Our Approach

In the face of torture people dissociate to survive. No longer able to engage, people become lost, their humanness spoilt, their relationship to everything broken. People often first arrive at Room to Heal in a state of hopelessness: desolate, fearful and cut off, both from themselves and the people around them. This state of meaninglessness and disconnection is intolerable.

We believe in the transformative power of community in helping people to heal. Our work is based on the simple but recognised idea of a ‘therapeutic community,’ where specialist psychological support is available alongside group and community activities. Through contact with others, particularly those who share similar experiences, we exercise and experience a shared humanity. This creates a powerful feeling of connection and belonging, rebuilds emotional strength and natural resilience and begins to undo the legacy of torture.

Informing Room to Heal’s therapeutic approach is a belief in the importance of:

  • Bearing witness to the devastating trauma that people have experienced;
  • Moving beyond an expert-patient relationship, enabling people to discover for themselves what they need in order to best heal;
  • An appreciation of the importance of humour, playfulness and a light touch, in our therapeutic practice, whilst recognising the seriousness and pain of trauma;
  • The way in which a group can help you to transcend your own story;
  • The idea of life journey, rather than pathology;
  • The sense that renewed meaning in life can be found through articulation of one’s story;
  • A belief in the wisdom and beauty of nature and its role as a healing resource;
  • The acknowledgement that talking has its limits. The need to help people to reconnect with their bodies, selves and the natural world;
  • Recognising that as human beings we are united by common existential concerns of love, loss, death and longing.


Mark Fish founded Room to Heal in 2007.  Mark, a highly respected counsellor and psychotherapist, was profoundly affected by his experiences working in conflict resolution in ...


We aim to enable people who have experienced torture and human rights abuses to heal from their traumatic experiences, find renewed meaning in life, and begin to ...

Therapeutic programme

Below is a brief outline of Room to Heal’s holistic programme for members. Please get in touch to find out more. Our assessment process is ...

What people say about us

  “… I have become a better person here – full of life, confidence and ambition.” A Room to Heal member, 2013   What our ...




Donate to Dame and Mamadou who are running the British 10k on July 9 in support of Room to Heal! Mayville

Your money could fund a therapist to help members recover from severe trauma, help to pay for healing programmes such as the storytelling project, or cover travel expenses for members to get to a retreat. We also need general funds for staff wages and running costs such as office rental and telephone. Donations through JustGiving […]