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Turks and Kurds of Turkey in Dialogue: A Free One-Day Workshop

April 9 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm



Kurds & Turks of  Turkey in Dialogue

A Free One-Day Workshop

Turks and Kurds are Invited to Participate in a FREE
One-Day Experiential Workshop Exploring their Historical Legacies from Anatolia, Turkey

Facilitated by
Armand Volkas, MFT, RDT/BCT

In collaboration with

Nermin Soyalp, MAOP, PhDc

 Assisted by students from
The Healing the Wounds of History Training Program


Sunday, April 9, 2017

10am to 5:00pm

San Francisco, CA

(We will call you and give you the exact location after you register)

Advance registration is required.
Your registration and your participation,
including your personal stories,
are confidential.

Click on this link to register:


Or, if you would prefer to phone, please call Nermin Soyalp at the number below

For more information and registration contact:

Nermin Soyalp
t: (510) 595-5500, Ext.16
e: nermin@healingthewoundsofhistory.org

This workshop is for Kurds and Turks with ethnic or religious heritage connected with Anatolia, Turkey. 

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

Kurds and Turks from the community who are willing to be emotional pioneers for their cultures are invited to participate in a free one-day workshop.

The workshop will be facilitated by psychotherapist and drama therapist Armand Volkas and organizational psychologist, facilitator and researcher Nermin Soyalp with the support of students of Healing the Wounds of History Training program.  Drama Therapy, Psychodrama and Sociodrama processes will be integrated into the workshop and we will reflect on and explore how we can convert historical trauma into constructive action.

We recognize that there is currently great tension in Turkey and the political climate might feel dangerous. We understand your concerns and want to assure that your registration, participation in the workshop and your personal stories will be held in strict confidentiality.

Armand Volkas, MFT, RDT/BCT is a psychotherapist, drama therapist, theatre director and professor. Armand has received international recognition for his Healing the Wounds of History approach to bringing groups in conflict together. He has facilitated groups in multiple countries including, descendants of Jewish Holocaust survivors and The Third Reich; Turks and Armenians; Turks and Kurds; Palestinians and Israelis; Japanese and Chinese, Tamil and Singhalese, Japanese and Koreans; African-Americans and European-Americans and the factions involved in the Lebanese Civil War.

Armand is Artistic Director of The Living Arts Playback Theatre Ensemble, now in its 28th year. He is Clinical Director of the Living Arts Counseling Center in Emeryville and Associate Professor in the Counseling Psychology Program at California Institute of Integral Studies and Adjunct Professor at John F. Kennedy University, the Summer Peacebuilding Institute and the Canadian School of Peacebuilding.

Armand has been honored with the Raymond Jacobs Award for his dedication to diversity and cultural competence and The Gertrud Schattner Award from the North American Drama Therapy Association for his distinguished contributions to the field. He has developed innovative programs using drama therapy for social change, intercultural conflict transformation, intercultural communication and peacebuilding.

Nermin Soyalp, MAOP, Ph.D.c., Historical and Collective Trauma researcher/facilitator

Nermin has been a collaborator with Armand Volkas in the HWH approach since 2012 where they together organized HWH workshops with Germans and Jews, Turks, Kurds and Armenians.  She is a skilled trainer and a facilitator and one of the co-creators of the Healing the Wounds of History certificate program.

Nermin was born in Monterey, CA and grew up in Ankara, Turkey. After graduating from Hacettepe University in Statistics, she moved to California, and completed her Masters in Organizational Psychology at John F. Kennedy University. In addition to running her consulting practice, Bring Your Passion to Work, in Oakland, Nermin is an Executive Director for the Center for the Living Arts nonprofit and is working on her Ph.D. dissertation at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS): Historical Traumas and Healing Between Armenian, Kurdish, and Turkish ethnicities.

She has been facilitating peace-building workshops in the Bay Area and in Turkey since 2012 and has designed and conducted trainings on conflict transformation, and participant-centered experiential training in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations since 2008.

 The Legacy of Collective Trauma in Anatolia


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, genocidal expulsion of Armenians, Dersim Massacre 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.

The formation of the Turkish national state in 1923, and the ‘Turkification’ process (anyone who was a resident of Turkey was considered secular, Sunni-Muslim,’ Turkish’ regardless of their ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural belongingness/diversity) created major conflicts among the Anatolian cultures. The Kurdish people’s resistance to assimilation into ‘Turkishness’ subsequently created an ongoing conflict between Turks and Kurds has resulted in armed conflicts especially since the 1980s.

Turkish and Kurdish 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.


April 9
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Nermin Soyalp
(510) 595-5500, Ext.16


San Francisco
San Francisco, CA United States + Google Map