Mental Health

Healthy Organizations: Beyond Individual Self-Care

Burnout, secondary trauma, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue may be intimately familiar to clinicians, but they can also intersect in ways that seriously impact organizations. Torture affects us all. How do you stay healthy while doing this work? What organizational mechanisms and policies should be in place to promote wellness? What tools are available to measure organizational health?

RHS-15 handouts

This set of handouts, and the description that follows, was generously shared by Jennifer Shuart of Lowell Community Health Center's Metta Center in July 2016. Ms. Shuart is available to consult if you have further questions; contact healtorture@cvt.org for an introduction.

We began administering the RHS-15 screening in July 2015 at Metta.  What we observed prior to this is that clients were referred after a negative screening for behavioral health, but when they came in for the intake appointment really had no understanding of counseling or desire to engage in treatment.

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Enhancing Empathy by Measuring Torture Symptoms with Survivors

This is the first part of a two-part training on how to use screening tools with survivors of torture to achieve more than just data collection. The webinar focused on the range of screening tools available to clinicians working with survivors of torture and how they can be used to improve clinical practice, improve evaluation practice, and enhance the capacity for empathy in their work. After this training, service providers will be able to evaluate and chose which screening tools may be most effective to use in their own programs.The presenters are experts from the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, Northwest Health and Human Rights, and the Marjorie Kovler Center.

Torture Rehabilitation Bibliography - Q1 2016

CVT's Partners in Trauma Healing (PATH) creates bibliographies every quarter. The PATH bibliography is a resource for current literature on the topic of the mental health status of and treatments for torture survivors, war trauma survivors, refugees, and asylum seekers. This also includes research in the areas of social work that relate directly to the psychological wellbeing of these populations.

Addressing the Needs of Survivors of Torture: A Pilot Test of the Psychosocial Well-Being Index

Survivors of torture experience numerous psychosocial stressors that threaten individual well-being in resettlement. This study reports findings from a pilot test that applied the newly developed Survivors of Torture Psychosocial Well-Being Index. The study used a case-level mixed design to assess survivor psychosocial well-being across 16 life domains from intake up to 18 months. Ecological systems theory grounds this study. Participants demonstrated increased well-being as evidenced by statistically significant change on the mean ratings of their total scores.

Addressing the Needs of Survivors of Torture: A Pilot Test of the Psychosocial Well-Being Index

Early work with the Survivors of Torture Psychosocial Well-being Index (SOT-PWI), developed by Dr. Farber & Joan Hodges-Wu, shows promising results.  Survivors of torture experience numerous psychosocial stressors that threaten individual well-being in resettlement. This study reports findings from a pilot test that applied the newly developed Survivors of Torture Psychosocial Well-Being Index. The study used a case-level mixed design to assess survivor psychosocial well-being across 16 life domains from intake up to 18 months. Ecological systems theory grounds this study.

Group therapy model for refugee and torture survivors

The paper discusses the Center for Torture and Trauma Survivors' therapy group model for torture survivors and describes two of its variants: The Bashal group for African and Somali women and the Bhutanese multi-family therapy group. Group therapies in this model extend to community healing. Groups develop their cohesion to graduate to a social community club or initiate a community organization. New graduates from the group join the club and become part of the social advocacy process and of group and individual support and community healing.

Group Treatment for Survivors of Torture and Severe Trauma: A Literature Review

This new literature review was coauthored by The National Capacity Building Project at the Center for Victims of Torture, the National Partnership for Community Training at Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, and an expert in the torture rehabilitation field. It was published in Torture Journal (Vol. 26 No. 1).

Group treatment is an approach that can be used with larger groups of survivors and addresses a range of treatment issues. The authors examined key clinical practice issues for group treatment, including group composition and content, facilitation, and measurement strategies. The article points to a growing interest in the topic of group treatment for survivors of torture and severe violence, providing a comprehensive picture of group-based interventions, and highlighting the need for additional research and knowledge-building.

Torture Rehabilitation Bibliography - Q4 2015

CVT's Partners in Trauma Healing (PATH) creates bibliographies every quarter. The PATH bibliography is a resource for current literature on the topic of the mental health status of and treatments for torture survivors, war trauma survivors, refugees, and asylum seekers. This also includes research in the areas of social work that relate directly to the psychological wellbeing of these populations.

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