Middle East - CVT Jordan | Center for Victims of Torture

Middle East - CVT Jordan

Jordan is home to hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing wars and violence in Iraq, Syria and other countries in the Middle East and Africa. The refugees – men, women and children – have experienced tremendous suffering, including brutal torture and other terrible human rights abuses.

Seeking Safety in Jordan

CVT Jordan was established in Amman, Jordan, in 2008 to help highly traumatized Iraqi refugees suffering from the effects of torture and war. The work expanded to care for Syrian refugees who started arriving in Jordan when the conflict began there. And expansion continued over the years. Today, CVT Jordan extends rehabilitative care to refugees from multiple additional countries, including Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen.

Refugees living in Jordan have survived highly traumatic events, including torture, witnessing death, kidnappings, bombings and rape. They experience on-going physical, mental and emotional challenges. Relationships are strained and families are torn apart. Many have lost everything and have little hope of returning home.

Those who survive torture and war can be left with a number of disabling conditions that interfere with basic daily functions. Symptoms can include chronic pain, musculoskeletal and nerve impairments, headaches, and incessant nightmares and other sleep disorders. Survivors can become immobilized by their feelings and symptoms, unable to function within their communities, access crucial humanitarian services, attend work or school, or contribute to their family’s well-being.


Healing Care for Refugees

Torture and war affect all aspects of a person’s life and go beyond the individual to the family and the community. As part of the holistic healing approach, CVT Jordan provides mental health, physical therapy and social referrals and case management. Our healing services are provided by professional, local, clinical staff.

Psychotherapeutic services help survivors reduce very high levels of distress and improve their ability to function effectively within their families and communities. Physical therapy helps survivors decrease the pain and disability of torture, increase body awareness and self-regulation, and regain function in daily living by learning techniques to self-manage their conditions over time. Social services provided by social workers ensure refugees’ needs are being met.

Follow-up assessments are conducted at regular intervals to monitor and track progress. Improvement is both statistically significant and meaningful with reductions in depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress, somatic, and behavioral symptoms, and an increase in the number of supportive relationships. After receiving care from CVT, survivors consistently report increased hope, better coping skills and improved relationships.

CVT Jordan also builds local mental health and physical therapy resources by developing specialized trauma treatment skills for mental health and physical therapy staff. Our intensive training is focused on trauma treatment, with staff learning alongside experienced trauma psychotherapists and physical therapists. The counselors, physical therapists and social workers provide culturally appropriate care and continue to act as mental health, physical therapy and social services providers, advocates and educators long after our work in Jordan is completed.

CVT also provides training for the staff of other organizations, including health and social service providers, university students and others to increase their understanding of the effects of torture and war trauma and the benefits of mental health and physical therapy within a multidisciplinary approach.

Read more about CVT Jordan clients and work over ten years here.
Read more here about the many “firsts” that CVT Jordan experienced in its first ten years.
Read the press release commemorating CVT Jordan’s 10-year anniversary.
Read about CVT Jordan’s counseling cycle here.

Photo: Agnes Montanari


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