Where Do You See Hope In Your Work? CVT Clinical Advisors Respond. | The Center for Victims of Torture

Where Do You See Hope In Your Work? CVT Clinical Advisors Respond.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

CVT clinical advisors serving multiple locations across the globe – from Nairobi, Kenya to Amman, Jordan to south of Shire, Ethiopia – will connect in person this week at CVT headquarters.

For Paul Orieny, Ph.D., LMFT, senior clinical advisor for mental health, Clinical Advisors (CA) Week is a rare opportunity for him and his colleagues – whose responsibilities range from training field staff at international locations to developing clinical interventions and manuals – to come together face-to-face and engage in discussions about team goals, program design and funding opportunities.

“I also hope that there will be some space for less structured team building,” he says, “given how dispersed the team is.”

Liyam Eloul, MA, clinical advisor for CVT’s PATH project and CVT Ethiopia, hopes that CA Week allows for a period of review and reflection to ensure that the advisors remain coordinated and consistent, while flexible, across contexts. Veronica Laveta, LCSW, MA, advisor for the SOTI (Syrian Survivors of Torture Initiative) project and PATH (working with partners in Iraq, Turkey and South Africa), and Ilona Fricker, CVT Jordan’s clinical advisor for physiotherapy (physical therapy), look forward to exchanging feedback regarding the team’s recently piloted child and family programming.

Regardless of their individual goals for the week, there is certainty among the advisors that a survivor’s healing remains central to their objectives. And they produced a wide range of equally compelling answers when asked to elaborate on how their work impacts the healing process.

“I am privileged to hear so many powerful stories of healing and improvement in clients’ quality of life,” says Laura Gueron, PT, MPH, physiotherapy clinical advisor. “Each time I visit Kenya, I hear directly from clients about how much they are learning from the physical therapy team, and how they are able to resume favorite physical activities, feel pleasure in their bodies again, and feel a sense of self-efficacy that THEY have the power to improve.”

Liyam agrees that the hope she witnesses in her work lies within survivors themselves. “The resilience of people who have been through so much never fails to astound me and give me hope for humanity,” she says.

After conducting five focus groups in March for children, adolescents and caregivers who have been through the new counseling groups, Veronica observed that the feedback she received was extremely positive. Participants reported improvement in functioning, a decrease in symptoms and improved family relationships. “Talking with beneficiaries is energizing,” she said, “as we can see the incredible impact of our services on their lives.”

Ilona also noted the positive feedback she hears from clients reflecting on their experiences at CVT. “Their valuable insights inform us greatly in our efforts to continuously develop our clinical interventions to better meet their needs.”

Returning from a Uganda assessment, where refugee numbers have reached one-and-a-half million, Paul reflected on the dedication of humanitarian staff who go above and beyond in supporting refugees and seek to bring a sense of normalcy and healing to their lives. “This gives me hope, seeing people who daily put their own self-care and well-being on the line to work with the overwhelming needs of refugees.”

CVT extends a sincere welcome to our clinical advisors, and wishes them well in their goals and objectives for the week.

Photo by Dreamstime.


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