Social Services

Join the Conversation

Tuesday, July 7th to Wednesday, September 30th

Please join us in an online, open forum on telehealth. NCB is providing an opportunity for clinicians to ask each other questions, share observations and adapted telehealth protocols for the SoT population via an online forum and technical exchange. This conversation will be a forum for peer-led informational exchange. NCB staff will assist in facilitating and monitoring the conversation.

Directions: Please watch Eugene Augusterfer’s presentation and interview Telemedicine in Mental Health first. Then feel free to join us in this open forum. All are welcome to join this forum, whether you have an account on Healtorture.org or not. For more information on using the forum, please read the directions on the first post. Please keep your comments respectful, relevant, factual, and do not share identifying information about clients per client privacy and HIPAA regulations. This forum will be open from July 6, 2020 through September 30, 2020.

Torture Survivors and their Power: Strengths-based Treatment

Individuals who have been tortured have lost their power during their experiences. The right to stop pain, make choices, and direct one's life are taken away during torture. Using strengths-based approaches, providers can prevent taking their power away again. We can recognize that they are the expert in what they need; they have all that is necessary to survive; and that the power to grow is innate within them. In this webinar we'll discuss some of the theory and methods behind strengths-based care.

After participating in the Webinar participants will be able to: 1) Describe the theory and methods used in strengths-based care. 2) Recognize how strengths-based approaches can inform their own interactions with their clients

Initiatives in Collaboration: Bringing Trauma Care to the Community

The Center for Victims of Torture has a community project entitled “Healing in Partnership”, a primary objective of which is to educate community based organizations (CBOs) about mental health and to bring basic mental health education to trauma affected populations within these settings. This is different from the traditional clinic based approach to providing mental health services. It removes barriers to access to care. It tries to reduce one of the major barriers to seeking assistance: stigma related to mental health.

Assessing Trauma & Associated Symptoms in Refugees & Torture Survivors

In this webinar, Dr. Michael Hollifield, M.D. focuses on clinical care for refugees and torture survivors, and ways to measure trauma symptoms. He reviews numerous measurement instruments, identifying whether each measurement tool has been tested for reliability and validity for certain populations. He reviews how to choose a tool that fits your own needs. He provides many useful attachments, including a set of the “comprehensive trauma inventory” (CTI) forms.

Chapter 4: Social Services

Torture occurs within a cultural and social context. It breaks the connections between individuals and their social environment. It separates the bonds of communities. Social work interventions, therefore, are directed at individuals, their families and immediate environments, community, social, and functional groups, and policies and systems. These are accomplished through direct service, resource development, community interventions, education and training, research, and public policy work.

Healing the Hurt

Healing the Hurt: A Guide for Developing Services for Torture Survivors was developed by The Center for Victims of Torture for practitioners who may or may not have worked previously with torture survivors. It is a multidisciplinary guide that addresses some basic considerations when working with this population. This handbook is a primer, and it should not take the place of more in-depth training in torture treatment. We hope you find this resource helpful in your work with torture survivors. Various chapters are referred to under Providers Resources at HealTorture.org.

Attorneys, Mental Health Professionals Team Up at Massachusetts Center

Story by CVT volunteer Patricia Busse

It’s not typical for attorneys and mental health professionals to serve clients as a team, but lawyer Deirdre Giblin said she couldn’t imagine handling her asylum and refugee cases—often involving incidents of trauma and torture—any other way.

Working with Chaldeans

The Chaldeans are Roman Catholics from Iraq, whose history predates that of Christ. They have been influential since the beginning of civilization in ancient Mesopotamia. Under the former regime of Saddam Hussein, religious freedom became constrained, resulting in ethnic cleansing and mass exodus from the region. Many Chaldeans reported the harsh conditions they faced in the transit states, especially the unavailability of employment opportunities.

Upon arrival in the United States, many face the same concern of employment, as well as other factors that can affect the acculturation

Karen Refugees from Burma in the US: an Overview for Torture Treatment Programs

This webinar is meant to provide clinicians and health care workers with a base of knowledge in working with the Karen people from Burma. The presenters describe the history of the Karen and the Burma, as well as the torture and abuse they are likely to have faced in their homes, and/or refugee camps. Ms. Cook notes the importance placed on religion in the Karen community, affecting all aspects of life. When using an interpreter, it is important to understand the stigmas and associations placed on certain illnesses, especially mental illnesses.

Websites and articles referenced in the

Bhutanese in the U.S.: An Overview for Torture Treatment Programs

Summary

“Where is Bhutan, anyway?” asks Aaron Acharya. “This is a question I get all of the time.” As executive director of the Association for Bhutanese in America, former project coordinator at HealthRight International, and a citizen of Bhutan himself, Acharya is certainly qualified to answer this inquiry.

Yet his mission for this particular webinar extends beyond lessons in geography.

Helping Clients Gain Independence and Self-Sufficiency Through a Bikes for Clients Program

Description

Take two wheels, add some pedals and brakes, and finish with a flourish of gears and you have what Cynthia McArthur considers a valuable tool for helping victims of torture progress in the healing process.  McArthur, long-time volunteer at the Center for Victims of Torture and an avid bicyclist, first recognized the benefits of a bicycle donation program while seeking to combine her background in social work with her love for the sport.

Religion, Spirituality, and Faith in the Care of Torture Survivors: Part III

Article

Piwowarczyk, L. (2005) Torture and spirituality: engaging the sacred in treatment. Torture 15(1), 1-8

McKinney, Marcus M. "Treatment of survivors of torture: Spiritual domain" TORTURE. Volume 21, No. 1 (2011). (Link is to full article PDF on IRCT site.)

Books

Recommended by Sharmin DeMoss

Brady, The Wisdom of Listening
Chodron, When Things Fall Apart
*Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning 
Henry/Henry, Reclaiming Soul in Health Care
Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living
Kubler-Ross, On Death and Dying
Lester, Hope in Pastoral Care and Counseling
Means, Trauma and Evil
Napier/DeMoss, Caregiver's

ESL as a Mental Health Intervention

Cultural Adjustment, Mental Health, and ESL:  The Role of the Teacher (attached)
A very helpful resource that includes information on the connection between ESL and mental health.  It is written for ESL teachers and, as it states in the book, “It is not meant to turn ESL providers into therapists or mental health specialists” but it suggests ESL activities to address mental health issues.


Webinar Summary

This webinar is intended for ESL providers. It focuses on the use of ESL as a tool to help better the mental health of torture survivors.

Religion, Spirituality, and Faith in the Care of Torture Survivors: Part II

Books Referenced:

  • Thomas Moore Care of the Soul 1993. Harper
  • James Hillman Insearch 1994. Spring
  • Carl G. Jung Psychology and Religion: West and East. 1969. Princeton University Press
  • Huguelet and Koenig Religion and Spirituality in Psychiatry. 2009. Cambridge University Press

Article:

McKinney, Marcus M. "Treatment of survivors of torture: Spiritual domain" TORTURE. Volume 21, No. 1 (2011). (Link is to full article PDF on IRCT site.)

Dr. McKinney’s Website and contact information:

https://chip.uconn.edu/person/marcus-mckinney/#
860-714-4183
mmckinne@stfranciscare.org

Religion, Spirituality and Faith in the Care of Torture Survivors: Part I

Description

In this first webinar of a three-part series on the place of religion in the care of trauma survivors, John Tuskan, co-author of The Spiritual Dimensions of Trauma Healing, focuses on definitions and concepts surrounding spirituality and faith. By outlining the distinctions that separate these realms of internal identity and theological understanding, Tuskan is able to fluidly move the discussion forward into identifying major conclusions from research on religion, health, and mental health and examining the role of religion in response to traumatic stress.

Pages

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