Rehabilitation of torture victims and other traumatized refugees

1 out of 3 refugees in Denmark has been subjected to torture
We offer them the vital rehabilitation

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Rehabilitation in Denmark

DIGNITY has been approved by the National Board of Health as a highly specialized center, specializing in the rehabilitation of severely traumatized refugees. The treatment is free of charge in accordance to the Health Act, and patients are referred to treatment by their doctor via a referral form.

DIGNITY's rehabilitation team is interdisciplinary and consists of doctors, physiotherapists, social workers, psychologists, family therapists and interpreters. The team helps torture victims, other severely traumatized refugees as well as their families to deal with the physical and mental trauma and to tackle social challenges.

“Before, there was no hope. But now there is. I hope, for example, that I find a good job and get a good education. And I have a good feeling that my hopes will be met " - Murtaza, torture survivor from Iran and former client.

DIGNITY’s rehabilitation in Denmark

Individual treatment

Individual treatment is based on the individual's problems and needs. There will be sessions in DIGNITY's clinic as well as home assignments. During the sessions at DIGNITY, the patient will meet with a physician, psychologist, physiotherapist and social worker. DIGNITY collaborates with the patient's own doctor, social services and job center to support the patient and the development that is being initiated.

Group therapy

With treatment in groups, DIGNITY provides patients with a safe environment where one can reflect on current life situations, symptoms and plans for the future. Together, patients develop strategies to cope with everyday life, thus increasing their quality of life. The group is talking about eg. migration problems, pain, insomnia, posttraumatic stress, anxiety and depression. They will discuss possible solutions and receive feedback and practical advice and guidance from DIGNITY's therapists.

COMPAS: Rehabilitation of newly arrived refugees

DIGNITY offers a special group treatment for Arabic-speaking refugees aged 18-65, who have lived in Denmark in the maximum. 3 years (from obtained asylum).  The treatment period is 14 days -  with daily attendance. The efforts are of a rehabilitative nature and intend to prevent chronic trauma, and teach the individual to live with their traumatic experiences. The groups are divided by gender.

There is currently a short waiting list for treatment.

The project is funded by Den Obelske Familiefond and runs until the end of 2018.

Family therapy

The family team at DIGNITY helps families in which more or all family members have physical, mental and/or social problems. The purpose of the treatment is to map the individual's problems and resources, as well as the parents' individual needs for treatment, and focus on the family's situation in a holistic perspective. As part of the process, network-meetings are held, where representatives from the public entities working with the family participate with the parents and the DIGNITY family team.

Family therapy targeted trauma-related violence

DIGNITY has developed a treatment that specifically target the issue of trauma-related violence occurring in families with refugee backgrounds. The purpose of the treatment is to stop trauma-related violence, support the positive development of the children, and increase family well-being. We work on the parents' ability to take care of their children, to establish new ways of communication, and to get aggressions and anger under control. The course includes trauma treatment for children and adults, couples therapy and family therapy. There will always be collaborative meetings and network meetings with the professionals working around the family.

There is currently a short waiting list for treatment.

The project is funded by A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller's Foundation for General Purposes and runs until the end of 2018.

Rehabilitation internationally

The majority of torture survivors stay in their homeland or flee to a neighboring country where they do everything they can to rebuild their lives. But it can be difficult without professional help. We work to ensure that these torture survivors gain access to good and professional rehabilitation. This includes support and capacity building of existing treatment facilities, establishment of new rehabilitation offers, teaching and supervision of treatment teams, and research into the impact of various interventions.

Example

With support from DIGNITY, Tunisia opened its first rehabilitation center for torture victims in 2014.

Countries where we offer rehabilitation: Denmark, Tunesia, Jordan, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon & the Philippines

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Monitoring

DIGNITY is constantly working to explore the impact of the various rehabilitation efforts. The goal is to document, further develop, and quality-test the rehabilitation.

Interdisciplinary and bio-psycho-social rehabilitation

The rehabilitation program in the clinic typically lasts around 10 months and is based on an interdisciplinary and bio-psycho-social model where physicians, psychologists, social workers and physiotherapists work closely together in patient-teams. There is also a psychiatric medical consultant connected to the clinic. We offer individual treatment, group treatment, and family treatment using well-qualified interpreters when needed. The purpose of the rehabilitation effort is to lift the patient’s (and possibly the family’s) physical, mental and social level of functioning. Work includes:

Psycho-traumatology, including processing of trauma experiences and the development of strategies to deal with physical and mental symptoms.

Somatic issues, including special pain management and the development of physical resources.

Social relations and issues, including strengthening of the dialogue with the Danish social system, job and housing conditions, network development, etc.

Family relationships, including both parent-child relationships and relationships between couples. There is a particular focus on the children’s development and well-being and the professional network of people around the family and the children are involved.