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Group Counseling

Last updated: July 19, 2023

CVT’s group counseling model incorporates current research along with insights gathered over more than 15 years of implementation and assessment of the model in our many locations and with varying client communities. We use this model in ten-week group counseling sessions for adults, and we use adapted models in some locations for children of different ages. Our group counseling approach is interdisciplinary, incorporating cultural competency and trauma-informed approaches that support long-term healing.

We are all humans and here to help each other.”

-Former client in Jordan, commenting about the group

Our model expressly incorporates safety and stability into each session. Clients are encouraged to form a cohesive group identity, develop collective opening and closing practices for each session and make group agreements. The ten sessions take clients through a journey that starts with orienting, gathering resources, building coping skills, developing mind-body awareness, and honoring their own stories. Later sessions include facing difficult moments, grieving losses, living with loss, reconnecting to self and community, honoring gains made and creating good goodbyes.

Skills that clients practice together include normalizing the experiences shared by torture and trauma survivors, acknowledging and validating their own and others’ pain, grief, loss and suffering, building empathy, stress and trauma coping strategies, collectively carrying burdens and celebrating positive changes. Survivors who complete group counseling report feeling human again. They experience decreased symptoms and isolation, build new relationships, break cycles of violence in their homes, learn how to live and love well, challenge their own prejudices and build greater understanding of other cultures and people. Because of the work clients do, healing and hope ripples through their families and communities.

Order a copy of CVT’s Restoring Hope and Dignity Manual for Group Counseling here: