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Advancing Research

Last updated: January 8, 2024
CVT Data being collected

Building a movement of healing and justice requires a spirit of innovation and proven effectiveness. Measuring the progress of survivors is embedded into the therapeutic process of every CVT healing initiative. We evaluate and measure the impact of our clinical programs with torture survivors, and share that research with other practitioners to advance the sector’s ability to heal and change. We move the humanitarian sector forward by increasing professional understanding of trauma-informed, culturally-responsive care.

Healing and Research
The wounds of torture run deep into a victim’s psyche, body and spirit. Even the most resilient survivor can find the healing journey slow. When clinical assessments are embedded into the therapeutic process, the therapist and the survivor are able to assess progress holistically. Rather than focusing on one symptom or set of issues, therapy can address the survivor’s physical and mental health, their social well-being and their ability to function on a daily basis.

Assessing Progress
Over the years, we have developed clinical assessment tools to gather information that allows us to evaluate the progress of individual survivors (“tools” meaning the ways we collect information from torture survivors).


reduction in post-traumatic stress symptoms
reduction in depression symptoms
reduction in anxiety symptoms
International adult clients; numbers from 2020.


reduction in psychological symptoms
reduction in difficulties with functioning
reduction in somatic symptoms
International child and adolescent clients; numbers from 2020.

Because we work with survivors from every region of the world, our researchers are skilled at adapting the assessment tools so the questions asked make sense in the language and culture of each client. Frequently that means adapting or developing assessments locally. We are partners with local community members and survivors, bringing our clinical and research skills together with them in a way that is open and collaborative.

Over time, we will use the information gathered to understand how effective current treatment methods are, and understand better the impact of torture on individuals, families and communities.

Reports and Research Publications


CVT’s Research team conducts mental health assessments in locations where survivors of torture live, ensuring that we understand the needs before we begin extending rehabilitative care.


CVT experts write about their work and have it published across many disciplines, ensuring that information and knowledge gained from our work with survivors is shared with professionals.

Randomized Control Trial

CVT’s Healing Hearts team completed a major study of impacts of clinical interventions in primary care settings.