New England Survivors of Torture & Trauma

The New England Survivors of Torture and Trauma (NESTT) program was designed to coordinate holistic services to meet the psychological, legal, social, and physical needs of survivors of torture and their families/communities. The NESTT program represents a partnership between psychological and social work (Connecting Cultures), legal (Vermont Law School) services, and physical therapy (University of Vermont Rehabilitation Sciences). It includes the form components of:

  1. Outreach,
  2. Direct Clinical Services,
  3. Evaluation and Research, and
  4. Training. 

The overall goal is to provide a ‘nest’ in which survivors of torture receive integrated services in a culturally relevant, client centered context. NESTT is based on social justice (Fondacaro & Harder, 2014) emphasizing community voice, while acknowledging multi- agency professional expertise, and empirically based prevention, intervention and evaluation strategies. NESTT has numerous community collaborators and multiple points of service entry, which ensures the effectiveness and sustainability of the program. Moreover, given Vermont’s relatively small size and predominantly rural population, the successful implementation of this project serves as a model for neighboring states. Our recently published mental health treatment framework (Chronic Traumatic Stress; Fondacaro & Mazzulla, 2018) is comprehensive  and provides guidelines for empirical study and clinical work with survivors of torture with a strength-based lens.Our recent projects include the creation of a language free application that accompanies treatment and a pilot study testing the feasibility of telehealth therapy with older adult refugees who are confined to their homes.

Here are a couple of published articles they shared with us:


2 Colchester Avenue
Burlington, VT 05405

NCTTP Member: 


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