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Armenians, Kurds and Turks in Dialogue – June 14, 2015

June 14, 2015 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm




Armenians, Kurds and Turks in Dialogue


Join us for a free One-Day Experiential Workshop Exploring the Historical Legacy of Anatolia, Turkey

We are calling on Armenians, Kurds, Turks and anyone with ethnic or religious heritage connected with Anatolia, Turkey to participate. 

During our day together we will explore:

– Historical/ancestral legacies and how they manifest in our daily lives
– How we can take steps towards healing personal and collective wounds
– How we can convert historical trauma into constructive action

Psychodramatic and Sociodramatic processes will be integrated into the process.


Facilitated by psychotherapist and drama therapist Armand Volkas,
with the support of the Living Arts Counseling Center therapists and interns.

armand-photo-150x188Armand Volkas, MFA, MA, MFT, RDT/BCT, is a psychotherapist, drama therapist and theatre director and Clinical Director of the Living Arts Counseling Center in Emeryville, CA.

He is a Board Certified Trainer in drama therapy. In addition, Armand is Associate Professor in the Counseling Psychology Program at California Institute of Integral Studies and Adjunct Professor at John F. Kennedy University, Sofia University, the Summer Peacebuilding Institute and the Canadian School of Peacebuilding. Click below for more information on his Healing the Wounds in HistoryLiving Arts Counseling Center, and Living Arts Playback projects.


Sunday, June 14th, 2015

10am to 5:00pm

Center for the Living Arts
1265 65th St, Emeryville, CA


Advance registration is required.

  • Registration & your participation including your personal stories are confidential.

For more information and to reserve your space:

Nermin Soyalp, PhD Candidate
t: (510) 541-3211
e: nerminsoyalp@gmail.com


 The Legacy of Collective Trauma in Anatolia


When we look at human history, it is filled with grim events such as wars, genocide, assassinations of inspirational leaders, natural disasters, and famine. Anatolia (the Asian part of modern day Turkey) was no exception. In Anatolia several historical traumatic events occurred in the last century and there continues to be a great controversy around them: e.g., World War I, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Armenian genocide, and ongoing armed conflict between Kurds and Turks.

During the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Armenians, Kurds, Turks and many other ethnicities and religious groups who, for over 1000 years, had lived side-by-side became estranged and sometimes enemies.

In 1914 and 1915 throughout Anatolia, Armenians were forced to leave their ancestral lands and many were massacred with Armenians claiming that up to a million of their people were murdered in acts of genocide.

The formation of the Turkish national state in 1923, and the ‘Turkification’ process (anyone who was a resident of Turkey was considered ‘Turkish’ regardless of their ethnicity) created major conflicts among the Anatolian cultures. The Kurds resisted assimilating as ‘Turkish’, and wanted their language and culture to be honored and respected. Subsequently creating an ongoing conflict between Turks and Kurds has resulted in armed conflicts especially since the 1980s.

Turkish, Kurdish and Armenian cultures, either in the diaspora or at home, are fated to live side by side as they have for half a millennium. As a result their destinies are intertwined, and their sense of self intimately tied to the other.

How do we navigate through this psychologically loaded minefield
towards constructive dialogue and cooperation?

Healing the Wounds of History workshops are based on the premise that there can be no political solutions to intercultural conflict until we understand and take into consideration the emotional, and unconscious drives of the human being. The Healing the Wounds of History method, which takes a psychological approach to conflict, provides a map to help participants traverse the emotional terrain to reconciliation.

Healing the Wounds of History

Healing the Wounds of History is a process in which experiential techniques are used to work with a group of participants who share a common legacy of historical trauma. The process was developed by Armand Volkas, MFT, a psychotherapist and drama therapist from Berkeley, California. Volkas is the son of Auschwitz survivors and resistance fighters from World War II. He was moved by his personal struggle with this legacy of historical trauma to address the issues that arose from it: identity, victimization and perpetration, meaning and grief. Healing the Wounds of History helps participants work through the burden of such legacies by transforming their pain into constructive action. Armand Volkas’s work has received international recognition for bringing groups in conflict together: Germans and Jews; Turks and Armenians; Turks and Kurds; Palestinians and Israelis; Japanese, Chinese and Koreans; African-Americans and European-Americans, to name a few.


June 14, 2015
10:00 am - 5:00 pm


Unnamed Venue
San Francisco, United States


Nermin Soyalp
(510) 541-3211