Common Bond Institute

Director and Available Speakers

CBI makes the following representative available for speaking engagements at conferences, events, and meetings:

Steve Olweean

Founding Director and Coordinator of Programs

Steve Olweean speaks on a variety of related topics, including conflict transformation; social healing; concepts of the Other; dynamics of fear, social paranoia, and fear-based belief systems; negative stereotypes, prejudice, and the creation of enemy images; psycho-social development and identity; cultural myths and ethos; intergenerational consequences of inherited trauma; victim-perpetrator dynamics; cross-cultural, inter-religious, and cross-border engagement and dialogue; compassion, reconciliation, and forgiveness; public engagement and empowerment; and local capacity building at both the grass roots and social institutional level.


He is a therapist with a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology from Western Michigan University, with over 40 years of experience in community based mental health treatment, administration, and advocacy to underserved populations; has worked in outpatient, inpatient, day treatment, outreach and crisis intervention to high risk populations, and private practice settings; and has held positions as clinical director, clinical supervisor, and senior clinician. He has been a field supervisor for graduate departments of psychology and social work, and is an adjunct associate professor for Michigan State University Department of Psychiatry. His principal areas of treatment are trauma and abuse recovery, healing negative belief systems, victim/perpetrator dynamics, and empowerment and resilience building for marginalized and at-risk populations.


He specializes in addressing communal and transgenerational trauma, local capacity building and empowerment, and in designing emergency human service training and treatment programs for developing societies where there is a large population in crisis, where the service infrastructure is nonexistent, seriously underdeveloped, or severely compromised by catastrophe and upheaval, and where skill and funding resources are scarce.


For 15 years, beginning in 1990, he was coordinator and developer of the AHP Soviet-American Professional Exchange, established in the early 1980′s as one of the 1st grassroots professional human service exchanges with the then Soviet Union, promoting bridge building through citizen diplomacy and providing practical training in human services to Soviet colleagues.


Immediately following the 1st Gulf War he assisted Kuwaiti relief organizations in linking with professional mental health services, and provided cultural orientation and consultation to visiting trauma therapists from the US and Europe traveling to Kuwait to ensure cultural sensitivity, receptiveness to services by trauma victims, and improved treatment effectiveness.


Particularly since 9-11 he has spoken and been interviewed frequently both in and outside the US to increase understanding among the public of Middle Eastern and Islamic Culture, social/psychological dynamics of fear and communal paranoia, polarization, and the formation of enemy images, and to promote direct, cross-cultural dialogue as an antidote to the toxic energy of fear. He also addresses activism in Humanistic Psychology through putting humanistic principles to work in the world improving psycho-social conditions, and has published a number of writings on the above speaking topics.


Near the end of the Balkan Wars he developed the integrated Catastrophic Trauma Recovery (CTR) treatment and training model for treating large civilian populations traumatized by war and violence in developing societies that are regions of conflict and where resources are scarce, as described in a chapter dedicated to it,When Society Is The Victim,” in an edited book by Dr. Stanley Krippner and Dr. Teresa McIntyre on: “ The Psychological Impact of War Trauma on Civilian Populations.


The CTR model is the basis for the comprehensive Social Health Care (SHC) training and treatment program Common Bond Institute developed to train hundreds of local medical students, professionals, NGO staff, and members of refugee communities in Jordan and Syria in trauma informed treatment skills to assist refugee and at-risk populations in these countries, and to promote development of the local human service and academic systems. The program is described in a contributed chapter titled,  Whole Person Approaches To Healing Communal Trauma, to an edited book by Serlin, Krippner, and Rockefeller  on: “Integrated Care of the Traumatized: A Whole-Person Approach.


In 2021 he co-founded and co-edits the International Journal of Communal and Transgenerational Trauma, a peer-reviewed journal reflecting a whole-person, cross-cultural perspective and exploration of the psycho-emotional trauma experience, from the individual to the communal.


His current book projects are “Making Sense of The World: Meaning, Needs, and Belief Systems, and “Engaging The Other: The Power of Compassion – an edited compilation of chapters contributed by authors representing a diversity of cultures and societies around the world examining this fundamentally subjective phenomenon from their unique cultural eye. The book concept for Engaging The Other was the impetus for the creation of the Annual International Conference on “Engaging The Other, and is based on a chapter he contributed, titled Psychological Concepts of The Other: Embracing the Compass of the Self, to an edited book by Dr. Chris Stout on: “The Psychology of Terrorism.


He has been an activist in the human rights and peace movement since his university years, and this commitment and experience continue to inform his work today.


Contact Information:
  Steve Olweean
  Director and Coordinator of Programs, Common Bond Institute (CBI)
  President, International Humanistic Psychology Association (IHPA)
  Office: 1-269-665-9393