Fundamentals: Medical Services Part 1

This lesson introduces MEDICAL SERVICES, PART 1 (31 minutes). There is no assessment at the end of this lesson. At the end of Medical Services, Part 2 there will be an Assessment that covers Parts 1 - 2. 

At the end of the three Medical Services lessons, you will be able to:

  • Identify professional and community resources used in participant’s center to meet the medical needs of survivors.
  • Describe the physical and health consequences of torture on survivors and their families.
  • Describe how the physical effects of torture impact the holistic healing process for torture survivors.
  • Describe the

Fundamentals of Providing Services to Torture Survivors eLearning

Fundamentals of Providing Services to Torture Survivors eLearning Series  has been funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to provide staff at ORR-funded torture treatment programs, and other professionals, with a basic foundation in the knowledge and skills required to provide effective services to torture survivors. The lessons are directed toward staff members who are recently hired or new to working with torture survivors and are currently providing direct services to torture survivors.

Each lesson:

  • Is designed to give you information and resources to effectively serve your clients
  • Is designed to be taken at your own pace when you have time
  • Can be taken independently of the other lessons
  • Can be completed in one to two hours
  • Provides you with valuable post-lesson resources for further study

Fundamentals: Working With Interpreters

This lesson introduces WORKING WITH INTERPRETERS (25 minutes). At the end of the eLearning you will have the opportunity to take an Assessment. A score of 80% or better is required to pass the Assessment. Once passed, a Certificate of Completion will be e-mailed to you within seven business days. 

At the end of this lesson, participants will be able to:

  • define the terms “interpreter” and “translator” and know the difference
  • know what to consider when choosing, training and retaining interpreters
  • know the elements of pre-session and post-session activities with interpreters
  • know what modifications

Fundamentals: Holistic Care Planning

This lesson introduces HOLISTIC CARE PLANNING (43 minutes). At the end of the eLearning you will have the opportunity to take an Assessment. A score of 80% or better is required to pass the Assessment. Once passed, a Certificate of Completion will be e-mailed to you within seven business days.

At the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe the holistic approach and why it is an appropriate choice for multi-disciplinary service provision for torture survivors.
  • Recognize the importance of assessing and collaborating with professional, spiritual, and community resources to meet survivors’

Fundamentals: Introduction to Program Evaluation Resources

Additional Online Program Evaluation Resources

Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research (PMER) e-Learning Series on, developed by CVT's Partners in Trauma Healing (PATH) project. This course is designed for staff who conduct evaluation but who may not be formally trained in Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E). As a series of 5 self-guided units - Introduction, Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research – it provides further detail about each of the topics covered in NCB’s Fundamentals: Program Evaluation lesson. Each unit ranges from 30-55 minutes in length.


"Collaboration, pilot program could expand the Center for Victims of Torture’s work in MN"

An article at the Minnesota House of Representatives’ Session Daily, “Collaboration, pilot program could expand the Center for Victims of Torture’s work in MN,” quotes CVT’s Peter Dross, director of external relations, and Alison Beckman, senior clinician for external relations, and describes

Fundamentals: Holistic Care Planning Resources


Bojholm, S., & Vesti, P. (1992). Multidisciplinary approach in the treatment of torture survivors. In Basoglu, M., Ed., Torture and its consequences: Current treatment approaches. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

Brown, R. A. (2001). The wraparound process. In P. Lehmann & N. Coady, Eds., Theoretical perspectives for direct social work practice. New York: Springer.

Engstrom, D. W., & Okamura, A.

Fundamentals: Social Services Resources


Engstrom, D.W. & Okamura, A. (2004). A plague of our time: Torture, human rights, and social work. Families in Society, 85(3), 291-300.

Engstrom, D.W. & Okamura, A. (2004). Working with survivors of torture: Approaches to helping. Families in Society, 85(3), 301-309.

Herman, J.L. (1992). Trauma and recovery: The aftermath of violence. New York, Basic.

Smith, Hawthorne E. and Wilkinson, John. Social Service Provision, in Smith, Hawthorne, Keller, Alan, and Lhewa, DW, eds. Like a Refugee Camp on First Avenue: Insights and Experiences from the Bellevue-NYU Program for Survivors of

Fundamentals: Mental Health Services Resources


Berliner, P., Mikkelsen, E. N., Bovbjerg, A., &Wiking, M. (2004). Psychotherapy treatment of torture survivors. International Journal of Psychological Rehabilitation, 8, 85-96.

Cohen, J.A., Mannarino, A.P., and Deblinger, E. (2006) Treating Trauma and Traumatic Grief in Children and Adolescents, The Guilford Press

Fabri, M.R., (2001). Reconstructing safety: Adjustments to the frame in the treatment of survivors of political torture. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 32(5), 452-457.

Herman, J.

Fundamentals: Medical Services Resources


Benson J, Skull S. Hiding from the sun – vitamin D deficiency in refugees. Australian Family Physician. 2007;36:355-357.

Crosby SS, Norredam M, Paasche-Orlow MK, et al. Prevalence of torture survivors among foreign-born patients presenting to an urban ambulatory care practice. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2006;21(7):764-8.

Grodin MA, Piwowarczyk L, Fulker D, Bazazi AR, Saper RB.

Fundamentals: Legal Services Resources


 Immigration Dynamics - Processes, Challenges and Benefits.pdf (155.312 KB)

Advocates for Human Rights Pro Bono Asylum Representation Manual

Asylum Officer Basic Training Course Lesson Plan on Interviewing Survivors

Germain, R., AILA’s Asylum Primer:  A Practical Guide to U.S. Asylum Law and Procedure (7th Ed. 2015) - available for purchase
Preface available to read online here
Excerpt of Chapter 2: US Asylum Law available to read online here

Wilkinson, John, “Immigration Dynamics: Processes, Challenges, and Benefits,” in Smith, Hawthorne, Keller, Alan, and  Lhewa, DW, eds.

Fundamentals: Working With Interpreters: Resources


Angelelli, C. V. (2004). Medical Interpreting and Cross-Cultural Communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Carr, S. E., Roberts, R., & Dufour, A. (Eds.). The Critical Link: Interpreters in the Community: Papers from the First International Conference on Interpreting in Legal, Health, and Social Services. John Benjamins Pub. Co.

Duffy, K. & Veltri, D. (1998). Interpreting in Therapy: Getting Out of the Way. VIEWS, 15 (4).

Gunther, M. (1994). Counter-transference Issues in Staff Caregivers who Work to Rehabilitate Catastrophic-Injury

Fundamentals: Cultural Competence: Resources


Chang-Muy, F., E. Congress, (Eds.) (2009) Social Work with Immigrants and Refugees, NY, Springer Publishing Co.

Fadiman, Anne, (1997) The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down NY, Farrar, Straus, Giroux

Gerrity, E., T.M. Keane, F. Tumz (Eds.) (2001) The Mental Health Consequences of Torture, Plenum Publisher, NY

Hoffman, Eva, Lost in Translation, 1989, NY, Penguin Book

Irish, D., K. Lundquist, V. Nelson, (Eds.) (1993) Ethnic Variations in Dying, Death and Grief, London, Taylor & Franas

Kitavama, S. H.R. Markus (Eds.), (1994) Emotion and Culture, Washington DC, APA

Kleinman, A. et al.

Fundamentals: Core Concepts and Eligibility Requirements Resources


Fadiman, Anne. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1997.
Mollica, Richard. Healing Invisible Wounds, New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2006.
Ortiz, Sister Dianna, with Davis, Patricia. The Blindfold’s Eyes. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2002.


Staff from the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma

Richard Mollica

Richard F. Mollica, MD, MAR is the Director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree from the University of New Mexico and completed his Psychiatry residency at Yale Medical School. While at Yale he also trained in epidemiology and received a philosophy degree from the Divinity School. In 1981, Dr. Mollica co-founded the Indochinese Psychiatry Clinic (IPC). Over the past two decades HPRT and IPC have pioneered the mental health care of survivors of mass violence and torture.


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