FY2020 Q2
Healing Focus
A Quarterly Digest from NCB
Welcome to the latest quarterly digest from The National Capacity Building Project at the Center for Victims of Torture, where we share recent news and resources on topics in torture survivor rehabilitation.

We hope you are all well and safe in this challenging time. In this digest we are sharing with you the updates to the Fundamentals eLearning Series and resources we have gathered and shared on

Fundamentals eLearning Series

NCB has updated the 
Fundamentals of Providing Services to Torture Survivors eLearning Series in our first phase in a redesign process. This included publishing them with HTML5, instead of Flash Player which greatly improves the learning experience for our eLearners. During the process we also added more animation, user interaction, and readings of client stories.

The next phase will include updating the design of the lessons, content updates by subject matter experts, and closed captioning.

Please note that our online eLearning Series requires you to have an account on as either a member or as an eLearning Subscriber and signed in. Click here to request an account if you don't have one. 


Recent Updates on

Beyond Burnout: A New Approach to Self-Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic
NCB, The Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, and William James College are pleased to announce that registration is open for a new online learning course available to clinicians, social workers, case managers, and others who provide services to survivors of torture. Attendance is limited so click on this link today to register and assure your spot in this unique learning opportunity. This eight-module, self-paced online CE course (3 Credits), will be available for you to access from October 9-December 15, 2020. Registration ends today, October 7th, at end of business. Click here for more information.

PTV's Therapy and Justice Presentation Recording and Resources
In light of recent events, there is a greater need now than ever to examine power and bias within therapy as well as amplify a multitude of perspectives on healing outside of Western, Eurocentric theories and ideologies. Since the professionalization of psychology began, it has been modeled on white, patriarchal, capitalist ideas of wellness. Therapists trained in the U.S. often lack exposure to non-Western theories and practices, and are unaware of their own biases. These shortcomings can create a therapeutic relationship which perpetuates harm even as it seeks to heal it. Please join us as we explore historical, institutional, and personal biases, and engage through reflection and dialogue. Robin Chancer, LCSW, a bilingual licensed psychotherapist at Program for Torture Victims (PTV), with more than 10 years experience, presented on "Therapy and Justice: Unpacking Western Bias and Expanding Healing" back on August 10. She has been working primarily with asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors for the last 7 years. Click here to watch the recording. Click here for the PowerPoint slides and resources. 

The Complex Care of a Torture Survivor in the United States: The Case of "Joshua"
A new article published by Torture Journal, “The Complex Care of a Torture Survivor in the United States: The Case of “Joshua.” was supported by the National Capacity Building (NCB) technical assistance project funded by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The authors argue that in order to effectively treat torture survivors, providers must understand and address multiple and complexly related factors. A Complex Care Approach (CCA), an adaptation of the Chronic Care Model, is presented and applied to a composite case of a former child soldier from Liberia who survived torture and is in the United States. The CCA includes five domains, including the Trauma Story, Bio-medical, Psychological, Social, and Spiritual domains. 

Exciting announcement from Switchboard: Their Evidence Database is now live!
This new database of research evidence is designed to help resettlement service providers in the U.S provide evidence-based services for refugees and other ORR-eligible clients. So far, the database includes five evidence summaries that collectively review 70 academic studies: meta-analysis, systematic reviews, impact evaluations, and suggestive studies. Click here to access the database. Click here to stream the recording of the recent webinar "Introducing the Switchboard Evidence Database." This webinar discussed what evidenced-based services are and why they are important; what content is included in Switchboard's database so far; and how to use the database in program design and delivery.

Connecting with supporters in the era of COVID-19
Many SOT organizations are finding creative ways to connect with their supporters even without being able to host the usual in-person events that mean so much to the organizations, their clients, and the people who support them. If you’re looking for inspiration on hosting your own virtual event, below is what one program has recently done. This event featured a lively chat session where attendees were able to connect with other attendees and the event hosts and really foster a sense of community. If you would like to share what your organization has done to keep connected with your supporters, we would love to hear about it.  

The Program for Torture Victims (PTV):  PTV recently hosted their 40th Anniversary Virtual Gala as a live Zoom event. The theme was Pajamas and Cocktails and featured music, artistic performances, cocktail recipes, and moving videos of clients they have worked with. Click here to find a recording of this event.


CVT's PATH Bibliography Q2 2020
CVT's Partners in Trauma Healing (PATH) creates bibliographies every quarter of resources 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 well-being of these populations. The bibliography includes peer-reviewed journal article citations in these areas; select original summaries of those articles; and links to the publicly available abstracts and full-text versions of these articles. This bibliography is updated and distributed on a quarterly basis and does not currently include articles on policy or advocacy. Click here to view the Q2 2020 bibliography. Highlights of this quarter's bibliography include article summaries on:
  • Reflective functioning of refugee mothers with children born of conflict-related sexual violence
  • Creative expression workshops as Psychological First Aid (PFA) for asylum-seeking children: An exploratory study in temporary shelters in Montreal
  • Post-migration stressors and their association with symptom reduction and non-completion during treatment for traumatic grief in refugees
  • A pilot intervention to promote positive parenting in refugees from Syria in Lebanon and Jordan
  • Trauma exposure and PTSD prevalence among Yazidi, Christian and Muslim asylum seekers and refugees displaced to Iraqi Kurdistan
  • Other topics include: children and youth, health and well-being, refugees, and women.

From the Team

We hope you, your staff, your clients, and your family are safe and healthy. Please feel free to reach out to us to let us know how you are doing, what you are up to, and if there are ways that we can help by emailing Sara Bracewell.

Healing Focus is a quarterly digest from The National Capacity Building Project at the Center for Victims of Torture that shares news and resources on torture survivor rehabilitation. Meet our team.

Also, if you would like to suggest a topic you would like us to cover in one of these digests, please let us know! For additional tools, resources, and trainings on working with survivors, visit


The National Capacity Building Project
Advancing the science of torture survivor rehabilitation by promoting integrated, sustainable care for survivors across the United States.
CVT's National Capacity Building Project received $400,000 through competitive funding through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant #90ZT0187. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.

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