GCRT was founded in October 2000 with the aim to provide expert assistance to persons who were suffering from the after-effects of trauma or who have been subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment. Since our founding, which was made possible with the support of the International Centre for Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (IRCT), the organisation brought together a team of experts who already had experience of working with people who had suffered trauma and had been affected by war. The assistance provided consisted of establishing medical diagnoses, providing psychological, social and legal counselling and, where necessary, provide rehabilitation and treatment.
At the initial stage, the centre focused on three main target groups: Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), persons tortured by the law enforcement agencies as well as refugees from Chechnya. Over time, the spectrum of target groups expanded and the size of the centre increased considerably. Starting in 2003, GCRT established a number of new offices in the various regions of Georgia. The first regional office was opened in Akhmeta, which functioned in the Pankisi Gorge and assisted Chechen refugees during the period 2003-2010. In 2007, GCRT opened two additional offices in Kutaisi and Batumi and later in 2010 one in Gori. The organisation now consists of four offices, one of them being the headquarters in Tbilisi.
Over the years, a number of significant new directions were added to the work of GCRT. The organisation was actively involved in the criminal justice reform process in the country, in particular with regards to the development of rehabilitation programs for delinquents and of specialised services within the penitentiary. At the same time, services were established in the field of domestic violence and sexual violence, especially targeting women and girls.
During past years services were expanded not only to deal with the direct victims of violence but also with their family members; additionally an intensive awareness rising campaign was launched. GCRT also started to work with family members of people who have been missing as a result of military conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This particular line of work allowed us to provide assistance to a very vulnerable group of people whose difficulties are not known even to human rights and mental health organisations.
GCRT’s work is fully multi-disciplinary. Orginization's multidisciplinary teams include physicians, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, child and adult psychotherapists. The role of each and every team member is essential. Because of individual approach, the centre is able to provide each clients with a fully comprehensive and holistic service.
Apart from directly working with clients, GCRT is actively involved in the development of the field of psychotraumatology in Georgia. Through training and education programs we introduce and institutionalise professional knowledge in mental health system, child welfare system, education system, penitentiary system, etc. In addition we help State agencies to pilot and develop innovative services.
GCRT is also very active in the field of human rights both in Georgia and abroad. As a result of our dedicated human rights work, we became the co-founders and acting members of Human Rights House Tbilisi, which is a part of the international human rights house network.Over the past years GCRT got involved in training professionals and helping set up services for traumatised vulnerable groups outside Georgia, e.g. in Armenia and Ukraine.