Psychocorporal therapy groups for survivors of torture and war

2015 - 2017

Over the past few decades, Switzerland has become home to a large Balkan, Asian and African population. Most of these migrants are survivors of physical and psychological trauma and are fragile, both personally and socially. Social integration is difficult for them; recovering from traumatic experiences takes time and requires on-going specialized treatment.

This project targets mainly migrant women, whose isolation tends to make them suffer the most. It creates a safe space or community where victims of war and torture can share their experiences and feelings. Groups of 5-20 patients are organized into different therapeutic sessions managed by a multi-disciplinary team that includes a psychiatrist, a psychologist and a physiotherapist. These group sessions help patients establish interpersonal relationships and regain confidence in others. Physiotherapy is also provided to help them rebuild their mind-body connection.

The essence of the project is to build on each individual’s skills and reconstruct their damaged sense of self, helping them regain their dignity and their hopes for the future. While the project focuses on the individual’s social, cultural and health issues, it also stresses the importance of family and community.

Project highlights


1 psychiatrist

3 psychologists

1 social worker

2 physiotherapists

3 community interpreters

Activities and beneficiaries

86 men, women and children

attending therapeutic groups (5-15 people each)


group sessions held


physiotherapy sessions carried out for 70 patients

8 therapeutic groups

Mothers and Children Group, Bosnian Women Group, Yoga Group, Mindfulness Group, Body Group for Migrant Women, Therapeutic Group for Victims of Political Violence – Diwan, Ethnopsychiatry oriented treatment.