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Local Organising Committee

Lela Tsiskarishvili (Conference Co-Chair)
President of the Georgian Society for Psychotrauma and Executive Director of the Georgian Centre for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (GCRT)

Lela Tsiskarishvili is president of the Georgian Society for Psychotrauma. She is the Executive Director of the Georgian Centre for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims - GCRT. She is also the chair of Human Rights House Tbilisi. Lela is the invited lecturer at Ilia State University’s Masters Program on Mental Health.  She is the past president of International Rehabilitation Council of Torture Victims - IRCT. Lela has extensive experience of working with traumatized individuals and communities and facilitating the development of services for affected populations. Lela works domestically and internationally with civil society organisations on organizational development, staff care, prevention of professional burnout, stress management and integrated security as well as documentation of torture according to the Istanbul Protocol.


Jana (Darejan) Javakhishvili

(Conference Co-Chair)

Jana D. Javakhishvili, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Institute of Addiction Studies at Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia. Her research interests primarily focus on exploring the mental health problems of populations affected by armed conflicts and political oppression. She is heavily engaged in the Federation Global Initiative on Psychiatry projects focused on improving human rights-based mental health care in various countries including Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, and Ukraine. She is the Past President (2019-2020) of ESTSS. Since November 2022, she has been serving on the Board of Directors of ISTSS. Additionally, she serves as a trustee of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, Europe, and leads an Armed Conflict Thematic Group within the Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress. She serves on the editorial boards of the European Journal of Psychotraumatology (EJPT), and the Journal of Trauma and Dissociation (JTD). 

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Tiko Tsomaia

Tiko Tsomaia (MD, PhD) is a professor of journalism and communication at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs in Tbilisi.  Her professional career has been related to education, journalism, communications, research and training. She used to be an OSI Global Faculty Grant fellow at NYU University, visiting fellow at City University London, recipient of EU Cost Action STSM (short term scientific mission) to Zaragoza University.
Tsomaia is a Management Committee Member, representing Georgia in the COST Action GLITSS, Illicit Trade and Globalisation.
She is running innovative project to inform the public about murder crime including femicide. Tsomaia is a founder of an “open movement” to support community mental health services and open discussion about mental health issues. Tsomaia is a chairperson of NGO Baltic to Black Sea Alliance- Georgia where she contributes to various projects relating to democratisation, health literacy and media freedom. Tsomaia is a board member of European Journalism Training Association.  She is a convenor of the IRCT Communication advisory board.  
Tsomaia has an experience of organizing many large-scale projects including organization of International conferences, annual country wide events such as GIPA-Friedman Prize competition and award ceremony in investigative journalism or awareness raising events on mental health in New York and Tbilisi.  
Tsomaia holds Ph.D. in social sciences from the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs, and MA in Medicine and Journalism and Media Management. 
She is an Expert Speaker at International conferences, organized by European Journalism Training Association (EJTA), European Journalism Centre (EJC), International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ), European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS), International Alert, CESS (Central Eurasian Studies Society) Her research topics are: pre-natal sex selection, femicide, trauma and addiction, ethical decision making and health.


Maria Böttche

​Maria Böttche, PhD, is a registered psychotherapist and postdoctoral researcher at the division of Clinical Psychological Intervention, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, specialised on war-affected mental health and on the development of internet-based interventions for hard-to-reach groups (e.g. refugees, older adults, Arab population). She is also co-head of the research Department at Center UEBERLEBEN, Berlin, were she leads projects (e.g. evaluation of multidisciplinary treatment for refugees, internet-based treatment for patients in the MENA region). She is a member of the board of the German-speaking Society for Psychotraumatology (DeGPT) and of the European Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS).

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Joanne Mouthaan

​Joanne Mouthaan has a PhD in clinical psychology and works as a senior assistant professor at the Clinical Psychology Department of Leiden University, The Netherlands. She is the educational coordinator for the clinical psychology Bachelor and Master curriculum. Her research focuses on the prediction and prevention of trauma-related health effects and suicide, and the development of professional skills in traumatic stress and suicide prevention, and is part of the Social Resilience and Security Interdisciplinary Program of Leiden University. She was the recipient of the Jan van Dijk Victimology and Victims' Rights Award for her dissertation (2015), and received grants for developing e-learning modules for online treatment skills (FSW Grass Shoots, 2018) and suicide prevention skills for psychologists in training (Third National Agenda Suicide Prevention, 2021-2025). Joanne Mouthaan is the Chair of the Dutch Association for Psychotrauma (NtVP), Treasurer of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS), Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting Committee of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), and an Editorial Board Member for the European Journal for Psychotraumatology.


Dominic Murphy

​Dr Dominic Murphy is the Head of Research at Combat Stress and an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at King's College London University. Dr Murphy has specialised within the field of psycho-trauma, is trained in TF-CBT, EMDR, Narrative Exposure Therapy and Compassionate-Focused Therapy. He is the President of the UK Psychological Trauma Society (UKPTS), board member of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ETSSS) and is widely published within this with over 100 publications. He continues to be a member of the KCMHR department at KCL.

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