Original photo: NCTTP

A Welcoming, Safe Environment for Healing

NCTTP’s Treatment Philosophy is to first provide a welcoming, safe environment where Torture Survivors feel or gradually learn to feel safe and understood. Adequate language or language is paramount. Also paramount is a welcoming attitude of the provider, i.e., a successful communication of "I am very glad you (the Survivor) have come."

To decrease the short and long term impacts of torture, many NCTTP centers offer a full range of treatment services – medical, mental health, legal, social support and case management services, which are needed by torture survivors. Some NCTTP centers specialize in one of these services and collaborate with partner organizations to provide the other services.

New staff members study together at NCTTP center.

New staff members study together at NCTTP center.

Access to Resources is Critical

If possible, NCTTP centers help make available to Survivors, access to resources, such as health insurance benefits, health information, illness prevention, and access to education. Most NCTTP centers, however, face challenges in offering all of the services they see as beneficial to torture survivors due to not enough funding.

It is extremely challenging, for example, in most U.S. cities to provide access to resources for Asylum Seekers, as most asylum seekers flee to the U.S. to save their lives and have no resources or benefits available once they arrive. Treatment Services for Refugees is frequently better than for asylum seekers. For both groups of torture survivors, Asylum Seekers and Refugees, however, access to social support and health services are frequently inadequate, and many providers serving torture survivors are not adequately trained and informed about the severe consequences of torture on the physical and mental health outcomes of torture survivors.

Dr. Alan Keller, M.D., examines a torture survivor.

Dr. Alan Keller, M.D., examines
a torture survivor.

Positive Results

With social support, supportive long-term psychotherapy and adequate medicine, most torture survivors have a marked reduction in symptoms. Many staff members of NCTTP Centers have published articles in professional journals on the importance of treatment for Survivors of Torture and have described treatments in their centers.

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