Meaningful World, Summer Newsletter

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Summer 2007, Volume 3

Meaningful World’s Mission

Meaningful World represents all the activities of the Association for
Trauma Outreach and Prevention (ATOP), the Armenian American Society
for Studies on Stress and Genocide (AASSSG), and the activities of the
partnerships with collaborative centers, such as One-by-One,
Association for Spirituality and Psychotherapy, Fielding World Wide
Network for Gender Empowerment, International Division of the American
Psychological Association, Psi Chi, SPSSI, NY, Karuna Center for Peace
Building, Columbia University Center for prevention of Humiliation,
International Council of Psychologists (ICP), Global Society for
Nursing and Health, International Association for Genocide Scholars
(IAGS), and the United Nations.

Meaningfulworld is dedicated to providing information on formal
lectures, opportunities for informal networking, humanitarian outreach
programs, research, publications, and media involvements. Individual
and collective opportunities for change, development, and
transcendence are also provided through workshops, clinical
interventions, and referrals.

In This Issue

1. International Post Disaster Humanitarian Relief and Post Trauma
Healing and Meaning-Making
2. Forgiveness Talks in Sarajevo
3. Welcome Our New Members!
4. Forgiveness and Transcendence: Transforming trauma into healing
5. AASSSG collaborates with several Armenian and American
organizations for democracy and denial symposium
6. Spotlight on Our Intern

1. International Post Disaster Humanitarian Relief and Post Trauma
Healing and Meaning-Making

Training on 9 June 2007

By: Colette Seter

The Association for Trauma Outreach & Prevention (ATOP) organized and
hosted another successful all-day training on International Post
Disaster Humanitarian Relief and Post Trauma Healing & Meaning-Making
on June 9, 2007. Participants gathered at Dr. Ani Kalayjian’s office
in New York City for an intimate training session geared toward
understanding the six step Bio-Psychosocial & Spiritual Model
developed by Dr. Kalayjian to assess, identify, express, explore, and
work through various aspects of traumatic exposure.

A diverse group of trainees began their day with a meet and greet over
breakfast, and reviewing prepared training materials. A power-point
presentation aided Dr. Kalayjian’s lecture and didactic information on
how ATOP came to develop and how the six-step Model was born out of
the over fifteen Mental Health Outreach Programs (MHOP) around the
world, and how the Model is utilized to aide those who have been
directly or indirectly exposed to mass trauma. Photographs from
various MHOP were shown to give the flavor of being in the field,
working with grass root NGO’s, and observing the rehabilitation of the
communities torn from human-made or natural disasters.

Trainees eager to continue discussing thoughts and reactions from the
didactic session, headed to lunch together. Upon returning,
Dr. Kalayjian mediated an experiential session where participants
first wrote about a personal traumatic experience and then were
invited to share what they wrote. As participants shared experiences
ranging from the impact of 9/11, parental abandonment, parental drug
addiction, and parental death, all learned how to be empathetic,
encouraging, and offer validation to participants’ trauma.

Empathy is defined as identifying with and understanding someone’s
feelings, situation, and motives. Initially the group approached
being empathetic with providing descriptions of their own similar
feelings and situations, and provided suggestions and solutions based
on their personal experiences. The group evolved to realize that
being empathetic did not mean sharing, and especially did not require
having similar experiences as others. As Dr. Richard Friendman wrote
in a recent New York Times article, "What is critical to understanding
someone is not necessarily having had his or her experience; it is
being able to imagine what it would be like to have it."

At the end of this powerful exercise, participants shared remaining
thoughts and what they learned from the day’s training. Trainees were
especially grateful to come to an understanding of the type of
questioning and responding required to express empathy and to build a
therapeutic alliance, and for being given the opportunity to recognize
the phases people go through after experiencing a trauma by the
stories shared.

Dr. Kalayjian closed the training session with an explanation of the
seven chakras (energy centers), demonstrated how to engage in physical
release, and an invitation to meditate. Participants received a
lesson on essential healing oils and essences, received the oil that
was appropriate to their emotional state, and situated them to
comfortably meditate.

Afterwards, all trainees and Dr. Kalayjian came together in a circle
joined by hands to reflect on the day’s revelations and to express
gratitude. Some of the expressions included: Grateful for the
knowledge, experience, learning, sharing, openness, honesty, healing,
self nurturance, trust, inclusion, intention, validation, and most of
all the empathy.

The next training will be held in the fall season. For more
information kindly visit:

2. Forgiveness Talks in Sarajevo

Dr. Kalayjian as a member of the International Association for
Genocide Scholars was invited to conduct a panel on Forgiveness:
Transforming Trauma of Genocide into Healing. Panelists were
Dr. Kalayjian, who presented the theoretical framework of forgiveness,
and attempted to shed all myths. Dr. Pipinelli, who is a graduate of
Walden University presented on Forgiveness and the Greek-Cyprus
Genocide. Mr. Ed S. Majian, a senior at St. Peter’s University in
Jersey City, NJ presented on Subjectivity and Narrative: Common
Dialogue toward Forgiveness and Reconciliation. And Ani
Degirmencioglu, who presented on Istanbul Armenian Community’s
Reflection on and Response to the Armenian Genocide.
Ms. Degirmencioglu is born in Istanbul, and currently at University of
Vienna, Austria, working on her Doctorate in Political Science.

Dr. Kalayjian also presented a paper on Gender and Genocide. The
focus of this paper was on sexual violations, rape, and other gender
issues during and after genocide.

3. Welcome Our New Members!

Riane Eisler: New ATOP Board of Advisor

Riane Eisler’s story begins in Vienna, Austria, where as a small child
she and her family had to flee from the Nazis. They emigrated to Cuba
and eventually to the U.S. Riane has said that this trauma could have
destroyed her, but instead, it led to her life-long quest to
understand why horrible things like the Holocaust can happen – and
what we can do so they do not happen again. Riane has become an
eminent social scientist, attorney, author, and social activist. She
is best known for her international bestseller The Chalice and The
Blade: Our History, Our Future, now in 23 languages, including
Chinese, Russian, Korean, Hebrew, Japanese, and Arabic.

Her newest book, The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring
Economics – hailed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as `a template for the
better world we have been so urgently seeking,’ by Peter Senge as
`desperately needed,’ by Gloria Steinem as `revolutionary,’ and by
Jane Goodall as `a call to action’ – proposes a new approach to
economics that gives visibility and value to the most essential human
work: the work of caring for people and nature. Riane emphasizes that
specific actions can change one’s life and help one to see in a new
way because all change begins with the individual. Her work gives
people grounded hope that change is possible and that we are not
doomed to despair and destruction. As Riane says, `caring pays – in
dollars and cents.’

Riane has had a powerful response from very diverse groups around the
world because her common theme of caring helps people `connect the
dots.’ She is sought after to keynote conferences worldwide, and is a
consultant to business and government on applications of the
partnership model introduced in her work. International venues have
included Germany at the invitation of Prof. Rita Suessmuth, President
of the Bundestag (the German Parliament) and Daniel Goeudevert (Chair
of Volkswagen International); Colombia, invited by the Mayor of
Bogota; and the Czech Republic, invited by Vaclav Havel (President of
the Czech Republic).

Her other books include the award-winning The Power of Partnership and
Tomorrow’s Children, as well as Sacred Pleasure, a daring
reexamination of sexuality and spirituality, and Women, Men, and the
Global Quality of Life, which statistically documents the key role of
the status of women in a nation’s general quality of life.

Riane holds degrees in sociology and law from the University of
California Los Angeles (UCLA). She taught pioneering classes on women
and the law at UCLA and is a founding member of the General Evolution
Research Group (GERG), a fellow of the World Academy of Art and
Science and World Business Academy, and a commissioner of the World
Commission on Global Consciousness and Spirituality, along with the
Dalai Lama and other spiritual leaders. She is also co-founder of the
Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence (SAIV), She
is president of the Center for Partnership Studies,
, dedicated to research and education.

Her compassion for people has led her to pioneering work in human
rights that has expanded the focus of international organizations to
include the rights of women and children. Her research on systemic
cultural transformation has impacted many fields, including history,
sociology, economics, psychology, and education. She is the author of
over 200 essays and articles in publications ranging from Behavioral
Science, Futures, Political Psychology, and The UNESCO Courier to
Brain and Mind, Yes!, the Human Rights Quarterly, The International
Journal of Women’s Studies, and the World Encyclopedia of Peace.

Riane has been honored with the Humanist Pioneer Award and the first
Alice Paul ERA Award. She is the only woman among twenty great
thinkers, including Hegel, Adam Smith, Marx, and Toynbee, selected for
inclusion in Macrohistory and Macrohistorians in recognition of the
lasting importance of her work as a cultural historian and
evolutionary theorist.

Berrett-Koehler Media Contact: Peter Cavagnaro [email protected]
For more information go to
Riane can be contacted at [email protected]

Crystal Barry: ATOP’s New Vice President

Crystal Barry was born in Vermont on July 24, 1981. She has spent her
last four years in New York and currently resides in Astoria, New
York. She received her B.S. in psychology in 2006 at Fordham
University and currently nannys in Harlem, New York. In addition she
is preparing for her GRE’s in hopes of receiving an advanced degree in
counseling. Her latest inspiration comes from her work with Dr.Anie
Kalayjian and books by Viktor E.Frankl.

4. Forgiveness and Transcendence: Transforming trauma into healing

Chair: Dr. Ani Kalayjian
Panelists (above): Drs. Kalayjian, Pipinelli, and Meir

A panel on forgiveness was organized and chaired by
Dr. Kalayjian, who has been working on this topic for over a decade.

Being a child of the Ottoman Turkish Genocide of the Christian
minorities in Asia Minor, Dr. Kalayjian has felt the impact of the
sadness, grief, and mass trauma of her parents. With the assistance
of her Mentor Dr. Viktor Frankl, Dr. Kalayjian began the work in 1988
by researching the psychosocial and spiritual impact of the Genocide
on the Armenian survivors. When the research findings indicating a
generalized well being, but anger when addressed the Turkish
governments’ denialists policies.
In response to how to alleviate their anger Dr. Frankl then told
Dr. Kalayjian in his heavy Viennese accent `You have to help them
(Armenian survivors) to forgive.’

Dr. Kalayjian has done just that. For a decade she has organized over
thirty panels, twenty workshops, not including UN panels on this
topic. In this panel, Dr. Kalayjian presented an overview of the
forgiveness topic, sharing her own experience, and the experience of
her family coping with the Ottoman Turkish Genocide. An overview of
what forgiveness is was shared first, then included were myths about
forgiveness which included the following:
· If I forgive, I will forget
· If I forgive, you will do it again
· If I forgive, the enemy will be set free
· If I forgive, I will hurt those who died
· If I forgive, there will be no justice
· If I forgive, I will no longer be a victim
· I need the anger to live and fight back
· I have to wait for the enemy to acknowledge and ask for forgiveness

The audience were shaking their heads in agreement of the slide.
Another misconception shared was that forgiveness will help the
`enemy’ and not the one who is doing the forgiving. It is another
`work’ the victim has to do to heal. Therefore, Dr. Kalayjian showed
the following slide, separating `for’ from `giving’ which made it much
clearer to many in the audience:


Thus one of the more salient points proposed: Forgiveness is for
healing oneself, not for someone else. Forgiveness is a gift of
choice, a shift in consciousness.

According to Dr. Kalayjian, making a conscious choice to forgive can
cleanse the soul of resentment, yield its grip on misery, and free the
self from the chains of hate and anger. Whoever is not addicted to
carrying sadness and grief {raise your hand!}, she went on, has the
change to release trapped energy – which can then be channeled into
positive action for the world.

As one participant stated: `I could almost swear I heard little wheels
whirring in people’s heads – mine included – as we tried to wrap our
brains around these daring notions in record time. The tight places
in our belief systems were instantly noticeable, as if we were trying
out new yoga positions in the heart-mind.’
To stretch those tight places, another dose of bullet points followed:
The state of being unforgiving can manifest in anxiety, compulsion,
fear, resentment, inflexibility, horizontal violence, and depression.
There were instant nods of recognition; most of the audience had been
visited by many combinations of those conditions. As one participant
put it, `When I hold onto anger and hatred, I give away my power. By
opening my heart, I get it back.’ Yet another child of survivor
stated: `I need my anger to be an advocate and make my children be
active and not apathetic to fight the cause.’

The audience was given opportunity to clarify more myths and took the
first step in thinking outside of the box.

5. AASSSG collaborates with several Armenian and American
Organizations for democracy and denial symposium

Armenian American Society for Studies on Stress and Genocide (AASSSG,
pronounced as AZK, meaning a nation) a charitable organization
established in 1988, had organized a symposium which took place on
Friday 6 April, 2007 at Fordham University. The symposium was
dedicated to commemorating 92nd Anniversary of the Ottoman Turkish
Genocide of the Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians and other minorities in
Asia Minor, and to the memory of Hrant Dink, an Armenian Journalist, a
citizen of Turkey, who was assassinated in front of his office, for
his views on non-violence and freedom of speech. The symposium was
entitled: Democracy and Denial: Continued challenges for Human Rights
in Turkey.

The evening started with acknowledging Krieger Essay Winners and
giving them certificates as well as monetary awards. This year was
the 12th Anniversary of the Krieger Essay Contest which draws hundreds
of essays from around the tri-state area, from high schools and
colleges. For more information kindly visit

After the awards, a film made by Apraham Torosyan, of Boston, MA, was
shown, entitled: `Discovering my Father’s Village: Erdink. A
30-minute documentary. After which a panel of experts shared their
views on the theme of the symposium which was Democracy and Denial.
The first speaker Professor Helen Fein, who is a Professor and Board
Member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, was
unable to attend, on her behalf, Dr. Joyce Apsel read the speech.

Dr. Kumru Toktamis followed. Kumru is well known not only to the
Turkish community, but as well as to the Armenian community. She is
on the Board of the CREATE of Association for Trauma Outreach and
Prevention, which is a curated Armenian-Turkish Art Exhibit Project.
She also was the courageous Turkish person on the side of Armenians
during the Candle-light Vigil in front of the United Nations for Hrant
Dink, and who recited her emotional poem dedicated for Hrant Dink.
Dr. Toktamis is an adjunct Professor of Cultural History at Pratt
Institute in Brooklyn New York, she is a human rights activist,
writer, and editor. She focused on the need for acknowledgment of
past wrong doings in order to move to a democratic country.

Mr. Ragip Zarakolu, was the next speaker, who is an author and a
publisher and a Turkish citizen. Mr. Zarakoglu is the director and
owner of Belge Publishing House. He has been subject to a lifetime of
harassment from the Turkish authorities. In 1977, Ragip and his wife
Ayse Nur Zarakolu founded the Belge Publishing House, which has been a
focus for censorship since its inception. Its publications have not
only drawn the government’s ire. Zarakolu’s office was firebombed by
an extremist rightist group in 1995, forcing it to be housed in a
cellar. Despite the death of his wife in 2002, Zarakolu has continued
to publish writings critical of human rights violations around the
world, especially in his native Turkey. Zarakolu’s staunch belief in
freedom of expression, his vocal campaign against book banning, and
his persistence in publishing works that violate Turkey’s repressive
censorship laws have resulted in a catalog of indictments dating back
to the early 1970s. Mr. Zara! kolu conclusion inspired the audience
when he said `Hrant Dink is our Dr. Martin Luther King, and we are all
responsible to continue his work on non0violence and human rights for

The symposium was organized and chaired by Dr. Ani Kalayjian, who is
the president of the AASSSG as well as ATOP. A question and answer
period followed, with reception and networking.

6. Spotlight on Our Intern: Dr. Maria Alexandrova

Maria Alexandrova is from Veliky Novgorod, Russia. She earned her
Medical Doctor Degree with Excellence from the Institute of Medical
Education, Yaroslav-the-Wise, Novgorod State University, Veliky
Novgorod, Russia in 2002.

Now Maria is a graduate student on Edmund Muskie Graduate Fellowship
Program under the auspices of the United States Department of State
and International Research and Exchange Board. She is studying
Community Health at the Health Science Department, Minnesota State
University, Mankato and will graduate with a Master of Science in
Community Health in 2008. Prior to accepting this fellowship,
Dr. Maria Alexandrova, known as Masha to her friends and colleagues,
practiced medicine as an OB/GYN physician in 2004-2006 in Emergency
Care, on the Gynecological Unit, Central City Clinical Hospital,
Veliky Novgorod, Russia as well as in Ambulatory Care at a Private
Medical Center `Avicenna’. In June 2006 she received an Honorary Award
for Outstanding Achievements and Highly Qualified Work in Emergency
Care, Gynecological Unit, Central City Clinical Hospital, Veliky
Novgorod, Russia.

>From 1996-2006 Maria was in great demand as a medical interpreter from
English to Russian and Russian to English on International Medical
Conferences in Veliky Novgorod, Saint Petersburg, and Moscow.

Although Maria’s early childhood education was in Russia, in 1995,
after graduating with a High Honors Attestation Diploma, from High
School, Veliky Novgorod, Russia, she won a competition to become an
exchange student for another senior year, this time at Wheatland-Chili
Central High School in Scottsville, New York, USA and in 1996, Maria
Alexandrova, graduated with an Honorary Diploma. Maria enjoys her
studies and extracurricular activities at Minnesota State University,
Mankato. Since October 2006 she is first President and Founder of the
Global Health and Peace Club, Minnesota State University, Mankato,
USA. This is a Student Recognized Organization at the university that
was created to increase awareness of global health and peace issues.

In October 2006 she became a member of the Diversity Committee for the
University’s Health Science Department and in September, she became a
member of the Aviation Club and Flight Team, and of the Students for
Sustainability Club (ecological group) as well. Since October 2006 she
is a member of Women in Aviation International, West Alexandria, OH,
and since September, 2006 she is a volunteer of Health People Reaching
Out Project, Health Education Office, Student Health Services,
Minnesota State. Suffice it to say, Maria Alexandrova has committed
herself to the pursuit of knowledge, improving the health and welfare
of individuals and populations. The summer internship is a requirement
for the Edmund Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program.

Trauma Prevention and Outreach is ultimately a significant aspect of
women’s health in the public health field. That is why Masha – in her
own words – `is looking forward to interning at the Association of
Trauma Prevention and Outreach.’ She hopes that it will help her
direct her future career in the public health field, focusing on
women’s health issues.

In the Media

On April 16, Dr. Kalayjian spoke with ABC News’ Anchor Diane Williams
on the Psychological Impact of Parents dealing with their children’s
loss after the Virginia Tech massacre

In May, Dr. Kalayjian was elected to the Board of Directors for the
International Council of Psychologists for 2007-2010.

Dr. Kalayjian was featured in the APA Monitor as the Mentoring
Committe Chair and Match-Maker for International Psychology and for
Division 52 of APA.

In July, Dr. Kalayjian was appointed on the SPSSI task force on gun

APA 52, International Psychology, Awards Committee announced that
Dr. Kalayjian received the 2007 APA International Psychology Mentoring

Recent Publications

Kalayjian, A. (2006). Sri Lanka: Post Tsunami Mental Health Outreach
Project Lessons Learned. In Earthquake 10/8: Social, Human & Gender
Issues. Fatiman Jinnah Women’s University Rawalpindi, and University
of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Musaffarabad, Pakistan, pp. 219-222.

Past Events

March 22-23, 2007
2007 Annual Eastern Psychological Association conference
Philadelphia, PA
Dr. Kalayjian chaired a panel entitled: "Forgiveness: Transforming
Trauma Into Healing."
She also presented on International Trauma, Outreach, and Prevention

April 6, 2007 Genocide Commemoration Denial & Democracy: continued challenges for human rights in Turkey
Fordham University, New York, NY

April 14, 2007
Ethnicity, Identity, and Conflict Conference
The New School Psychology Society, New York, NY

April 24, 2007
Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma: Ottoman-Turkish Genocide of
the Armenians
St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 11-12, 2007
Collaboration with ASP
Relationship as Spiritual Path Conference
Fordham University, New York, NY

Upcoming Events

July 23-24, 2007
Board Meeting for the Worldwide Network for Gender Empowerment at
Fielding University (WNGE)

August 10-14, 2007
65th Annual Conference for the International Council of Psychologists,
Westgate Hotel San Diego, California
Dr. Kalayjian will be chairing a symposium entitled: Forgiveness,
Transforming Trauma into Healing. She will also be presenting:
Forgiveness: A Healthy Choice.

August 17-20, 2007
APA Convention
San Francisco, California
Dr. Kalayjian will be involved in the following:
I. Symposium: Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls – Modern Day Slavery
II. Symposium: International Family and Relational Issues
III. Symposium: Photography on the Couch: Psychologist Analyze Photography
IV. Photo Session: Psychology Across Specialties
V. Chairing the Division I, General Psychology Suite Programming
VI. Division 52, International Psychology Executive Board Meeting
VII. Division 52, International Psychology Business Meeting

September 5-7, 2007
60th Annual DPI/NGO Conference
Climate Change: How it impacts us all
United Nations, New York, NY

September 21-23, 2007
Women’s Symposium:
Mind, Body, Spirit
Women’s Guild Central Council, Ararat Center
Greenville, NY

To register or receive more information about these events, email us.

Interested in Volunteering in Lebanon with the MHOP?

Email us at [email protected] and we will send you a volunteer
application. You can check out our past projects at

Meaningful World Volunteer Opportunities

Fundraising Intern
-Assist with current fundraising initiatives, i.e., Katrina and Rita
Hurricanes, and Earthquake in Pakistan
-Prepare tsunami drawings for auction
-Plan a fundraising event -Contact local organizations for material
donations, T-shirts, office supplies, etc.
-Contact corporate sponsors for grants and monetary donations in
collaboration with PR.
Public Relations Intern
-Maintain and update list of contacts-news, past and future donors,
volunteers, etc.
-Write and sent press releases, letters of solicitation, gratitude, invitation, updates, etc.
-Edit newsletter
-Maintain contact with country representatives from past outreach
-Contact local school/churches/hospitals to plan events, fundraisers,
lectures, raise awareness -Contact other similar not-for-profit
organization for collaboration.

Videography & Photography Intern
-Edit tsunami video and create short film with raw footage
-Prepare video clips for website page
-Videotape and photograph events as needed
-Create short film with volunteer interviews
-Photograph members of committees for website and newsletter and
photograph events of the Association.

Research Intern
There are several research projects available: Spirituality, tsunami
follow-ups, earthquake in Pakistan , Hurricanes Andrew long term
follow-up, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita immediate impact and one year
follow ups, impact of long term trauma such as Genocide, Vicarious
Traumatization, generational transmission, forgiveness, etc.

-Assist with obtaining information/literature regarding any current
and ongoing research projects
-Enter data – SPSS
-Maintain list of relevant lectures, education opportunities,
presentation/publication opportunities, etc.

* Any creative contributions are welcomed and greatly appreciated

Kindly send your resume and a short statement of purpose and length
and kind of internship needed to: [email protected] and follow
up with a call to make an appointment at 201 941-2266.

This message was sent by: Association for Trauma Outreach and
Prevention, 185 E 85 Street, New York, NY 10028

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