is the right thing to do, and I discuss it with my supervisor. I am here to provide the best service for clients, not just numbers for data.
There is always hope at CVT. CVT is the hope, by the way. CVT is part of the hope, and if that was not the case, that would be a problem. Even our logo is sunshine – it’s full of hope.
Featured image is a painting by Noor Abuljood.
Funding for CVT’s work in Jordan is provided by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration and the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.