Common Bond Institute

Annual International Conference on

Transgenerational Trauma

Communal Wounds and Victim Identities

Amman, Jordan

Sharing Skills:

Training in proven, practical skills and applications.

Exploring New Models and Methodologies:

Developing new culturally appropriate, practical models and methods at the large scale, societal level for healing communal trauma and preventing it’s transfer into future generations.

Focused Dialogue and Deliberation:

Defining and addressing the multidimensional dynamics of inherited, unresolved communal trauma from one generation to the next, including historical understandings, development and perpetuation of communal victim identities and belief systems, effects on exclusive cultural membership and rites of belonging, war and violence, epigenetics, and implications for present and future relations within and between communities.

Action Planning on Practical Applications:

Applying treatment perspectives, models, and methods to address current, real-world situations.

Transgenerational Trauma is seen as an underlying and complex global syndrome that divides, polarizes, and perpetuates enemy images, has been a central basis for past conflict and wars, and is a potent fuel for the eruption of violence in the present and future. Understanding it’s dynamics and implications, and developing ways to effectively prevent and treat it, are essential to healing and reconciliation within and between communities, establishing compassionate local and global relations, and achieving sustainable peace.

Sponsored by:
   Common Bond Institute (CBI)
   Jordanian Pioneer Center
   Michigan State University (MSU)
   International Humanistic Psychology Association (IHPA)
   International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations-Jordan (IFMSA)

Endorsed by:
   An international list of over 100 cooperating organizations and universities

Official Partner and Event of:
   Charter For Compassion and Parliament of World’s Religions

Purpose and Goals Include:

Promoting a collaborative global network of permanent working study groups with cross-cultural representation – essential to universal understanding and culturally appropriate applications – that cooperate on researching and addressing communal and intergenerational trauma:
    – the Transgenerational Trauma Research Network, and
    – the International Journal of Communal and Transgenerational Trauma.
Providing an annual meeting place for these study groups to come together regularly to share knowledge and explore critical issues and applications.
Development of culturally appropriate perspectives, treatment models, and methodologies at the societal level for healing and preventing the intergenerational transfer of unresolved trauma and communal victim identity, and training programs to teach these skills and understandings to individuals engaged in social healing.
Highlighting practical initiatives, including the Social Health Care (SHC) training and treatment program as an exemplary treatment model for developing societies that are regions of conflict where resources are scarce.
Increasing understanding, sensitivity, and appreciation of the implications of these psycho-social dynamics within and between communities, and how to help reduce and prevent the carry over of unresolved trauma and victim identity into subsequent generations. Vital to achieving this goal is providing public education to the general public, and enlisting the involvement, support, and cooperation of those profoundly influencing the next generation in learning societal identity, including parents, educators, religious leaders, cultural/societal representatives, those generating public media, etc.
Creating and compiling a body of knowledge shared globally with practitioners and researchers from related human service and relationship fields (including mental health, medical health, sociology, cultural anthropology, education, political science, religion & spirituality, etc.), conflict transformation and peace building activists, government representatives, public policy makers, community leaders, religious leaders, other stakeholders, and the general public. To facilitate this a virtual platform is being created for collecting and archiving research, conference proceedings, publications, training and treatment programs, and related materials to provide a multi-media resource library – including a professional virtual journal with a blend of scholarship, insight, and practical application – to the professional and lay public, as well as to political/community leaders, public policy makers, and educational systems. The platform will offer virtual work space for study groups with members located at a distance from each other, and a member blog.

Format and Character of the Conference:

The 2 day conference is a highly interactive learning community. Prepared workshops and presentations are designed to impart knowledge and skill, share research, and stimulate in-depth dialogue and deliberation leading to increased understanding, practical applications, and next steps.

Dialogue and deliberation are the essential engines of the conference.
As such, a central driving feature of the program is conducting focused topical panels, roundtables, and dialogue groups to actively engage all participants in addressing and investigating the many dimensions, symptoms, and implications of Transgenerational Trauma, and contributing their expertise, perspectives, and personal experiences.
* (See Program Overview and Schedule for full description)

Examples of complex questions to consider and address include, but are not limited to:

• New models, new methods, and new approaches for healing communal trauma
• A common interdisciplinary, cross-cultural perspective and definition;
• Evidence of historical or anthropological presence
• Dynamics and influences relative to past, present, and future relationships between and within communities,
• Interplay of psychological, social, biological, and transpersonal/spiritual factors
• Traditional and developing mechanisms for responding to and healing collective trauma,
• Unprecedented challenges of moving from understanding and treating the individual or small group to the societal and global, as well as from direct, primary trauma to secondary, vicarious, and transgenerational trauma.
• Interchangeable dynamics, traditions, and identities of victim / perpetrator, Us / Them, and Self / Other as common dilemmas for all societies and cultures
• Social and cultural influences on identifying with communal victimhood and ritualized refreshing of trauma as a required rite of passage into group identity and belonging.
• The power and practical necessity of compassion for healing, reclaiming fundamental security and self-worth, and restoring personal balance with the world through reconciliation with a perpetrator and demonized Other.


An added objective is to gathering input into the International Journal of Communal and Transgenerational Trauma and the Transgenerational Trauma Research Network, including important questions a global study should address, challenges to such a collaborative initiative, and planned outcomes and beneficial applications of products that result from it.

Program Features:

• Skills Training Workshops,
• Breakout Sessions of Practical, Research, and Theoretical Presentations,
• Interactive Topical Panels & Roundtables,
• Facilitated Dialogues,
• Interactive Conference Community Experiences,
• Rich Networking for Cooperation on Practical Applications,
• Interdisciplinary, Multi-cultural Learning Community,
• Introduction of:
Transgenerational Trauma Research Network
International Journal of Communal and Transgenerational Trauma
• Farewell Dinner Party on last evening

Post-Conference Programs

Direct practical applications of conference products:

One of the functions of the TT Conference is providing additional training to participating local medical students and practitioners, NGO staff, aid workers, clergy, teachers, and members of the refugee community enrolled in the certified Social Health Care (SHC) psychosocial skills training programs operated by Common Bond Institute in Jordan to help build local capacity for healing and recovery.


For several days following the conference trainees continue to receive a regular series of SHC intensive trainings. CBI’s treatment team also conducts several days of psychosocial treatment services and community resilience building events for refugees at CBI’s local community-based service projects, assisted by these trainees.


Details on the SHC training programs can be found at:

• Psychosocial Specialty Training for Medical Students
• Diploma Program in Clinical Social Work
• Community-based Training Program
• Psychosocial Training for Clergy and Religious Teachers


Details on the SHC community-based psychosocial treatment service and resilience building projects conducted in Jordan can be found at:

• Disaster Health Care Field Clinics
• Center for Healing and Renewal
• Women’s Safe Space
• Youth and Community Resilience Building