Common Bond Institute


Previously Posted

2016 T T Program



5th Annual International Conference on

“Transgenerational Trauma:”

Communal Wounds and Victim Identities

October 26-29, 2016 ~ Amman, Jordan


List of Presenters:
Ilene Serlin, Farha Abbasi, Myron Eshowsky, Steve Olweean, Haythem Bany Salameh, Tanya Awad Ghorra, Ayat Nashwan, Ghalia AlAsha, Ilham AlSaraf, Thomas Holmes, Regina Weiser, Domnine Lecoq, Aina Vaage, Shefa Obaid, Reyad Abu Sharaf, Kimberly Clair, Yousef Musalam, Ahmad Abojaradeh, Ayah Al-Oballi, Zayneb Al-Asaadi

Presenter Bios


Wednesday, October 26


6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

6:30 – 8:00 pm
Greeting and Announcements
Mission, Overview of Conference Theme and Challenges
Steve Olweean, MA

Haythem Bany Salameh, PhD

8:00 – 8:30 pm
Concepts of Individual and Communal Trauma

8:30 – 9:00 pm
Community Building Exercise:
Ilene Serlin, PhD, BC-DMT and Mawadda Akkad


Thursday, October 27

All Conference Check-In
10:00 – 10:30 am


10:30 – 11:30 am

“Healing Work for Larger Group Traumas”
Looking at larger group traumas, we will explore stories of how different groups have worked to address historical trauma and what we can learn from these efforts. Primary emphasis will be on indigenous populations around the world and what helpful approaches they’ve developed. An exploration of the importance of community ritual for addressing larger group traumas will be presented and we will create a community ritual as a group in the training.
Myron Eshowsky MS


11:30 am – 12:30 pm

“Parenting Program: An Essential Intervention Within A Refugee Community”
Parents are one of the most important providers of psychosocial intervention, support, and security to children in a crisis. The program presented is designed to help mothers in particular, as a central member in a family, to effectively reduce and manage their own pain from multiple trauma and develop effective parenting skills to help restore positive communication and emotional stability between mothers and children. It also promotes rebuilding positive connection among members of the refugee community itself and with the local community.
Ghalia Alasha, PhD


~ Lunch Break ~
12:30 – 2:00 pm

2:00 – 3:00 pm

“Effectiveness of Counseling Program Based on the Transactional Analysis in Improving Positive Thinking and Self Assertive Skills for Abused Women in Amman”
A counseling program applied with abused women who have been exposed to domestic violence, emotional abused, and sexual abuse. The program is based on one of the theories of psychological counseling and psychotherapy, and will demonstrate the benefit to the mental health of women impacted by abuse through focusing on positive thinking, patterns of social interaction skills, and assertiveness.
Reyad Mohammed Abu Sharaf


3:00 – 4:00 pm

“Working With Refugee Families With Young Children In Norway”
Presentation of the first Transcultural Center in Norway and its work with traumatized refugee families with young children based on research on transgenerational trauma. This will be a presentation that will be both practical and theoretical in its content.
Domnine Lecoq, PhD and Aina Basilier Vaage M.D


Break 4:00 – 4:15 pm

4:15 – 6:00 pm

“Self-Help and Mutual Support Coping Skills For Vulnerable Communities Under Stress”

Ghalia Alasha, PhD, Farha Abbasi, MD, Tanya Awad Ghorra, MBA, Ahmad Abojaradeh, MA
Moderated by Steve Olweean, MA


Friday, October 28

10:00 – 11:20 am

“Nonviolent Communication: A Compassionate Way Of Living And Addressing Conflict”
In a violent world, a violent phase of history, we need to rediscover our natural gifts: compassion, empathy and love. We are social creatures, we communicate (out of each 10 minutes we communicate 7 minutes). But, are we as good as we think? are we using this major gift properly all the time? Why do we often miscommunicate? why do conflict arise? why do we get violent? Non Violent Communication takes us back to the essentials: we all function to answer our needs, needs are not negative, not linked to others, they are universal. If we learn to value our needs, and those of others, through empathy and compassion, we become better communicators, and better resolve conflicts. Because our biases and our fear, won’t be leading us anymore, only or love and humanity. Get ready to become Giraffes after this session
Tanya Awad Ghorra, MBA

~ Early Lunch ~
(due to time change for prayer)
11:20 am – 1:00 pm

1:00 – 2:00 pm

“Integrating Inner Systems Therapy With Islam: A Culturally Adaptive Model”
The Internal Systems Therapy (IST) model based on IFS therapy, will be integrated with concepts from the traditional Islamic models of the psyche. The concepts of nafs, aqi, qalb and ruh fit well with the IST, offering a model easily adapted to the Islamic context.
Thomas Holmes, PhD, MA, MSW


2:00 – 3:00 pm

“Dance Movement Therapy and Trauma: a Posttraumatic Growth Approach”
Dance movement therapy is proven to be an effective method to treat trauma. Working with the body as well as the mind, we can address shattered identity and belief systems, and existential terror. In this workshop, participants will learn how the body and art can be applied in the treatment of trauma. We will explore both theory and practice to apply this work as clinicians, to reduce compassion fatigue, build resilience and posttraumatic growth, and increase self-care. This workshop will introduce participants to the theory, application and practices of the Dance Movement Therapy as a Whole Person approach to promote resilience and work with trauma. Participants will learn techniques and contraindications for reducing anxiety, building strength, increasing bodily awareness and expressiveness, and building supportive relationships in the group. These approaches build on current approaches to treating trauma by adding tools that bring the body, symbolic movement, movement through space and the creative process into the healing process.
Ilene A. Serlin, Ph.D, BC-DMT


Break 3:00 – 3:15 pm

3:15 – 4:45 pm

“Violence, Trauma, Displacement, and Gender”

Ayat Nashwan, PhD, Ilham Rope, PhD, Kimberly Clair, PhD, Yousef Musalam, PhD
Moderated by Steve Olweean, MA


5:00 – 6:00 pm

“Moving From Separation and Competition to Mutual Support and Collaboration: Responsible Models for More Effective Humanitarian Assistance”

Myron Eshowsky, MA, Ayah Al-Oballi, MEd, Zayneb Al-Asaadi, MA
Moderated by Steve Olweean, MA


Saturday, October 29

10:00 – 11:00 am

“Healing Trauma Through Yoga Therapy – Integration of Body, Mind and Soul”
Trauma is tied to the past; yoga leads to the present. Trauma focuses on misfortune and disaster; yoga focuses on resources and possibilities. Yoga is an integrative system. It works bottom-up and top-down by using the three energy sources: Movement, breath, and mind. It helps to gain awareness of the body, harmonize the breath, and control the thoughts. Afterwards you feel calm, grounded, and present.
Regina Weiser, PhD


11:00 am – 12:00 pm

“International Psychosocial Intervention for Refugees in the Middle East Facing Trauma: Discussion of Barriers and Possible Solutions”
This workshop will discuss an educated discussion surrounding the topic of effective International psychosocial interventions for Refugees in the Middle East who have experienced trauma fleeing war-torn conflict. Many Non-Governmental Organizations are quick to provide relief efforts and begin implementing development programs while underestimating the value of the cultural and religious context. In this workshop, we will discuss the barriers faced by practitioners, possible solutions, and questions.
Ayat Nashwan, PhD, and Shefa Obaid, BA


Brief Conference Check-In
Break 12:00 – 12:15 pm


~ Lunch ~
12:15 – 1:45 pm

1:45 – 3:15 pm

“Psycho-social and Whole-Person Approaches for Healing Individual and Communal Trauma”

Ilrene Serlin, PhD, BC-DMT, Tom Holmes, MA, MSW, PhD, Regina Weiser, PhD. Myron Eshowsky, MA
Moderated by Steve Olweean, MA


Break 3:15 – 3:30 pm

3:30 – 4:30 pm


4:30 – 5:30 pm



Presentation of Certificates to Presenters and Participants

5:30 – 6:00 pm


~ Farewell Dinner Party ~
7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
(a final time to break bread together)



Myron Eshowsky, MA, Ayat Nashwan, PhD, Steve Olweean, MA,

Guidelines For Compassionate Dialogue:

The TT Conference strives to promote an inclusive, compassionate dialogue that honors different personal experiences, perspectives, and narratives, while allowing for better expressing and listening to each other as we work together toward understanding and harmony. Our intention is to create an open venue where we can engage meaningfully and invite in a public dialogue that brings our joint wisdom to bear in exploring sometimes difficult issues that effect us all. This is based on the premise that it does not require that we be the same to be appreciate of, at peace with, and secure in our relationships with each other; only that we be familiar enough with each others story to share the humanity and trustworthiness that resides in each of us.
We ask all participants to assist us by carrying and expressing this intent throughout the conference.

NonViolent Communication Guidelines (Adapted from Marshall Rosenberg):

Unique Assumptions—NVC begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture. It also assumes that we all share the same, basic human needs, and that all actions are a strategy to meet one or more of these needs.

While NVC is much more than a communication model, the components below provide a structural concept of the process that leads to giving and receiving from the heart.

Honestly Expressing how I am and what I would like without using blame, criticism or demands

Empathically Receiving how another is and what he/she would like without hearing blame, criticism or demands

Whether expressing or receiving, NVC focuses our attention on four pieces of information:

1) Observations —Objectively describing what is going on without using evaluation, moralistic judgment, interpretation or diagnosis
2) Feelings —Saying how you feel (emotions and body sensations) about what you have observed without assigning blame
3) Needs —The basic human needs that are or not being met and are the source of feelings
4) Requests —Clear request for actions that can meet needs