Member News – Winter 2016

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Compiled by Amy Ellis, PhD & Vanessa Simiola, PsyD

**Correction: In the last issue of TPN we misspelled one of our member’s names. Please note that Lara Barbir, MS successfully defended her dissertation proposal titled, “Posttraumatic Growth in Combat Veterans: The Roles of Mindfulness and Experiential Avoidance.”

 Phyllis Cohen, PhD, published several papers in the Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy (Volume 15, Issue 2) in a special section entitled Fostering Attachment with Families in the Foster Care System. The section is about the

Building Blocks Program that she has been directing at a NYC mental health agency, The New Alternatives for Children (NAC). This program trains therapists to work dyadically, using video feedback, with birth parents and their children (under 5) who are at-risk or have already been moved to foster care. In addition, there is a wonderful review by Saralea Chazan, of a recent (2014) book that she edited with Mark Sossin and Richard Ruth, Healing After Parent Loss in Childhood and Adolescence: Therapeutic Interventions and Theoretical Considerations. This book has wonderful case-based papers by many well-know trauma therapists, including (but not limited to): Vamik Volkan, Diane Ehrensaft, Joy Osofsky, Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Alicia Lieberman, Dan Shechter, Billie Pivnick, Etty Cohen, and many others.

Dennis Debiak, PsyD, is the incoming president of Psychoanalysis (Division 39) for 2017. Dr. Debiak is a faculty member and founding board member at the Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Widener University.

Michael Eigen, PhD, has published a new book titled Under the Totem: In Search of a Path. His book conveys spirit, a sense of the sacred. Freud attempted to get under the totem and explore psychic forces and pressures below the surface. Jung opened further depths in exploration of the sacred. Engagement with a sense of mystery that permeates existence lives in many quarters, including art, music, religion and depth psychologies. The method of this book is fragmentary. Different facets of experience emerge, recede, and reappear, while others enter. The emphasis is on feeling and imaginative reflection. Themes within the book are drawn from therapy sessions and ongoing dialogues with workers who have touched the author, including Bion, Winnicott, Freud, Jung, Klein, Buber, Suzuki, Milner, Wittgenstein, and Wertheimer. The writing grows from love of the psyche, its difficulties and gifts, what we sense as well as the vastness beyond sensing, a love affair ongoing for nearly sixty years of work and acts of shared faith.

Julian Ford, PhD, ABPP, received funding from SAMHSA to serve as Principal Investigator for five years (2016-2021) on two grants in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network: the Center for Trauma Recovery and Juvenile Justice (1 SM080013-01) and the Center for the Treatment of Developmental Trauma Disorders (1 SM080044-01).

Pilar Hernandez-Wolfe, PhD, recently published the Vicarious Resilience Scale (VRS) in  Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy, which will appear online in October. The paper version will be published sometime next year. The other authors of the scale are Kyle Killian, David Engstrom and David Gangsei.

Ani Kalayjian, EdD, organized and chaired a conference at the United Nations in June on Mind-Body-Eco-Spirit Festival, focusing on Sustainable Peace. Over 100 attended, and 10 people graduated as Ambassadors for Meaningfulworld. She also organized and led Meaningfulworld’s 11th Humanitarian Mission to Haiti in June. Dr. Kalayjian also participated in several events at the APA Convention in Denver: chaired the International Women’s Committee Meeting; organized, chaired and presented a symposium on “Transforming Genocidal Trauma Into Meaning-Making and Forgiveness—Cases From Armenia, Rwanda, Burundi, & Palestine”; chaired the “International Psychology Disaster Mitigation and Violence Prevention” Meeting; spoke on “Ethics: Give It What You’ve Got!—Tutoring Psychologists in Use of Self for Social Good”; and organized and chaired a symposium on “International Humanitarian Aid and Social Justice—Challenges and Lessons Learned”. Dr. Kalayjian was elected the Chairperson for the Psychology Coalition at the United Nations and was elected a Board Member for the International Division (Division 52) of Psychology at American Psychological Association June 2016. Dr. Kalayjian recently published her poem on “I am a Syrian Refugee.”

Heather Littleton, PhD, co-authored a chapter with Julia Dodd, PhD, called “Psychosocial functioning within shooting-affected communities: Individual and community-level factors,” in The Wiley Handbook of the Psychology of Mass Shootings, which will be available this month. This comprehensive book on mass shootings is edited by Laura C. Wilson, PhD, and covers such areas as the psychology of perpetrators, the role of the media in mass shootings, adjustment post-shooting at the individual and community level, as well as interventions for shooting-affected individuals. Other contributors include Edna Foa, Elana Newman, Carol North, Betty Pfefferbaum, and David Valentiner.

Nancy Maguire, PsyD, co-authored the chapter “Sex, Gender and Psychological Assessment: Integrating Principle and Feminist Ethics” with Patria Alvelo and Linda Knauss in The Handbook of Gender and Sexuality in Psychological Assessment, edited by Virginia M. Brander and Joni L. Mihura

Walter Erich Penk, PhD, recently co-edited The Handbook of Psychosocial Interventions for Veterans and Service Members along with Nathan D. Ainspan and Craig J. Bryan.

Ilene Serlin, PhD, BC-DMT, would like to invite Division 56 members to join her at an upcoming conference to work with Syrian refugees in Jordan. The conference, “Transgenerational Trauma: Communal Wounds and Victim Identities” will be held October 26-29, 2017. She has worked with Steve Olweean, the coordinator, and his work is deeply humanitarian. Dr. Serlin will participate in the conference and the clinic, and will help train staff and volunteers to use movement (she is both a psychologist and dance therapist) for trauma. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Steve Olween ( directly or Dr. Serlin ( directly. Dr. Serlin is also working on an invited proposal from Routledge for a book on Whole Person Approaches to Working with Trauma. She welcomes chapters from anyone working from a model that is collaborative and holistic and invites people to contact her directly if interested.

Robert D. Stolorow, PhD recently published an article titled “Using Heidegger,” to be published in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 64(4). The article explains how Heidegger’s existential philosophy provides valuable philosophical tools for grasping the existential significance of emotional trauma.