Mental Health

Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture Orientation Group 4-Week Group Therapy Manual for Clinicians

This manual, developed by Nancy Murakami, LCSW,  Hawthorne Smith, PhD, Katherine Porterfield, PhD, Maile O'Hara, PhD, and Melba Sullivan, PhD of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture is based on PSOT’s short-term, supportive, psycho-educational group therapy model.  Called the Orientation Group, this model was developed to address the psychosocial and adaptational needs for a population of survivors of torture and severe war trauma presenting to a clinic in a metropolitan public hospital.

For more information on this Orientation Group, and how the model can be used by torture

Group Treatment with Survivors of Torture 1 - The Orientation Group: PSOT's Approach to Welcoming and Further Resourcing

With this webinar, the NCB Project began a series:  Group Treatment with Survivors of Torture.
Survivors of Torture programs across the US are creating and using innovative and effective techniques in providing treatment services through groups. In this series, we will feature three torture rehabilitation programs that are conducting group treatment, within Judith Herman's three-staged framework - as written about in her book, Trauma and Recovery.
The first session in this series took place on March 18th at 2:00 PM EDT and features Melba Sullivan of the Bellevue/NYU Program for

The Efficacy of Psychosocial Interventions for Adults in Contexts of Ongoing Man-Made Violence - A Systematic Review

Jong, K. , Knipscheer, J. , Ford, N. and Kleber, R. (2014) The Efficacy of Psychosocial Interventions for Adults in Contexts of Ongoing Man-Made Violence—A Systematic Review. Health, 6, 504-516. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.66070.

Compared to psychosocial programs implemented in post-conflict settings those executed in areas of ongoing conflicts may have different effects. Their evidence of efficacy has never been systematically reviewed.

Torture in Honduras: Therapeutic Experiences of 2007-2008 and the Aftermath of the Coup

Alvarado, A. (2014) Torture in Honduras: Therapeutic Experiences of 2007-2008 and the Aftermath of the Coup. Open Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 2, 63-75. doi: 10.4236/ojtr.2014.22011

Background: The Center for Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation for Torture Victims and their Family (CPTRT) participated in the “Professionalization facilitated through training in key healthcare services for torture victims” project coordinated by the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT). Centers like CPTRT are typically created and run by small groups of healthcare

The psychological impact of torture

Williams, A., & Merwe, J. (2013). The psychological impact of torture. British Journal of Pain, 7(101), 101-106. Retrieved October 27, 2014.

Many refugees in the developed world are survivors of torture and present with health needs without their traumatic experience being disclosed or identified. Chronic pain is a common problem, as are symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other distress.

Alison Beckman, MSW, LICSW

Ms. Beckman is the Project Manager/Clinical Supervisor for the Center for Victims of Torture project entitled: Healing Hearts, Creating Hope; Exploring the Efficacy of Integrated Mental Health Services for New Refugees. Previous to this position, she provided psychological evaluation and treatment services to survivors of torture in group and individual capacities in Minnesota and served as clinical supervisor to mental health case managers.

Captain John J. Tuskan, Jr.

Captain John Tuskan, a U.S. Public Health Service Officer, is assigned to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). Under a SAMHSA intra-agency agreement with the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), he serves as Senior Public Health Advisor and Director of the Refugee Mental Health Program, which provides technical assistance, consultation and training on the mental health, welfare and social integration of refugees, torture survivors and other vulnerable populations.

He has concurrently served as SAMHSA’s Faith-Based

Laura Murray, Ph.D.

Dr. Laura Murray, Assistant Professor and Clinical Psychologist, Department of International Health, Center for Refugee and Disaster Response, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health; Laura has expertise in multiple evidence-based treatment models, and studies the transportability, adaptation and training of these in low-income countries with a focus on youth and families. Her most recent work is with traumatized youth populations in Zambia and Cambodia.


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