HRTK’s Psychosocial Program was established in July 2004 in response to a dire need for psychotherapy services for refugees in Nairobi. Refugees grapple with past trauma including violence, torture, and forced displacement, as well as the vagaries of life in asylum, which may include continued persecution, breakdown of social fabric and traditions which together impair their social and occupational functioning.
Since inception, clients of the psychosocial program have most commonly been diagnosed to suffer from disorders such as anxiety, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Acute Stress Disorder, and neurosis. They have presented with symptoms such as: hopelessness, helplessness, uncertainty of the future, anger, low self-esteem, flashbacks, nightmares, disturbed sleep, loss of appetite, sexual dysfunctions, exaggerated startle response, hyper- vigilance, intrusive thoughts, restlessness, an excessive response to triggers and loss of interest in normal daily activities.
The Program’s intervention through individual counseling, family therapy, psychological assessments, referrals for psychiatric and emergency medical care, has assisted refugee clients in adapting coping mechanisms, creating positive interpersonal relationships and processing their traumatic critical incidences so that they are better able to enjoy life and restore dignity to their lives. The Project has also facilitated the processing of refugee protection cases through the determination of family composition, Best Interest Determination and referrals for family tracing.