Unflinching Empathy: Counselors and Tortured Refugees


  • Sylvia A. Marotta

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Counseling, Human, and Organizational Studies, The George Washington University.
    • George Washington University, 2134 G Street N.W. #326, Washington, DC 20052 (e-mail: syl@gwu.edu).

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In the article “Refugee Survivors of Torture: Trauma and Treatment,” W. Gorman (2001) consolidates liberation theory, multiculturalism, and traumatology into a treatment framework that draws from P. Freire (1973); A. J. Marsella, M. J. Friedman, E. T. Gerrity, and R. Scurfield (1996); and J. L. Herman (1992). This article focuses on several questions addressed by Gorman: What is the impact of torture on refugees; what multicultural principles are relevant to treatment; and what can sequenced models of trauma treatment offer to the torture survivor? It concludes with suggestions for counselors to consider regarding acculturation, resilience, and the role of mind and body in the treatment of tortured refugees.