Program Overview, Schedule,

and Guidelines

6th Annual International Conference on

Transgenerational Trauma

October 12-14, 2017 ~ Amman, Jordan


~ Previous 2017 PROGRAM ~ Previous 2017 PRESENTER BIOS ~

Watch for 2018 7th TT Conference Program Information


Sponsored by:
Common Bond Institute (CBI),
Co-Sponsored by:
Michigan State University (MSU)
International Humanistic Psychology Association (IHPA)
Yarmouk University (YU)
Queen Rania Center for Jordanian Studies and Community Service
International Federation of Medical Student Associations-Jordan

Endorsed and Supported by:
and over 100 professional associations, universities, and organizations internationally

Official Partner of:
Charter for Compassion, and Parliament of World's Religions

Partial List of Presenters:

Farha Abbasi, Myron Eshowsky, Ilene Serlin, Steve Olweean, Ayat Nashwan, Tanya Awad Ghorra, Nimo Patel, Kirk Schneider, Erica Serlin, Maya Jacobs-Wallfisch, Peter Breen, Ayda Alavi, Nicholas Janni, Beatrice Schlee, Shireen Yaish

Partial List of Sessions


Partial List of Break-out Sessions

“Community Circles for Addressing Historical Trauma”
Presenter will present a brief review of indigenous circle models (group treatment) used to address communal trauma in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Participants will then utilize basic tenets of these models to experience being in a circle. We will process the group's experience of being in a circle and discuss some of the challenges in group work with historical trauma.

Myron Eshowsky, M.S.

“Using the Arts to Work with Trauma: KinAesthetic Imagining”
In this workshop, we will learn about theory and research on the use of the arts to work with trauma. We will experience a method called KinAesthetic Imagining, a movement-based creative arts therapy, and explore ways in which KinAesthetic Imagining can be incorporated into your work.

Ilene Serlin, BC-DMT

“Empowering Refugee Women And Girls Facing Trauma In The Middle East”
Presenting guiding principles for working with women and girl survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in a refugee context. Including an exploration of the main challenges and obstacles faced by social workers in international NGO interventions and programs. In particular, we will look deeper into the effect of trauma on the case management process for survivors of GBV.

Ayat Nashwan, PhD

"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

 “The Experiential Communication Process: Healing the Stereotypes that Wound”
This workshop concerns a "whole person to whole person" approach to healing cultural or religious divides. The approach draws from depth-existential principles of therapeutic practice and stresses experiential skill-building through demonstrations, breakout groups, discussion, and time permitting, a video demonstrating the approach, e.g., see

Kirk Schneider, PhD

“The Wounds Of History Inside And Out Of The Consulting Room”
This session will initially offer a presentation of both subjective and clinical experience of trans-generational trauma within the context of the Holocaust. Based on Stolorow's theory of the relational home, participants will be asked to draw or write a symbol representing the first home in their memory. As time permits, a group discussion of what emerges in the exercise, exploring the themes, and reflecting on the personal and professional aspects of working with Transgenerational Trauma. This discussion is aimed at highlighting the skills and attitudes that may facilitate connection with those who present with Trans-generational trauma symptoms.

Maya Jacobs-Wallfisch, UKCP SARSM ARBS

“Trauma Therapy with Children”
This workshop will introduce participants to play therapy interventions, since children show more than they can tell as they express their pain and heal from trauma.  Attendees will learn specific techniques for creating safety, expressing feelings, self-calming, and resolving trauma as well as strategies for reducing  symptoms.

Erica Serlin Ph.D

“Teddy Bear Trauma Reduction Program”
This workshop will address the symptoms of trauma, obvious and not, observable in children of various ages who have lived through repeated traumatic events. There will also be some discuss as to why the Teddy Bear is more than a toy and how the Teddy Bear acts as a therapeutic tool in a variety of ways. Using experiential exercises, participants will better understand the anxiety reducing attributes of a Teddy Bear and how to soothe and support the child's defense mechanisms.

Peter Breen, MSW LCSW

“Collective And Intergenerational Trauma Integration - Timeless Mystical Wisdom And Modern Psychology”
Introducing the Pocket Project / The effects of collective trauma / Large group shadow work / Timeless wisdom & psychology / Experiential exercise in groups of three / Deepening our self-contact, relational field and contact with ancestral streams / Summary and future large scale group collective trauma work

Nicholas Janni, BA Hons

“ Bodypolitics: The Impact Of Bodywork To Support Democratic Agency”
Our body remembers all experiences of our life. Yet this legacy is mutable. Like neuroplasticity does in the brain new, positive experiences can be inscribed into the memory of our body. I will give a theoretical input into embodiment research and present my own bodymemory work with refugees and locals in German refugee camps.

Beatrice Schlee, PhD

“Art Therapy: An Innovative Treatment Of Trauma”
A presentation of Art Therapy in Gaza with Mercy Corps Psychosocial Team- followed by an experiential Art Therapy Group. The workshop will describe Art Therapy Groups provided to Mercy Corps Psychosocial Team; its depth, its difficulties and the use of art with a segment of the population that is not only deeply traumatized, but also has to be on call 24/7 to deal with trauma of others. The experiential workshop will give a taste to intensity of art therapy and its healing qualities.
Shireen Yaish, MA

Roundtable Topics:

Children, Trauma, and Resilience:  Legacies for The Next Generation

Program Schedule Outline:


Program Schedule Outline  (see Full Program for details)


Thursday, October 12

8:30 am                   *On-Site Registration & Check-in Opens
10:00 - 11:00 am:     Conference Opening
11:00 - 12:15 pm:      Session A
12:15 -  1:45 pm:       Lunch Break
1:45 -   3:00 pm:       Session B
3:15 -   4:30 pm:       Session C
4:45  - 6:00 pm:      Roundtable D


Friday, October 13

10:00 - 11:15 am:     Session E
11:15 - 12:15 pm:      Session F
12:15 - 2:00 pm:      Lunch Break
2:00 -  3:15 pm:       Session G
3:30 -  4:45 pm:      Session H
5:00 -  6:15 pm:      Roundtable I


Saturday, October 14

10:00 - 11:15 am:     Session J
11:30 - 12:45 pm:    Roundtable K
12:45 -  2:30 pm:    Lunch Break
2:30 -  3:45 pm:      Roundtable L
4:00 -  5:30 pm:      Session M

5:30 -  6:00 pm:     Conference Closing Ceremony

7:30 pm - 10:30 pm:  Farewell Dinner Party

                                         (a final time to break bread together)


Psychosocial Specialty Training
For Medical Students and Practitioners

(These sessions are exclusive to only registered medical students and practitioners. Registration is through the International Federation of Medical Students Associations-Jordan)

Thursday, October 12    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Friday, October 13           7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Program Components:


Program Components

A 3 day Schedule of:

1. Skills training workshops
2. Topical Panels and Interactive Roundtables
3. Keynote Speakers
4. Break-out Sessions of Practical, Research, and Theoretical Presentations
6. Facilitated Dialogue & Action Planning Groups
7. Live 2-Way Global Links to Other Countries
8. On-site Blogging and Live Streaming
9. Networking for Cooperation on Practical Applications
10. Interdisciplinary, Multi-cultural Learning Community
11. Social-Cultural Events & Performances
13. Farewell Dinner Party on evening of Saturday, October 24
14. Invitational Humanitarian NGO Networking Meeting

Intent and Description of Program Sessions:


Intent and Description of Program Sessions
(also provides Guidelines for Proposals)

Breakout Sessions, Topical Roundtables, Keynotes,
Facilitated Dialogue & Action Planning Groups,
Live 2-Way Global Links:

1) Breakout Sessions: 
Skills Training Workshops, as well as Practical, Research, and Theory Presentations: Prepared presentations for sharing skills, theory, perspectives, research, and analysis, introduction and demonstration of developing models and methods, experience with practical skills and approaches, and deep inquiry and deliberation on essential issues. The TT Conference is designed to be a cooperative learning experience, and so all presenters are asked to include opportunities for significant participant interaction and dialogue within their sessions regardless of format. Presenters are also requested to be present for full participation in the 3-day conference learning community.

2) Topical Roundtables:
In keeping with the character of the conference, these sessions are intended to be more of an interactive dialogue between experienced roundtable members addressing important issues - rather than a series of separate mini-presentations. A typical format is to begin with brief comments by each member to stimulate thinking, followed by a discussion among these members, and then to extend the dialogue out to include the full audience for a portion of the session to encourage a wider, more inclusive discussion on the topic at hand. This process is guided and facilitated by a moderator to ensure opportunities for multiple voices to be heard, that the focus is maintained, and to keep things on track in terms of time.

3) Keynotes:
Keynotes by leading visionaries help frame the focus of the program, and are meant to offer insights, inspire, and pose important questions and challenges to address.

4) Facilitated Dialogue and Action Planning Groups:
These sessions focus on the overall conference mission that all participants take part in. They are intended for processing the conference experience, delving further into issues presented, addressing relevant issues and questions that may not represented in the prepared program, offering input into the conference and Global Network, formulating action plans and collaborations for applications of learning, and additional networking opportunities. Content from keynotes, breakout sessions, topical panels, roundtables, and multimedia presentations provide the stimulus for these dialogues woven throughout the days of the program. Dialogue groups are valued as brainstorm generators and essential resources for input into the development and progress of both the TT Conference and the Global Network. Material emerging from these discussions is included in conference proceedings and outcomes, and used for future planning.

5) Live 2-way Global Links to Other Countries:
In addition to on-site presenters and participants, to expand the size and reach of the conferences key speakers in other countries will be Skyped into the conference for real-time, 2-way participation.

6) Interactive Community Experiences offer opportunities for cross-cultural sharing and appreciation, social interaction, and important community building.

7)  Interdisciplinary, Multi-cultural Learning Community:
A key intent of the conference is building an interactive professional learning community and common ground of reference to promote a concerted effort in exploring core themes and integrating formal learning. The program structure encourages participants to learn from prepared material while also bringing their own experience, perspectives, and wisdom to bear in exploring the theme of the conference. Experts in a variety of relevant fields will be on hand to both provide presentations and participate in the program along side all participants, including facilitated dialogue groups that further support sharing and processing learning. As such, presenters are requested to be present for full participation in the conference.

Guidelines For Compassionate Dialogue:


Guidelines For Compassionate Dialogue
Common Bond Institute conferences strive 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:

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

CLICK HERE to help Bring low income Students from developing countries to fully participate in this landmark initiative by making a tax deductible contribution (US) through our partner, International Humanistic Psychology Association, a 501(c)3 federal nonprofit organization at: