DABATEM is an independent and private research center with internationally recognized expertise in anxiety disorders, psychological trauma, and behavioral treatment. It has been founded by Professor Metin Basoglu, who currently directs the center together with Professor Ebru Salcioglu (see staff page). Since then it has been at the forefront of cutting-edge research on psychological trauma caused by wars, political violence, and natural disasters (see publications). Because its research on mass trauma has important mental health, human rights, legal, and political implications, its published findings have also been of interest to the world media.
DABATEM has launched three training programs for worldwide dissemination of its wealth of knowledge and experience. These include:
- 3-day intensive course on Control-Focused Behavioral Treatment of psychological trauma
- 1.5-day course for law professionals – Understanding torture and its psychological effects
- Internship programs
These programs are unique in the following respects:
- DABATEM has pioneered the development of a new science at the crossroads of medicine, social sciences, human rights, and political sciences. Its approach to psychological trauma is distinct from many others in being firmly grounded on sound theory and empirical evidence. As such, the training programs provide a sound orientation in psychological trauma from the perspective of these disciplines.
- The 3-day course on Control-Focused Behavioral Treatment (CFBT) provides training in the delivery of a novel intervention that is distinct in theory and practice from other evidence-based treatments. CFBT is a brief and highly effective intervention based on learning theory principles originating from experimental work with animals. Research has shown that it achieves 80% to 90% improvement in traumatic stress reactions, when delivered in single session in earthquake survivors and in an average of 6 sessions in war and torture survivors. Furthermore, it is a largely self-help-based treatment that can be disseminated to large numbers of trauma survivors in a cost-effective fashion.
- Evidence-based treatments developed in western countries have important limitations in both theory and practice. Because DABATEM’s treatment model is derived from experimental work with animals and focuses on universals in human behavior, it crosses cultural boundaries and overcomes many of the limitations of these treatments. As such, its training program provides a unique opportunity for both western and developing country mental healthcare providers.
- As DABATEM’s work has been conducted in developing country settings, the knowledge and experience it has accumulated are directly relevant to the work of trainees from developing countries.
- DABATEM has developed a mental healthcare model that enables dissemination of CFBT to large masses of survivors in the most cost-effective way. The intensive course involves training in the implementation of this model in the aftermath of large-scale disasters.
- Finally, DABATEM is also internationally known for its three decades of pioneering research into psychological effects of torture and the mechanisms by which torture exerts its traumatic impact on individuals. Its research – highly relevant to definitional issues around torture – has long informed legal professionals and the global human rights community.