High levels of violence and economic inequality have been reported in South Africa compared to other countries in the world. Furthermore, it has been noted that South Africa has become a major destination point for victims of civil and political unrest and poverty.  Psychosocial support services have been instrumental in assisting victims of violence and conflict in processing their feelings on the trauma and violence they have experienced.  The CSVR has been providing psychosocial counselling services for over 25 years to victims of violence and conflict. We work directly and indirectly with those affected by violence and conflict.  We aim to understand the causes of violence and conflict, the psychological impact they have on individuals and use this information to inform interventions that are geared towards addressing these causes.  Our psychosocial clinic is based in Johannesburg and we have a satellite office in Pretoria.

Our Services:

Psychosocial counselling support is offered to victims of violence and conflict who are willing to engage in the counselling process;

Our services are offered to individuals, families and groups;

Capacity building is provided to other service providers;

Torture remains a reality in many countries around the world.  As one of the largest recipients of refugees in the world, South Africa has become home to many victims of this extreme form of human rights violation.  The types of torture are diverse and include biological, psychological and social dimensions.


Mental Health Project

This project aims to provide direct comprehensive mental health and psychosocial services to refugees and asylum seekers (individuals and families) through counselling service provision, case management and psychiatric services, as well as providing indirect psychosocial services to refuges and asylum seekers through community outreach and capacity building initiatives. The primary goal of the projects it to improve the general mental health and psychosocial well-being people of concern for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), including people with special needs and disabilities. Through this project, we aim to support refugees and asylum seekers to deal more effectively with past traumas and the challenges they encounter in South Africa such as discrimination, xenophobia, unemployment, a lack of social housing, limited access to heal services and their exposure to violence during and after their flight from their home countries,

Rehabilitation project for survivors of torture and CIDT

Through this project, psychosocial support is provided to victims of torture, cruelty, inhumane and degrading treatment (CIDT).  Torture remains a reality in many countries around the world.  As one of the largest recipients of refugees in the world, South Africa has become home to many victims of this extreme form of human rights violation.  The impacts of torture are diverse and include biological, psychological, and social dimensions,  Our clinical interventions to treat people who have been affected by torture is based on a contextually-informed, evidence-based psychosocial model for the rehabilitation of victims of torture, developed by the clinical team at CSVR.

African Torture Rehabilitation Model

The torture rehabilitation field has been criticized for not implementing evidence-based interventions in the treatment of victims of torture. However, several important reasons exist for this. Most importantly for the torture rehabilitation centres in developing countries, is the fact that evidenced-based treatments have been developed in relation to the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), providing a limited perspective of the impact of torture. In addition, these evidence-based treatments have not been conducted with victims of torture. So, although such treatments are important in the rehabilitation of torture victims (many of whom present with PTSD), they fail to address the broader impacts of torture. Our project incorporates research as a way of developing a contextually and evidence based intervention which is implemented with individuals, families and communities that suffer from the psychosocial effects of violence.

Coalitions and partnerships

  • The CSVR is an implementing partner with the UNHCR with regard to assisting persons of concern;
  • We work informally with other organisations to meet a variety of clients’ needs that fall outside of CSVR’s expertise;
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