Director – Section of Mass Trauma Studies
Professor Metin Basoglu, MD, PhD, is founder and former Head of Section of Trauma Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry of King’s College London and founder and Director of the Istanbul Center for Behavior Research and Therapy (DABATEM) in Turkey. He is internationally recognized as an authority on war, torture, and natural disaster trauma and treatment of survivors. He is the editor of Torture and Its Consequences: Current Treatment Approaches published in 1992 by Cambridge University Press – a now classic reference book on torture that brought together existing knowledge on the subject in the early 1990s and defined a new scientific discipline at the crossroads of medicine, psychiatry, human rights, and social and political sciences. In the years that followed he conducted pioneering studies that demonstrated the mental health effects of torture. These studies contributed to our understanding of torture by exploring the parallels between animal models of anxiety and human experience under torture.
One of Basoglu’s career-guiding goals has been to develop a mental healthcare model that can address the psychological care needs of millions of mass trauma survivors around the world. His work with survivors of the 1999 earthquakes in Turkey led to the development of Control-Focused Behavioral Treatment (CFBT) and its various innovative clinical and field applications detailed in this website.
During the same years Basoglu also conducted a multi-site research project in former Yugoslavia countries to examine the psychological processes that lead to traumatic stress reactions in war and torture survivors. The study found that traumatic stress was more closely associated with loss of control over perceived threat to safety than with lack of redress for trauma, including retributive justice. The findings implied that retributive justice is not likely to facilitate recovery from trauma in survivors of gross human rights violations and that such recovery requires psychological interventions specifically designed to reduce trauma-induced helplessness.
Following the completion of this research program, he brought together his 20 years of research findings in a book – A Mental Healthcare Model for Mass Trauma Survivors: Control-Focused Behavioral Treatment of Earthquake, War, and Torture Trauma – published in 2011 by Cambridge University Press.
In 2010 he launched a new research program in Istanbul to examine the effectiveness of CFBT in traumatized asylum-seekers. Preliminary findings showed that CFBT is also highly effective in reducing traumatic stress in war and torture survivors when delivered in an average of 6 weekly sessions.
Basoglu is also known for his work on definitional issues surrounding torture. In 2007 he published to critical acclaim a seminal research article showing no distinction between physical torture and ‘cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment‘ in terms of their immediate and long-term psychological effects. This article was the first to bring a scientific perspective to the debate on torture that followed 9/11. Because of its implications for US policies concerning “enhanced interrogation techniques” during the Bush administration, this article received wide attention by the world media and public, as well as by the human rights community. This was followed by a second article in 2009, which took the previous findings further in showing that cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment is more traumatic than physical torture. He has recently completed an edited book – Torture and Its Definition in International Law: An Interdisciplinary Approach – with contributions from prominent mental health, human rights, and international law scholars. The aim of this book is to bring together current knowledge on torture in the hope of promoting a sound theory- and evidence-based understanding of torture in international law.
Director – Section of Anxiety Disorders and Psychological Trauma
Professor Ebru Salcioglu received Bachelor’s degree in psychology and Master’s Degree in clinical psychology from the Bosphorus University in Istanbul and completed her PhD on cognitive effects of earthquake trauma at the Section of Trauma Studies of the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. She conducted her post-doctoral studies on psychological effects of war and torture trauma at the Section of Trauma Studies with Professor Metin Basoglu. She is a behavior therapist with expertise in the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder secondary to war, torture, earthquake, and sexual violence trauma. She also has extensive experience in treating anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, prolonged grief, depression, and eating disorders.
Prof. Salcioglu joined the Section of Trauma Studies after the 1999 earthquakes in Turkey and participated as the Project Coordinator and Clinical Supervisor in a large-scale research program that aimed at developing a new mental health care model for mass trauma survivors. She worked as the Turkey Site Coordinator of a multi-site research program on cognitive and psychiatric effects of war, torture, and natural disaster trauma, which was launched in Turkey and former Yugoslavia countries. She played a key role in the development of Control-Focused Behavioral Treatment (CFBT) and its various applications (Single-Session Behavioral Treatment, Earthquake Simulation Treatment, and a self-help manual), as well as a cost-effective outreach care delivery model for earthquake survivors.
Currently, Prof. Salcioglu is the Principal Investigator of a research program at DABATEM that aims at adapting CFBT to traumatized asylum-seekers and refugees from various African and Middle Eastern countries.
Prof. Salcioglu is an invited peer reviewer for many international professional journals. She served as a Consulting Editor for the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. In addition to her publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, she is the co-author of A Mental Healthcare Model for Mass Trauma Survivors: Control-Focused Behavioral Treatment of Earthquake, War, and Torture Trauma.