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 Program Resume - APA - Program Description (APA)

 Duration: 31.12.1997 - 29.11.2002
 Location: Baku
 Sectors: Community development

Azerbaijan Psychologists Association (APA) established in 1997; officially registered by Ministry of Justice on March 19.

Our goal is: Development of Psychological Science in Azerbaijan

Main objectives:

  • Organization of research, conferences, training, workshops and publications in the field of Psychology;
  • Providing professional consulting, training and help for individuals and organizations;
  • Establishment of new work places for young psychologists;
  • Development and realization of projects aimed to help and ease solution of actual psychosocial problems in Azerbaijan, especially benefiting such vulnerable groups as women and children.

Any professional Azerbaijani psychologist owning diploma of psychological department may become a member of APA and use all membership privileges.

In 1997, when APA has just begun its activities and up to the end of 1999 most of our time and efforts were directed to social-oriented projects - that was natural response to humanitarian crisis in Azerbaijan. About
1,000,000 refugees and IDPs are still in need for qualified professional help of psychologists.

In 2000 APA has begun to move towards a balance between the science of psychology and its applications. So now, in parallel with social-oriented projects APA is intended to put more efforts in

  • Research;
  • Scientific conferences/workshops;
  • Publishing psychological literature in Azeri;
  • Making academic resources available for students.

APA consists of 5 departments:
Educational Department - lead by Rima Kerimova
International Department - lead by Alexander Cheryomukhin
Conflict Resolution Department - lead by Alexander Cheryomukhin
Academic Resource Center - lead by Nigar Nurradinova
Volunteering Program - lead by Vugar Guliev

First project:
"Returning" (February - June 1998) - social-psychological rehabilitation of the lonely old people. Funded by ISAR/Azerbaijan.

"Development of Academic Resource Center" (March - October 1999) - development of resource center for students of social sciences departments in Azerbaijan. The Center includes library, computer and other equipment, access to Internet. Academic Resource Center continues its work at the present moment.
Project funded by Canada Cooperation Fund and Canadian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.

"Social-psychological research for traumatic effects of forced migration in women and children" (April - September 2000). Brochure presenting results of the study was published and is available at APA. Project funded by International Organization for Migration through Migration Resource Center of HAYAT International NGO, Azerbaijan (

Series of TV shows on Psychological Aspects of Earthquake Recovery (December 2000)
APA experts have presented on practical basics of trauma psychology and PTSD issue; answered questions of the audience.

Program of seminars and training in psychology and psychotherapy
Long-term program of seminars and training in various fields and streams of psychology and psychotherapy. (See Conferences/Workshops)

"Psychology in Azerbaijan" web site
Development of Internet presentation of history and present of psychological science in Azerbaijan, personalities and insitutions. Sponsored by Open Society Institute, Azerbaijan

Trauma Response Program
APA has developed a program proposal to meet the emotional and psychological needs of the Azeri people. There is an enormous challenge ahead of us, as we attempt to meet the needs of those effected by the
Russian invasion of1990, the recent conflict with Armenia, and the psychological needs of about 1,000,000 refugees and IDPs released from camp life without adequate follow up psychological services. In addition,
we face the ever-present burden of mental health issues related to potentially large-scale natural disasters, particularly recent earthquake.

We intend to help train a clinician base of Azeri professionals and to initiate the development of a comprehensive mental health clinic staffed with competent and capable Azeri psychologists; to identify and direct the long-term comprehensive preparation and planning for any future disaster response or trauma event. Helping to prevent large-scale demands on the larger mental health care system in general.

Program is directed by Vafa Asadova (President, APA) < >

International Workshop On War Trauma (12 - 19 October 2000)
Included certification course on Trauma Psychology:

  • Basics of Integrative Therapy
    by Dr. Mohammad Jalali-Tehrani, Ph.D., President of Middle East
    Psychological Network (Iran)
  • Introduction to Trauma Psychology and PTSD
    by Dr. Mark Sandman, Ph.D., Director of Try County Trauma and Education
  • Childhood Trauma
    by Dr. Elaine Archambeau, Ph.D. (USA)
  • Body-oriented express-treatment of PTSD
    by Dr. Marina Berkovskaya, Ph.D. (Russia)

Workshops on Treatment of Incident Related Trauma in Children (November 2000)
Undertaken in several schools of Baku district immediately after November 2000 earthquake.
APA members taught teachers and school psychologists basics of trauma psychology and basic methods and techniques of reducing traumatic effects.
Realized with support from Baku Office for Education.

Workshop on Incident Related Trauma in Children (December 2000)
For school psychologists working in Baku district.
APA experts presented advanced theories of trauma psychology and methods of express-treatment of PTSD.
Realized with support from Baku Office for Education.

"Surviving Trauma With Dignity" World Conference (Summer 2002)
During the "Survival With Dignity" international conference in Yaroslavl, Russia, APA representatives Vafa Asadova and Alexander Cheryomukhin participated in the meeting of IIC (Institute for International
Connection, USA) board members, which took place on July 24th. At that meeting participants discussed their views and expectations from further activities of IIC and organizations represented at the conference at the conference in Yaroslavl.

Taking into account problems discussed - such as war consequences, PTSD, refugees and orphans issues, and projects elaborated in the process of the conference, it was decided to organize conference under the title
"Surviving Trauma With Dignity" in summer of 2002 year in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The idea is to gather together representatives of all professions dealing with consequences of wars and conflicts - peacebuilders, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health workers, social workers, etc., to share
experience and elaborate some projects and actions targeting problems discussed at the conference. Special attention will be given to methods of trauma recovering and work with wars' and violence survivors.

We expect many leaders who work with issues of ethnic hatred and oppression to be with us including Vamik Volkan (, Ivan Urlich of Croatia, and we hope Marshall Rosenberg (author of Non-Violent Communication).

We hope you will be with us too!
We invite: directors and workers of refugee centers, psychotherapists, psychologists and all working in conflict zones and having interest in this topic.

The Baku conference planning has the same kind of shape that Virginia's IHLRN meetings had - it is a good possibility for a growth model style of planning as opposed to a hierarchical style. Conference coordinators: Alexander Cheryomukhin ( of the APA and Barbara Jo Brothers ( of the IIC.

On-going project

Project: Human Resource Development in the field of psychosocial support and rehabilitation vulnerable groups of people

Fast changing living conditions and other features of transition period in Azerbaijan require special capabilities from woman - such as quick decision making, capability (capacity) to deal with many unexpected and unpredictable situations, to be active and take a risk, make plans for own future and future of their children, and so on. Consequences of war and transition period, domestic violence, unemployment - is a small portion of problems women of Azerbaijan are facing nowadays. And those living in rural areas and refugee camps have higher risk to experience maltreatment, domestic violence and other traumatic event. All this results in negative state of their physical and mental health, hopelessness and helplessness, conflicts in families, may cause stress, neurosis and other psychological problems and diseases. Children and adolescents also suffer from violence and family conflicts, maladaptive behavior and other problems, which are sources of psychological trauma for them.

Development of psychosocial services, providing psychotherapy, support and rehabilitation to women and children who experienced domestic violence, conflicts in families or any other psychological trauma - is very actual issue for Azerbaijan today. To confirm it we want to mention that recently Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan has signed a decree regarding the necessity to develop crisis psychosocial system for children and adolescents in schools.

Participation in NGO exhibition
organized by ISAR/Azerbaijan (July 2000)

Participation in foundation of International Association of Workers of Child Institutions (Summer 2000).
Experts and organizations from USA, UK, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Latvia are members of the Association.

Press conference dedicated to 3rd anniversary of foundation of APA (September 2000)

Election of new President of APA - Vafa Asadova (December 2000)

Partners \ Sponsors


Our partners in Azerbaijan:
Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Law, Azerbaijan Academy of Science;
Psychology and Social Science department, Baku State University;
University of Foreign Languages;
Baku Department of Education;
Center for Legal and Economic Education, NGO;

Our partners worldwide:
Milton H. Erickson Foundation, USA (;
Association for Humanistic Psychology, USA (;
American Group Psychotherapy Association (;
Moscow Institute for Transpersonal Psychology, Russia;
The Canadian International Institute of Applied Negotiation (CIIAN), (;
Integration & Development Center;
School for International Training (SIT), Vermont, USA (;
Karuna Center for Peacebuilding (;
The Institute For Multi-Track Diplomacy (;
European Youth Centre;
The Institute for Professional Development, Moscow, Russia;
The Institute for International Connections, Columbia, MD, USA (;
Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin, USA;
College of Springfield, New Hampshire, USA;

Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) (;
ISAR/Azerbaijan (;
Canadian Embassy in Turkey;
Norwegian Embassy in Azerbaijan;
International Organization for Migration (IOM);
Academy for Educational Development (AED), USA;
Open Society Institute - Azerbaijan;
HAYAT International NGO, Azerbaijan (;
Azercell BM company, Azerbaijan;
Irshad Hotel, Baku, Azerbaijan;
Anadolu Restaurants, Baku, Azerbaijan;

Please forgive us if you did not find your name in this list.
We really appreciate your help and contribution!

November 28, 2001

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