Freedom from Torture - Training and capacity building

Training and capacity building

Survivors of torture have the right to high quality rehabilitation support that is accessible and appropriate to their needs. Support needs to include medical, psychological and social care as well as access to legal services. In other words, it needs to be holistic.

Freedom from Torture can help you and your team unpick the complex needs of survivors of torture and support them confidently.

If you work with torture survivors in a health, social care or legal capacity, we can:

  • Train and support you to address the complex needs and rights of survivors
  • Equip you with skills and knowledge to support survivors of torture with confidence.
  • Enable you to apply evidence-based best practice to your services

We train and support:

  • Psychotherapeutic practitioners in voluntary & statutory counselling services
  • GPs, nurses, midwives and other specialist health professionals
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services staff
  • Frontline advice workers for asylum seekers and refugees
  • Legal representatives

Training programmes are delivered by our centres in London and the South East, North East, North West, Yorkshire & Humberside and Scotland. We can provide training in your workplace if that is more convenient for you.

And just want to say thank you SO much for the most excellent training I've ever been to! I wish I could come every Friday! but you've provided me with the tools so I don't have to.

Proof of attendance and CPD

You may be able to count our training towards your continuing professional development (CPD) requirements. We will provide you with a certificate of attendance which you can use to evidence your learning for your professional development purposes.

We offer three kinds of high quality service: We can provide three kinds of high quality service:

Bespoke training

Bespoke, in-house programmes are a highly effective way of developing the skills and confidence of your staff, with a lasting impact on staff morale and organisational practice.

You can have any of our courses delivered at your office and you can work with us to customise the course content or design a training programme from scratch. We will carry out a detailed analysis of your training needs and use the findings to design and deliver a training programme tailored to your specific needs.

We can also provide one-off or ongoing consultation support, including clinical supervision, to ensure continuing development of your staff and thereby maximise the impact of any training.

Organisations can apply for this service but we cannot accept applications from individuals.

Over the past decade, we have delivered over two thousand such training events.

Typical themes:

  • Identifying and assessing survivors of torture
  • Protection issues and rights for torture survivors
  • Therapeutic approaches when working with survivors of torture and clients with complex trauma
  • Working with interpreters in a clinical setting
  • Interviewing skills for non-clinicians working with victims of extreme trauma
  • The power of groups when working with survivors of torture
  • Good practice when working with victims of sexual violence
  • Good practice when working with children, families and separated young people
  • Survivor empowerment and activism

Participants have said:

“Quite a light bulb moment.” 2015

“The (training) approach was holistic, relevant to our context. I gained knowledge and found I was challenged - which I enjoy! Enjoyed the intelligence.” 2015

“One of the best training courses I have been on”   2015

"(The course) definitely improved my understanding, great delivery style – relaxed discussion, able to raise points and ask questions, backed up with good handout information." 2014

"Excellent training day – struck the right balance between practical suggestions and reflections on the therapeutic process." 2013

For more information or to discuss your organisation's needs, email

Open training

Open training programmes are for individuals (rather than organisations) who wish to apply. Course topics are drawn from requests we receive from frontline workers and from the experience of our clinical experts. Our programmes will help you develop best practice for use in your workplace.

Courses include:

  • Self-care and vicarious trauma
  • Working with interpreters in mental health and therapeutic settings
  • An introduction to engaging with survivors of torture.
  • Risk, Resilience and Rights: therapeutic approaches to working with children, families and separated young people

Previous participants have said:

“Feel ready to put these into practice and feel equipped with tools and ideas.” 2015

"Very helpful, opened my eyes to difficult aspects." 2014

"Clear, impressive – quietly confident and professional, experienced and knowledgeable." 2014

"Thank you - very interesting & training really necessary for our line of work. Wish managers had organised this much sooner." 2013

Coming up:

Find out more: Self-care and vicarious trauma: the importance of training  - a blog by Lynn Hiltz

For more information or to sign up to our mailing list for future courses, email

Professional development

Do you need professional support or development opportunities?

We can offer:

  • One-to-one clinical supervision
  • Group supervision
  • Learning exchanges and networking events
  • Advice and support for individual practitioners or organisations

Users have said:

“Working in this field is highly complex, challenging, rewarding and sometimes problematic and has at times left me feeling de-skilled. Supervision has been a great opportunity to feel less de-skilled and more competent.” 2015

"I wanted to hear from others, meet some relevant people, learn relevant experience - all achieved." 2014 round table

"Great to have a space where my supervisor is so incredibly knowledgeable and can hear and be open to the difficult things clients bring." 2014 supervision.


Read our blog: The power of facilitation



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