counseling | 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

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

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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Zarqa Family_mother and son
In honor of National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, we’re sharing this article that was originally published in our Storycloth newsletter in November 2014. Increasingly, our staff in Jordan is seeing children and young people who need mental health and physical therapy care to cope with their traumatic experiences. Now, more than a third of our clients in Jordan are under the age of 18. To help heal these young survivors, the counseling and physical therapy staff developed ten-week joint physical therapy/counseling groups that provide age-appropriate activities.
Study reveals the staggering economic costs of violence against children around the world.

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.


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