Common Bond Institute

Previous 2016 T T Conference Presenter Bios

Previous 2016 T T Presenter Bios *


5th Annual International Conference on

Transgenerational Trauma:

Communal Wounds and Victim Identities

October 26-29, 2016 ~ Amman, Jordan

Sponsored by:
Common Bond Institute,
Michigan State University

International Humanistic Psychology Association
International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations


2016 Program

We wish to honor and thank this year’s presenters who recognize the importance of this initiative and have stepped forward to help facilitate it. Presenters have gathered from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and countries to share skills, learning, promote an engaged, inclusive dialogue, and facilitate action planning toward a more comprehensive, cross-cultural global understanding and response to transgenerational trauma.

(In Order of Appearance in the Program)

Wednesday, October 26

6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Greetings, Conference Mission, and Announcements:

Steve Olweean, MA
is founding Director of Common Bond Institute, co-founder & President of International Humanistic Psychology Association (IHPA), & past President of Association for Humanistic Psychology. He has written & presented on concepts of communal trauma, The OTHER, & dynamics of belief systems. Founder of International Conference on “Engaging The Other;” International Conference on Religion, Conflict, & Peace; International Conference on Transforming Conflict; International Conference on Practical Models for Peace, International Conference on Transgenerational Trauma, & the Global Network for the Study of Transgenerational Trauma. Co-founder of International Conference on Conflict Resolution. He is a therapist with an MA in Clinical Psychology with treatment focus on abuse recovery of victims & perpetrators, trauma recovery, & healing negative belief systems. He developed the Catastrophic Trauma Recovery (CTR) model for treating large populations of trauma victims, and is co-coordinator and core training faculty of CBI’s innovative Social Health Care (SHC) training and treatment program based on it for local capacity building to treat communal trauma. He is 2011 Recipient of the Charlotte and Karl Bühler Award from the American Psychological Assoc. for outstanding contribution to Humanistic Psychology internationally, and recognized for his life long work in a chapter devoted to his role with CBI in the “The New Humanitarians.”
Email:   Web:   and


Haythem Bany Salameh, PhD
is Associate Professor at the Department of Telecommunications Engineering at Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan, and Director of Queen Rania Center for Jordanian Studies and Community Service, at Yarmouk University.


Community Building Exercise:

Ilene A. Serlin, Ph.D, BC-DMT
is a licensed psychologist and registered dance/movement therapist in practice in San Francisco and Marin county. She is the past president of the San Francisco Psychological Association, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, past-president of the Division of Humanistic Psychology. Ilene Serlin is Associated Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, has taught at Saybrook University, Lesley University, UCLA, the NY Gestalt Institute and the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. She is the editor of Whole Person Healthcare (2007, 3 vol., Praeger), over 100 chapters and articles on body, art and psychotherapy, and is on the editorial boards of PsycCritiques, the American Dance Therapy Journal, the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Arts & Health: An International Journal of Research, Policy and Practice, Journal of Applied Arts and Health, and The Humanistic Psychologist
Website:   Blog:

Mawadda Al-Akkad
is from Syria. She studies psychology at University of Jordan, has completed a course on Cognitive Behavior Therapy, participated in Social Health Care trainings and in the Annual International Conferences on Transgenerational Trauma. She is interested in the subjects of morals, religion, and civilization, and is a guitarist.

~ Thursday, October 27 ~

10:15 am – 11:15 am

Myron Eshowsky, M.S.
has taught shamanism and its application to peace and healing internationally since 1986. He has published dozens of articles on the integration of shamanic methods into modern life including healthcare, mental health, prisons, gang work, healing revenge, and peacemaking. He worked for six years in a community mental health center as a shamanic healer. He is the first known shamanic healer to be covered by a health insurance company to provide soul retrieval work. He has a private practice in healing services, mediation, and organizational consultation in Madison, Wisconsin. Additionally, he is the author of Peace with Cancer: Shamanism as a Spiritual Approach to Healing. He is co-developer of the Social Health Care (SHC) training and treatment program, one of the program coordinators, and on its core training faculty. He has presented numerous times in CBI’s conferences in Russia, the US and Jordan.
Email:  Web:


11:15 am – 12:15 pm

Ghalia AlAsha, PhD,
holds Ph.D in psychology from Damascus University where she was also a lecturer. She has prepared many psychosocial service programs for refugees, including parenting, sexuality, and marital relations. She is working as a psychological therapist with Charete Organization in Amman, Jordan. Ghalia is part of Common Bond Institute’s Social Health Care local psychosocial team in Jordan.


2:00 am – 3:00 pm

Reyad Mohammed Abu Sharaf
is a psychologist with the Jordan River Foundation. He has worked in the field of counseling and mental health and psychotherapy treatment and with children with special needs in the area of evaluation of special education services. He has dealt with the psychological states, including neuroses such as fears, anxiety, obsessive-depression, low self-concept, cases of behavioral disorders, trauma and sexually abused children, as well as vocational and academic counseling for students. He has several years experience in the field of education assessing and teaching students with special needs, including children with autism, mental retardation, learning difficulties, and underachievement. and in developing individual planning programs to modify the behavior of individuals with special needs in cognitive and social skills. He has also worked in the application of intelligence tests such as WISC, Binet, and various psychometric tests.


3:00 am – 4:00 pm

Domnine Marie Lecoq, PhD
is a licensed clinical psychologist working mainly with children at the Transcultural Center in Stavanger, Norway. She is in the process of developing a PhD-project around the care of traumatized refugee children in kindergarten.

Aina Basilier Vaage M.D,
is a psychiatrist and a child psychiatrist at the Transcultural Center. She has taken her PhD on the Mental health of Vietnamese refugees in a long-term and trans-generational perspective.


4:15 – 6:00 pm

Ghalia AlAsha, PhD (see B)

Farha Abbasi, MD,
is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Michigan State University. She was awarded an American Psychiatric Association/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Fellowship through which she originated and developed a Muslim Mental Health Conference, the first of its kind in the United States. She is widely known as a spokesperson for mental health issues in Muslim communities in the United States and has been interviewed locally and by national media. She developed and has operated the landmark Psychosocial Traning for Religious Leaders in the US for the past 10 years, receiving high recommedations from leading clergy and religious organizations. Farha represents Michigan State University in it’s partnership with Common Bond Institute on its psychosocial training and treatment programs.
Email:  Web:

Tanya Awad Ghorra, MBA
has a media background, an MBA in journalism, & MBA in Non-Violent Education and conflict resolution from AUNOHR (Academic Univ. for Non-violence & Human Rights). She took a challenge 2 years ago, & volunteered to create a non-violent communication & conflict resolution course in a private school for children aged 5 to 10. The school has since declared itself a non-violent one, & is in the process of implementing a mediation desk & extending the course to higher classes. She is also a trainer for teachers & NGOs where she introduces NVC & conflict resolution, often traveling to Egypt & other countries to do so. Tanya is an activist in her country of Lebanon, working on abolishing capital punishment & achieving permanent peace in civil society & civil marriage. She is often featured in the media for her work & increasingly enlisted by media, business, & even political parties to offer NVC programs & workshops to staff members, corporate managers, & the public. In August of 2012 she began the 1st weekly public education TV show on NVC in Lebanon that has since expanded to airing twice a week. Tanya is on the core training faculty of Common Bond Institute’s Social Health Care (SHC) training and treatment program.
Email:  Blog:

Ahmad Abojaradeh, MA
is the co-founder of Muslim Community Link (MCL) in central Massachusetts (, the Director of Mental Health for MCL, an Engineer, a Peer Support Specialist, a Novelist and the founder and editor of Life in My Days ( He has been working in the Peer Support field for two years, and have been conducting Mental Health workshops for four years.

Steve Olweean, MA (see Wednesday night Opening)


~ Friday, October 28 ~

10:00 – 11:20 am

Tanya Awad Ghorra, MBA (see E)


1:00 – 2:00 pm

Tom Holmes, MA, MSW, PhD
Tom Holmes has a PhD in Counseling Psychology, a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology and an Masters Degree in Social Work. He is Professor Emeritus at Western Michigan University (WMU) where he taught for more than 20 years. He has been training graduate students in psychotherapy since 1985. His specialty area is spirituality and the therapeutic process. He has been offering training in the United States and Europe for the past 25 years.


2:00 – 3:00 pm

Ilene A. Serlin, Ph.D, BC-DMT (See Wednesday night Opening session)


3:15 – 4:45 pm

I: Ayat Nashwan, PhD
has a PhD in Social Work from the University of Tennessee, USA, and is Assistant Professor at Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan. Having primary research interests in social work practice with Arab American, Muslim and Middle Eastern immigrant communities, Nashwan feels compelled to offer culturally bound solutions for the service gap experienced by these individuals and mainstream practitioners. She believes that effective interventions can only be achieved with the knowledge of existing cultural and societal tools for resilience. Ayat is a core member of Common Bond Institute’s Social Health Care local psychosocial team in Jordan.

Ilham Rope, PhD
is an Iraqi-American Clinical Psychologist and Marriage, Family, & Child Therapist, serves as a commissioner on the Board of Behavioral Sciences Examiners for MFCC candidates, is Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Phillips Academy & Glendale College and a School Psychologist for 3 private Islamic schools, served as Assistant Head Immigration Officer at the Canadian Embassy, and addresses issues of conflict resolution in industrial & commercial sectors as well as serving as mediator in employer-employee disputes. Currently she works in the administrative section of the mental health department of one of California’s largest HMOs and has a private practice. She has addressed the Arab American Medical Association in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dabi, & Bahrain Conferences, appeared on media broadcasts including the Oprah Show and Good Morning America, and conducted research on “The Impact of Social Inhibition in Arab Culture on the Development of the Mother-Child Attachment.” Ilham has met with faculty & students at the University of Baghdad Medical School on how to help the civilian population of Iraq, and especially children, cope with their stressful situation, and traveled with Drs for Social Justice in Iraq, co-sponsoring the Pencils for Peace project collecting donations of school supplies for children. She has devoted her life to humanitarian causes on the international arena and issues involving Post Traumatic Stress.

Kimberly Clair, PhD
has a PhD in Women’s Studies and has worked with survivors of domestic violence, separatist conflict, and natural disasters. Her dissertation, The Art of Resistance: Trauma, Gender, and Traditional Performance in Acehnese Communities, 1976-2011, examined the use of traditional dance, music, and theater practices as a healing resource for trauma survivors in Aceh, Indonesia. She has written and lectured on traditional medicine and indigenous healing, gendered traumas, transnational justice mechanisms, expressive arts therapies, and Southeast Asian performance.
Email: Website is:

Yousef Musalam, PhD
has the Master degree in clinical psychology and the doctorate in counseling psychology. He also has Applied High Specialization certificates in stress counseling, addiction, CBT, and EMDR. In addition, he is specialized in trauma, OCD, anxiety disorder, and psychological stresses. Furthermore, he was nominated since 2009 by the UN Association as an external consultant to offer stress counseling and well-being training for the staff of the association in Jordan. In the past he worked with numbers of associations, such as MSF France, and other local Jordanian associations. For now being, he is the general manager and clinical supervisor of Kalema center for cognitive behavioral science, and he runs an educational program in cognitive behavioral psychotherapy field. At the beginning of this year he completed 16 years in working in psychotherapies and training the psychotherapists. Yousef resides now in Amman, Jordan.
Email:  Mobil: 00962797465172


5:00 – 6:00 pm

Myron Eshowsky, MA (see A)

Ayah Al-Oballi, M Ed
recently started working as an interpreter with the Center for Victims of Torture in Amman. Prior to that, she completed her Masters degree in Social Justice Education at University of Toronto, where she got a chance to explore the relationship between education and society through different theories. Her passion in the humanitarian field started early on during her Bachelors degree in International Relations. Her practical experience in the field was supported through two internships with the UNDP and the UNICEF in Saudi Arabia. And later through volunteering for 7 months as an interpreter at the Canadian Center for Victims of Torture in Toronto.

Zayneb Al-Asaadi, MA
is Director of Staff Development & Grant Partnerships for Collateral Repair Project working on capacity building and programs management. She has a B.A in War Studies from King’s College London and has spent the past 8 years working in Risk Management and Strategy Consulting.

Steve Olweean, MA (see Wednesday night Opening)

~ Saturday, October 29 ~

10:00 – 11:00 am

Regina Weiser, PhD
has been a refugee herself. Her working career started with being teacher for 3 years, followed by working in clinics and consulting services. After she finished her education as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and trauma-therapist she conducted her own psychotherapeutic practice for 25 years. During this time she realized how important bodywork is tio healing. She wrote two books about integrating yoga in the trauma-healing-process. After Studying yoga therapy for 9 months in India she became a yoga teacher. She is a member of the “spiritual emergency network”, a network of psychotherapists, helping people who are traumatized through improper meditations or other spiritual exercises. She is a core member of Friends of Asylum in Freiburg, a volunteer organization committed to providing assistance and advocacy support to refugees and asylum seekers in Germany.
Email:  Web:


11:00 – 12:00 am

Ayat Nashwan, PhD (see I )

Shefa Obaid, BA
has recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a Psychology Major and double minor in Anthropology and Biology. She joins Dr. Nashwan as her previous student and now colleague engaging in the discussion surrounding the problematic service gap refugees and internationals face. She has previously participated in similar discussions with service providers in Canada speaking as a women of color and faith.


1:30 – 3:00 pm

Ilrene Serlin, PhD, BC-DMT  (see H)

Tom Holmes, MA, MSW, PhD (see D)

Regina Weiser, PhD (see K)

Myron Eshowsky, MA  (see A)

Steve Olweean, M (see Wednesday night Opening)