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Our Philosophy

Key to our success is not just the nature of the work we do but the way we operate. Our approach is person-centred, community-based and holistic.

Our approach is radically different to that of many other organisations working with survivors of torture and organised violence. We work at depth and intensity to support each individual in their unique journey towards rebuilding their life in exile. Our approach is person-centred, community-based and holistic.


We believe that recognising a person’s humanity and not reducing them to a check-list of ‘symptoms’ is essential. We take great pains to treat every individual as a valuable human being, bearing in mind the potential for growth and healing even where there is serious dissociation and fragmentation.


We have found that people who have endured extreme violence and are living in exile, have a deep need for relationship and belonging. Our experience has taught us that as people find a place of belonging and acceptance a profound re-humanising process begins to happen.


We firmly believe that when someone enters our community we need to respond to the whole person and their unique, varied needs. It didn’t take us long to realise that it is futile offering only counselling to someone who has no bed for the night and no lawyer to fight their case. Our casework and therapeutic teams work closely together to support each member of our community through the challenges they face.

Informing Room to Heal’s therapeutic approach is a belief in the importance of:

  • Bearing witness to the devastating trauma that people have experienced;
  • Moving beyond an expert-patient relationship, enabling people to discover for themselves what they need in order to best heal;
  • An appreciation of the importance of humour, playfulness and a light touch, in our therapeutic practice, whilst recognising the seriousness and painfulness of trauma;
  • The way in which a group can help you to transcend your own story;
  • The idea of life journey, rather than pathology;
  • The sense that renewed meaning in life can be found through articulation of one’s story;
  • A belief in the wisdom and beauty of nature and its role as a healing resource.