Opening a door to hope and healing

Center for Survivors of Torture (CST)

Since its inception in 2000, AACI’s Center for Survivors of Torture (CST) program has provided specialized services – including individual and group psychotherapy, psychiatry, psychological and medical evaluations for political asylum cases, medical, social, and legal services to more than 2,100 survivors of torture and their family members, as well as 2,800 newly arrived refugees from 74 countries. Since July 1, 2021, we’ve received 80 referrals to serve newly-arrived Afghan refugees.


CST’s mission is to open a door to hope and healing by providing rehabilitative services to survivors of politically motivated torture and refugees. We carry out our mission by educating the public, legislators, and service professionals, as well as by publishing research to increase the body of knowledge about refugees and torture survivors.

How to make a Referral

If you are interested or know someone in need of services, please fill out the referral form and fax the completed form to: (408) 975-2745.

CST Contact Information

Armina Husic, Associate Director, x247

You may also contact the Santa Clara County Call Center and request AACI as a provider
Mental Health Services Call Center Phone: 1 (800) 704-0900

CST Services

CST provides culturally competent services to torture survivors using a client centered approach which is multidisciplinary, holistic, and strengths based. This service approach capitalizes on the clients’ resilience and internal resources as well as external support to identify the unique and comprehensive needs of the survivor.

The New Refugee Services program is designed for newly arrived refugees and their families resettling in the U.S. and Santa Clara County for less than five years to improve their abilities in dealing with stressors experienced in the new country, such as adapting to the new culture and language, managing financial difficulties, and dealing with emotional challenges such as depression and anxiety.

CST advocates for the civic engagement, health care access and social justice for these survivors of torture. We aim to be the voice for these survivors by providing them with the insight into the effects of torture, the consistent care to re-establish trust and bring damage under control, and support to enable mastery of problems in a new country and culture.  We also advocate on the State Legislative level to bring awareness about the presence of torture survivors in our state and encourage support of California and national torture treatment centers.

In addition to direct client services, CST staff conducts trainings for legal, medical and social service providers and provide psycho-education and outreach to organizations and community members.