CVT is committed to expanding its mental health and physical therapy services in Jordan to reach the traumatized Syrian refugee population. This will include increasing treatment capacity at its existing clinic in Amman, and adding a mobile unit that will travel daily to places in north Jordan with large concentrations of Syrian refugees, such as the cities Zarqa and al Mafraq and, pending approval from Jordanian authorities, Al Zaatri refugee camp. CVT will also collect data on a new self-regulation and body awareness measure developed by CVT for torture/war trauma survivor clients who show clear signs of physical torture but whose primary complaint is not pain - a phenomenon CVT is observing in many refugees but particularly amongst children.
CVT has chosen a direct, hands-on supervisory and training model for the capacity building of local counseling and physical therapy staff as it provides immediate feedback and debriefing when working with highly traumatized populations. Immediate pre/post- debriefing ensures safe treatment of clients in tenuous conditions, allows for improved critical thinking, and provides an environment of support and learning for staff.
CVT contributions to this new initiative include: Existing physical capital such as vehicles, office space and information/communications equipment; experienced existing administrative and logistics staff; and substantial headquarters based support in Monitoring and Evaluation (new physical therapy measure, ongoing evaluation of existing counseling measures), Finance (contract compliance), clinical supervision by experts in counseling and physical therapy for traumatized clients, and human resources (recruitment and insurance).
CVT is a legally registered non-governmental agency in Jordan, and authorized to work in Amman and most areas outside of Amman where there are large numbers of Syrian refugees. CVT will be able to mobilize quickly to expand services as proposed.
By March 31, 2013, CVT will have recruited and deployed to Jordan one additional psychologist and one physical therapist with expertise in trauma to hire, train, supervise and mentor local professionals.
By April 30, 2013, at least 8 local professional counseling and physical therapy staff will have been recruited and hired.
By June 30th, 2013, initial training of credentialed local professionals will have ended, new client outreach / identification activities will have started, and counseling and physical therapy services will have commenced. Also, training staff at other agencies on issues of torture and its impact will commence, and will be conducted at least quarterly for the duration of the project.
At least two counseling cycles (10 weeks each) will be conducted in Year 1, with at least 180 clients total. In years 2 and 3, at least three counseling cycles conducted, with at least 270 clients per year.
Approximately 1/3 of counseling clients will also receive physical therapy services, based on client assessments, or 60 in year 1, and 90 clients in years 2 and 3.
Expert psychologists and physical therapists provide ongoing training, supervision, and performance evaluation throughout the three years.
Also by June 30th, 2013, and in addition to administering the existing CVT Pain and Discomfort Inventory (CVT-PDI) measure at client intake and discharge, physical therapists will also administer a new self-regulation and body awareness measure. This new measure, by virtue of being new, does not yet have enough client data to perform analyses related to validity and reliability. Preliminary measurement analyses, from client data, will be conducted at project mid-term (June 2014) after the collection of intake data for approximately 360 clients.
Torture has profound long-term effects, including painful physical reminders and severe psychological damage. However, healing is possible. Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) helps survivors recover so torture is in their past, not something they re-live every day. Its healing services programs focus on countries with large numbers of highly traumatized refugees or people returning home after war.
The rapidly evolving conflict in Syria is generating hundreds of thousands of refugees, and as of August, 2012 there are more than 180,000 Syrians in Jordan, of which approximately half have registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). There are multiple, detailed reports from credible sources that document the use of torture on an industrial scale inside Syria, and CVT's own focus group discussions with Syrian refugees confirm these reports and highlight the need for torture treatment services.
CVT proposes a project that will have both a near term impact with a long term strategic objective. The near term impact will be the direct treatment of war affected/tortured Syrian refugees through the provision of high quality counseling and physical therapy services. The long term strategic objective is to provide ongoing training and supervision to credentialed local counseling and physical therapy staff, who will remain in the region as experts in trauma treatment should CVT depart Jordan in the future. This remnant expertise will be particularly important for Syrians, who come from a country where psychology is not a recognized profession and, should refugees eventually return home, will in all likelihood be returning to communities with severely compromised or non-existent health services.
While CVT's sources of funding for its work with Syrian refugees in Jordan are more diverse than in some other locations, there is heavy reliance on a major donor, BPRM. CVT needs to find new sources of financial support.
Given CVT's specific expertise in treating survivors of torture and war trauma, it is itself often looked to as a source for best practices. Still, CVT is an organization continually learning, carefully monitoring its work, analyzing results, and learning from its own experience as well as from others.
There is an urgent need to tell the story of survivor resilience in ways that reach broader and more influential audiences. Although a part of the experience is difficult to tell and hear, the story is ultimately one of hope and of triumph of the human spirit.