Mental Health and Psychosocial Support | Page 15 | The Center for Victims of Torture

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

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Veronica Lavet

In this session, as we continue to build safety and stability in the group, we aim to draw out survivors’ internal strengths and external resources to counteract the unhelpful tunnel thinking that keeps traumatized people in a state of despair. After reviewing the grounding exercise that helps survivors feel more stable in their bodies and returns them to the present moment, the facilitators use a table metaphor to demonstrate how the more “table legs” one can develop (internal and external resources), the easier it is to carry the burdens on the table.

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.

Next session ---->

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Jenni Bowring-McDonough, CVT media relations manager, comments on the critical and growing need for mental health and psychosocial support services in response to the ongoing refugee crisis.

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.

On World Humanitarian Day, CVT recognizes humanitarians around the world including CVT staff.

Rita Manninen, CVT volunteer client services coordinator, comments on her many years' experience as a CVT volunteer, helping survivors rebuild their lives and volunteers discover the rewards of helping in that process.

Melina Milazzo, CVT senior policy counsel, comments on admission by ex-CIA senior official that the CIA employed torture techniques.

Marie Soueid, CVT legal fellow in the Washington, D.C. office, comments on recent event featuring photographic documentation of torture in Syria.

Curt Goering, CVT executive director, recalls the devastation in Bosnia twenty years ago, and notes the progress that has been made for healing and rebuilding.

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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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