Relief and development organisation CARE International has engaged the services of one of the world's leading professional counsellors, Dr Gordon Turnbull, to counsel the Australian aid workers Steve Pratt and Peter Wallace.
The two men were yesterday released from prison in Yugoslavia, after more than 150 days of detention. A third CARE International aid worker, Branko Jelen, remains in prison.
Steve and Peter arrived in London this afternoon, to receive counselling from Dr Turnbull, a British psychologist who is an expert in dealing with people who have been held hostage or in solitary confinement.
He has helped counsel British hostages John McCarthy, Jackie Mann and Terry Waite, who were held for several years in the Lebanon.
CARE International UK spokesman Kaye Stearman said the two men appeared in good condition considering their ordeal, but it was important that they received the best counselling available.
"Steve and Peter have been through a long and traumatic period in detention. The experience of others in a similar situation clearly demonstrates the vital importance of counselling in order to allow people to come to terms with their experience."
Steve Pratt spoke publicly today for the first time since he was released from prison, and says he’s very happy and very relieved to be free, but is looking forward to being reunited with his family.
"My CARE International colleagues and I have been though quite a tough ordeal due to a misunderstanding, and I hope that the organisation will be able to resume its humanitarian programme soon across the whole of Yugoslavia."
CARE International UK and CARE Australia are members of the CARE International confederation of ten CARE organisations around the world.