Common Bond Institute


~ Dual Conference Programs ~


7th Annual International Conference on

Transgenerational Trauma:”

Communal Wounds and Victim Identities

October 18-19, 2018 ~ Amman, Jordan


~ Watch For 2019 8th Annual T T Conference Information ~






Thursday, October 18


10:00 am – 11:00 am

Greeting, Mission, Overview of Conference Theme and Challenges:
Steve Olweean, MA

Community Building Exercise:
Ilene Serlin, PhD, BC-DMT


11:00 am – 12:15 pm

“Dilemma And Challenges In Muslim Communities Worldwide”
Muslims are one of the fastest growing population in the world currently. They are also the most vulnerable and persecuted. Most major conflicts in the world are directly impacting this population. More Muslims die everyday by terrorists and in war against terrorism. Many internally displaced or living in refugee and stateless status. Heightened Anti Muslim rhetoric has created a sense of fear, uncertainty and insecurity.
Farha Abbasi, MD


~ Lunch Break ~
12:15 – 1:45 pm


1:45 – 3:00 pm

Healing Restorative Circles: Indigenous Group Model For Healing Communal Trauma”
The workshop offers participants an overview of the use of restorative circles throughout the United States for addressing conflicts in school, healing shared communal trauma, and in healing personal/collective violence. Attendees will be required to participate in a demonstration of circle practice.
Myron Eshowsky, M.S


3:15 – 4:30 pm

“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 how it can be used to work with intergenerational trauma and compassion fatigue
Ilene Serlin, PhD


4:45 – 6:00 pm

“Issues And Challenges In Mental Health Research With Refugee Populations”
  Khalid Kheirallah, PhD, Ilene Serlin, PhD, Adel Nesheiwat, MD, Ayat Nashwan, PhD

Moderator: Myron Eshowsky

riday, October 19

10:00 – 11:00 am

E-1  Military Loss, Resilience and Post-Traumatic Growth
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) offers compassionate care to all those grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces or as a result of his or her service regardless of manner of death.  During this interactive workshop we will explore how resilience and post-traumatic growth is cultivated after loss and trauma and the ways it affects communities both large and small.
Erin Jacobson, Tessa Glenn, Fatma Megrahi


E-2  “Experiential Community Psychoeducation: Challenging Transgenerational Trauma Using Gamified, Activity-Based Group Interventions”
In this workshop, attendees will participate in a series of transformative experiential activities aimed at addressing transgenerational trauma in collectivist populations. This series of culturally-congruent and trauma-informed gamified activities will: foster opportunities to (re)establish protective community-support networks, provide opportunities for skill-building (i.e., emotional intelligence, communication, coping skills, resilience, etcetera), and support psychoeducation aimed at bringing awareness to collective trauma.
Wajdi Akef Fakhoury, MA, AMFT 


11:15 am – 12:15 pm

“We Love Reading: A Path To Building Resilience Among Refugees A Community Based Psychosocial Support Program”
Reading aloud to children provides a tool for building resilience and improving psychosocial wellbeing in children & adults. We Love Reading is a community-based grassroots program, a model & philosophy for inspiring resilience among adults, youth & children through reading.
Rana Dajani, PhD.


~ Lunch Break ~
12:15 – 1:45 pm


1:45 – 3:00 pm

G-1  ROUNDTABLE: Healers In The Middle of Tragedy And Turmoil: The Necessity Of SelfCare and Resilience In Catastrophes To Be Able To Care For Others
Abdalmajid Katranji, MD, Myron Eshowsky, MS, Farha Abbasi, MD, Adel Nesheiwat, MD,
Moderator: Steve Olweean, MA


G-2 “Internal Kungfu for Mental and Body Health”
1. Kungfu Meditation – guided meditation that release stress, gain Chi energy and enhance focus. Great for mental and body health
2. Basic Kungfu Defense movements – improve mind-body connection and build confidence
3. Kungfu movements practiced with another partner – interesting training
4. Q & A
Jilong Zhao


3:15 – 4:30 pm

H-1  “Modern Approaches Towards Healing And Transforming Identity For Global Indigenous Populations Experiencing Communal Trauma”
It has long been accepted by scientists and medical professionals that biological diseases and traits are passed on through genes and that genetics can be an important indicator of future health. We now know that our epigenetic transmission, or “genetic scarring” linked to mental and physical trauma can likewise be passed to our progeny. In this session we embrace that ancestral history can be a determinant of mental health and we explore addressing trauma of Muslims living in and traveling to the West caused by religion hatred and Islamic-phobia. We deploy lessons from the African American experience of racialized trauma to address what has now become the Muslim reality – “Islamic-ized Trauma.”
Jon Yasin, EdD, Imam Earl S. El-Amin, MSW, Hameed El-Amin, PhD, Karim Ali, Moderator: Linda Howard, JD


H-2  “Exploring Resilience in Gaza”
A review of current research and investigating the promotion of resilience in interventions and programs.
Ayat Nashwan, PhD


4:45 – 6:15 pm

“The Need for Whole-Person, Multi-modal, and Local Capacity Building Approaches in Recovery from Catastrophic Communal Trauma”
Farha Abbasi, MD, Myron Eshowsky, MS, Ilene Serlin, PhD,
Moderator: Steve Olweean, MA


< End of Transgenerational Trauma Program >


Muslim Mental Health Conference



Saturday, October 20


10:00 am – 10:30 am

Greeting, Mission, Overview of Conference
Farha Abbasi, MD


10:30 – 11:30 am

1-A   “A Talk That Will Change Your DNA! Do You Dare to Join?! The Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology is Rewriting our Understanding of Genetics, Disease and Inheritance
Presenting research on the association between epigenetics, genetics, and trauma in Syrian refugees and Jordan youth;
Rana Dajani, PhD  (see TT Conference Bios: Session F )


1-B   Family Dynamics: Choices And The Grieving Process
Family Dynamics: Choices and the Grieving Process explores how family dynamics may differ between first generation, second generation, blended (multi-faith, multiracial, and multiethnic) families; and how family dynamics differs between immigrant families from predominantly Muslim countries and families that have American born Muslims that convert to Islam. This course also looks at how these family dynamics, culture, ethnicity and religion impact end of life choices and the grieving process. The premise for the course content is that if the healthcare provider and caregiver better understand Islamic beliefs, recognize the diversity of Islamic communities, and consider religious amalgamation in Muslim families in America these healthcare professionals and caregivers will more effectively serve the needs of Muslim patients and families grappling with life and death choices and grief.
Jon Yasin, EdD, Imam Earl S. El-Amin, MSW, Hameed El-Amin, PhD, Karim Ali, Moderator: Linda Howard, JD
 (see TT Conference Bios: Session H-1 )

11:45 – 12:45 am

“Victim Volunteers ‘The Dynamic Of Mental Health Of Relief Workers’ “
Abdulmajid Katranji, MD  
 (see TT Conference Bios: session G-1 )


~ Lunch Break ~
12:45 – 2:15 pm


2:15 – 3:15 am

“Augmenting Resilience And Combating Mental Illnesses In The Muslim Community By Developing A Faith Based Mental Health Integrative Model”
In times of duress, Muslim communities call on their imam to reference and interpret their scriptures (Qur’an and Hadith) in order to ameliorate their distress. Imams are de facto mental health care providers. In the current charged environment, Imams are major stakeholder in any mental health initiatives in the Muslim community.The prevalent stigma in the community around mental illnesses becomes a major barrier in access of timely treatment. Imams are opening up to the idea of a collaborative role with a mental health professional, though more mental health trainings are required”

Farha Abbasi, MD    (see TT Conference Bios: session A )


3:30 am – 4:45 pm

Unique Mental Health Challenges in Muslim Communities “
Farha Abbasi, MD, Abdulmajid Katranji, MD, Rana Dajani, PhD, Majd Al Soleiti M.D.
Steve Olweean, MA   (see TT Conference Bios: Opening )




4:45 – 6:15 pm

Opportunity to review what has been accomplished as a learning community over these 3 days; explore possible next steps, action plans, and collaborations for putting learning into practice; gain feedback for future conference planning; and share last comments and observations.

Presentation of Certificates to Presenters and Staff
Personal sharing and community farewell
Closing thoughts and community experience



Myron Eshowsky,   Steve Olweean


~ Farewell Dinner Party ~

7:30 – 10:30 pm

A final time to break bread together