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Therapy

Survivors of trafficking and torture have experienced unimaginable violence and pain. Our Therapy team help Survivors come to terms with their experiences. They offer interventions that are proven to work so Survivors can go on to lead rich and fulfilling lives that are no longer defined by the violence and trauma they have experienced. 

WHY DO SURVIVORS NEED THERAPY? 

The trauma that many of our clients have endured has left them with severe psychological problems. It is very common for Survivors to suffer from PTSD, complex PTSD, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, disturbing thoughts and feelings, painful flashbacks, nightmares, intense feelings of sadness, fear and anger as well as feelings of shame and hatred towards themselves. As a result of your experiences, you can feel cut off from yourself, your feelings and other people. You may struggle to access NHS mental health services. You may feel, and sometimes are, vulnerable and alone, often in unsafe situations.

WHAT’S OUR SOLUTION?

The Helen Bamber Foundation’s therapy is individual, adaptable and responsive. We help clients manage their acute symptoms, we offer therapeutic interventions to help clients come to terms with the traumatic experiences they have suffered and we assist with integration into their new communities. We only deliver treatments that are proven to work. We can be flexible and work with Survivors as their needs change and develop.

We aim to reduce psychological pain and trauma and enable a recovery of a sense of oneself. We are always working towards independence and agency for our clients. 

OUR THERAPY IS KIND, RESPONSIVE AND EVIDENCE-BASED

We offer a wide range of therapies to support Survivors at each stage of recovery including: psycho-education, symptom management, Trauma-focussed Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Narrative Exposure Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, relational psychotherapy and behavioural activation. These therapies are all proven to work and help Survivors of trafficking and torture. We tailor each therapy to each client to ensure they are getting the appropriate treatment.

Our care involves our therapy team supporting Survivors in a three staged approach. 

  • Firstly, stablisation helps clients to manage their acute symptoms such as flashbacks, low mood and anxiety; as well as associated circumstances such as destitution or legal adversity that impact on mental health.
  • Then we offer therapeutic interventions that support clients to come to terms with the traumatic experiences they have suffered.
  • Finally, integration helps clients learn to belong in the community they have joined.

Our therapy is informed by detailed assessments, interspersed with reviews and completed with a series of measures to understand the effectiveness of different treatments. 


The therapy team are also advocates, supporting the work of internal and external services with expert, clinical input to ensure that the right support and care is delivered for clients across housing and welfare, legal and counter-trafficking needs by statutory and voluntary support services accessed by clients.

The work of the Helen Bamber Foundation’s therapy is pioneering; not only are the treatments themselves relatively new, very few services are dedicated to delivering the treatments for populations of Survivors. This is because many believe that treatment should wait until Survivors have secure immigration status and stable accommodation. We know that Survivors should not have to wait for the treatment they urgently need. Because of this, there are few relevant benchmarks against which to compare our outcomes however, the results we achieve surpass those in other published studies. The Helen Bamber Foundation’s dedication to measurement and evaluation have placed us at the forefront of evidencing the positive impact of our approach for our client population.

It is hard to imagine the extent of the emotional and physical torture Survivors have experienced. Our Therapy team exist to help Survivors come to terms with their experience, and ultimately support them so they can lead rich and fulfilling lives on their own terms.

SOME FACTS ABOUT OUR THERAPEUTIC RESULTS

Survivors suffering from severe anxiety fell from 55% to 30%.

The number of clients with acute PTSD fell from 75% to 38%.

The proportion presenting with low esteem fell from 79% to 36%

My therapy made me come to life. It changed the unchangeable. So many bad things happened to me. Now, thanks to the therapy, I know how to love myself. For anyone who has had a similar experience: therapy can make you well, make you come back, make you feel human again.