Nicole St. Jean and Nirmeen Rajani — Session II

Torture to healing: An integrated and holistic approach to treatment

Nicole St Jean, PsyD, Nirmeen Rajani, PsyD. (Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center)

The purpose of torture is to create a climate of fear, breakdown communities and relationships, and produce a culture of silence and helplessness. With increased cultural divides and international unrest growing, torture is becoming a more frequent cause of individuals fleeing their home countries to seek safety. It is estimated that over 1.3 million immigrant torture survivors currently live in the U.S. (cvt.org, 2016) and that Illinois ranks the fourth in the nation for housing asylum seekers (2015). Marjorie Kovler Center is a community-based agency dedicated to transforming the lives of individuals recovering from the complex consequences of torture. This workshop presentation will discuss the impact of torture and difficulties faced by immigrant and refugee populations, address the clinical manifestation of “the triple trauma paradigm,” and share an integrated and holistic approach to healing. It also will highlight clinical considerations for individual and group torture treatment practices and will offer lessons learned about the importance of healing, reconnection, and rebuilding through group and other culturally-sensitive integrative practices.