Despite numerous international declarations and conventions prohibiting human rights violations, torture remains a major problem in many countries of the world. This book reveals in some detail the medical, psychiatric and psychological problems confronting the survivors of torture, and reviews the various and sometimes conflicting treatment approaches available to those involved in their care. Contributions are drawn both from host countries treating refugees who have experienced torture and from countries where treatment and rehabilitation of torture survivors has taken place in a setting of continuing repression and victimization. This handbook has become a classic resource, providing theoretical and practical information which addresses the needs of all health workers helping survivors of torture. Its reviews of issues in the sociology and psychobiology of organized violence also serve to command the interest of a much wider readership.
Metin Basoglu, MD, PhD and Professor of Psychiatry, is currently the head of Trauma Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London and the director of the Istanbul Centre for Behaviour Research and Therapy, Istanbul. He is internationally recognised as one of the most prominent authorities on torture, war and earthquake trauma. In 1992 he published the edited volume Torture and Its Consequences: Current Treatment Approaches, which defined a scientific discipline at the crossroads of human rights, medicine and social sciences and established itself a classic reference book on torture. His subsequent work focussed on the development of an evidence-based mental health care model for mass trauma survivors based on brief, effective and largely self-help behavioural treatments. In recent years he published to international acclaim research articles demonstrating that the widely presumed distinction between torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatments (or 'light torture') is not supported by empirical evidence and that the latter cause more psychological damage than physical torture. His work, pointing to the need for a broader and evidence-based definition of torture, received wide attention in the fields of human rights, mental health, social sciences and law, as well as from the world media.