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Digital Seminar

Working in Syrian Refugee Communities in Jordan: Community Mental Health for Conflict Survivors

Michael Niconchuk, MSc |  Vivian Khedari-DePierro, PhD |  Alaaeddin Al-Ghazawi, BA
3 Hours 47 Minutes
May 17, 2021
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Digital Seminar
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This recording will discuss the unique challenges of community mental health work in contexts of stigma, conflict, and continued injustice. The recording will explore the cultural and regional history of mental health in the Middle East, with a focus on how conflict in this region has led to trauma for refugees, migrants, survivors of conflict, and others and has also contributed to insufficient models of care for trauma-affected populations in the region. Using the Middle East and forced migrants as a lens to explore alternative systems of healing, Beyond Conflict will share their experience of a cross-cultural and innovative method for community mental health, using storytelling, neurobiology education, and emotion regulation, and will explore further innovative tools for assessing mental health and the impact of mental health programs in non-Western communities. 



Michael Niconchuk, MSc's Profile

Michael Niconchuk, MSc Related seminars and products

Beyond Conflict

Michael Niconchuk, MSc, is the Senior Researcher at the Beyond Conflict Innovation Lab for Neuroscience and Social Conflict. Mike brings 10 years of experience in complex emergencies in the Middle East and Latin America, with specific focus on the translation of neuroscience research into field programs for violence prevention and mental health. He is the lead author of the Field Guide for Barefoot Psychologists.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Michael Niconchuk has employment relationships with Beyond Conflict and Questscope. He receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Michael Niconchuk is an advisor for the Center for the Study of Trauma and Radicalization. He is a board member of Tällberg Foundation and the #MeWe International, Inc.

Vivian Khedari-DePierro, PhD's Profile

Vivian Khedari-DePierro, PhD Related seminars and products

Vivian Khedari DePierro holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology by the New School for Social Research and is a Predoctoral Psychology Intern at Montefiore Medical Center who first trained as a psychologist at Universidad Católica Andres Bello in Caracas, Venezuela. She has extensive clinical experience working with children and adults and is particularly interested in the treatment of psychological trauma and working with at-risk youth, forcibly displaced people and immigrants. She has been involved in research on the physiological markers of complex and acute trauma in the US, South Sudan and South Africa; and recently completed the first RCT of The Field Guide for Barefoot Psychologists with Beyond Conflict in Jordan as part of her doctoral dissertation. Vivian integrates her research work into her clinical practice, working through a lens that considers clinical theory, psychobiology and the cultural and sociopolitical context.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Vivian Khedari DePierro maintains a private practice. She has an employment relationship with Beyond Conflict. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Vivian Khedari DePierro has no relevant non-financial relationships.

Alaaeddin Al-Ghazawi, BA's Profile

Alaaeddin Al-Ghazawi, BA Related seminars and products

Alaaeddin Al-Ghazawi, BA, is a facilitator for The Field Guide for Barefoot Psychology with Questscope for Social Development in the Middle East. he lives and works in Za'atri Refugee Camp in Jordan. Displaced from Syria in 2013, Alaa has worked with various humanitarian organizations as a community organizer, case manager, and peer trainer, building community awareness and capacity specifically in mental health and psychosocial support, sexual and reproductive health, and men's role in the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence. Since 2018, Alaa has led the community contextualization of emotion regulation exercises for The Field Guide in Za'atri Camp. He holds a BA in History from Zarqa University in Jordan and is an MA Candidate in Psychology at Üsküdar University in Istanbul, Turkey.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Alaaeddin Al-Ghazawi is a facilitator for The Field Guide for Barefoot Psychology, Questscope. He works with the Za’atri Refugee Camp.
Non-financial: Alaaeddin Al-Ghazawi has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  1. Demonstrate how injustice and chronic insecurity interact with mental health and trauma markers.  
  2. Devise a summary understanding of the fields of global mental health and mental health in humanitarian emergencies.  
  3. Determine how emotion regulation can play a significant role in both mental health and social justice outcomes.  
  4. Conclude how the research literature regards mental health, peace-building, and social stability outcomes in conflict-affected communities.  
  5. Appraise alternative expressions, symptoms, and systems of trauma and healing.  
  6. Employ narrative and storytelling in community mental health interventions and in stigma reduction. 


  • The unique challenges of community mental health work in conflict areas
  • The cultural and regional history of mental health in the Middle East 
  • Innovative methods for cross-cultural community mental health care in these settings 
  • The tools for assessing mental health in non-western communities 

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Therapists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Case Managers
  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

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