As one of the first torture treatment centers in the country, Marjorie Kovler Center recognized early on the need for training. Since our establishment in 1987, training has been an integral part of our mission as we believe a well-informed community is necessary for a sensitive response to survivors of politically sanctioned torture. Just as torture is intended to break bonds with the community, the community needs to be involved in the response. Kovler Center staff and pro bono professionals, many with long term commitments to this work, are experts in the field and available to train and consult.

Kovler Center trainings are intended to help local health care, legal, social service and other professionals understand the sequelae of torture, torture treatment, and how to make referrals to Kovler Center. Emergency room doctors, medical residents, psychotherapists, attorneys, refugee resettlement staff, and students from the fields of psychology, social work, law and theology, and other professionals have all benefited from our training.

Kovler Center staff has also provided training on trauma from politically sanctioned torture, war, and civil conflict; cross-cultural mental health; and program development for individual organizations and collaboratives across the country, as well as at nationally recognized conferences.

Internationally, Kovler Center staff has assisted local providers with program development, establishing treatment models best suited in their country for addressing trauma from war and/or torture, and program evaluation. Staff have consulted in Guatemala, Haiti, Rwanda, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Colombia.

Students and others requesting individual interviews with staff are encouraged to sign up for our monthly tours. To do so please register through our web site.


Local trainings specifically focused on identifying torture survivors, referring for services, understanding the sequelae of torture and treating survivors are offered at no cost. Trainings outside of the Chicago area or on mental health, trauma, and other topics not specifically related to torture are offered at the following rates:

$100 for a one-hour training or consultation (may be provided via Skype if preferred)
$500 for a ½-day training
$1000 for a full-day training
Reimbursement of travel time and expenses are required outside of the Chicago area.
Fees may be negotiable depending on the trainer and availability.

For more information, please email


As a medical student, this has underscored the importance of both building trust with patients and going the extra mile to understand the patient’s chief concern during a visit.

I feel empowered to be a companion of survivors of human torture without imposing my own values.

I will share the knowledge with others as well as use it in ministry with victims of violence.