Online proceedings for the IRCT General Assembly and 10th International Scientific Symposium - Delivering on the Promise of the Right to Rehabilitation

Time: 14:10 to 15:40

Five years in the making: Reflections and impact statistics on a dual direct services and capacity building - CVT project providing LRA related trauma mental health to northern Uganda agencies

Presenter(s) and co-author(s): Dr. Paul Orieny ( Center for Victims of Torture - United States of America )


Since October 2009, CVT has been funded by the Trust Fund for Victims to work with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in northern Uganda, in mental health clinical mentoring and supervision to their counselors. The overall purpose has been to provide survivors of LRA-inflicted torture and violent trauma with high-quality, effective, direct mental health rehabilitation services. While CVT has continued with its original core capacity building activities of partnerships with local organizations to build staff’s counseling skills, it has added a component of direct mental health services to the impacted LRA survivors, as a response to lessons learned over the 5 years.


The presentation will include collective reflective points of view from the CVT psychotherapist trainer who has been in northern Uganda for 5 years; the local psychosocial counselors; the clinical advisor; the program manager; and M&E support team. These viewpoints will be corroborated by a description of client assessment tools; a discussion on impact statistics on depression, PTSD, anxiety, somatic symptoms and daily functioning; a discussion on psychosocial counselor competence assessment tool; a discussion on the use of an organizational evaluation tool on mental health service provision capacity, partner selection, measuring baseline and capacity improvements annually; as well as an innovative cloud based M&E support.


The presentation will highlight lessons learned from this unique CVT dual capacity building and direct services work and its transformation over time. The reflections revolve around the history and evolution of the project; shortage of skilled counseling services to help affected war survivors recover; CVT’s assessment of potential partner organizations and eventual selection; so called “holistic” partner agencies structures that jeopardize prioritization of mental health work; the necessity of distinguishing between psychosocial support and psychosocial counseling services as a crucial step to effectively address the trauma affected clients; strategic sustainability partnerships with local institutions; the rationale behind CVT’s decision to incorporate direct work into the capacity building; CVT’s direct work through group therapy; CVT’s model of intensive supervision and co-therapy as a way to improve quality of partner organizations ; logistical and other contextual issues that create challenges; cultural and environmental challenges especially for women survivors; and anecdotal client testimonials.

Funding & No Conflicts Declaration

The Presenter(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest.

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