Personal Statement

My general areas of interest are in mental health and clinical psychology through quantitative, qualitative, experimental studies and therapeutic intervention programmes in the following areas:

a) Strategies for coping with stress,fear, trauma, grief and exile.

b) Somatoform & somatic disorders.

c) Intelligence, disability, addiction. 

d) Psychotherapy for children and adults, personality analysis.

e) Updating & developing treatment approaches for patients who suffer from mental health disorders or trauma

f) Designing/updating & developing Psychological Scales & Tests.

g) Translation materials/books from English into Arabic.

I have good skills and experience in quantitative, qualitative, intervention research methods and developing/conducting psychological theraputic programme related to my academic and practical experience in psychotherapy.

I gained a great deal of relevant work experience as a school teacher/counsellor in UNRWA’s Schools-Palestine (1995-2000). In this position my duties included providing support and guidance to students in all aspects of their academic and personal life. For example, I was involved in developing a students’ counselling project which was based on students assisting one another. As a supervisor, I provided support, guidance and motivation training to teachers and counsellors. My specific duties in this role were to help teachers overcome difficulties, deal with emergencies and work under pressure. For example, I trained teachers in skills which enabled them to support the students and alleviate the negative stress/ impacts and difficult circumstances in which they had to work in Gaza. I also provided some training for school counsellors and was responsible for coordinating the team, such as preparing work timetables, attending meetings and preparing workshops, providing them with training about time management and team work. It was also my job to enhance the communication between school staff and the community, as I did some workshops with parents, teachers and head masters.

For two years (1999-2001) I worked in a voluntary capacity in Gaza Psychiatric Hospital.

In addition, I was working as a lecturer in the psychology department and established the Psychometric Unit within the Islamic University-Palestine, Gaza Strip (2002-2004). Afterwards, I worked as a psychotherapy consultant with the Berlin Treatment Centre for Torture Victims, (2007), www.ilajnafsy.org) and as a technical assistant in IT management. Also, I was working as an active member with the Network of Psychologists in the Middle East. I am the main founder of the Palestine Trauma Centre for Victims’ Welfare (PTC),  which as established formally in January 2007 following the results I found in my research project in 2006 at the University of Hertfordshire. In January 2010, he succeeded with support of his colleagues and friends in the United Kingdom to establish Palestine Trauma Centre (UK).

I came from Palestine to the U.K. on a Ford Foundation Scholarship in 2004 to my second PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in 2008, I have been working as a research fellow and coordinator developing the Family therapy Project which is designed to reduce levels of PTSD and empower the resiliency of traumatised children and their families.

During my time at Hertfordshire University, I have also had the opportunity to further develop and obtain new skills. I have been involved in a variety of training courses as well as some particular activities related to trauma therapies. Some of these included giving more than 15 presentations at local and international conferences. In addition, I provided training to some students on Focusing Therapy Techniques at the University of Hertfordshire (UH). I have had training on Family Therapy at the University of Hertfordshire from 2005 till June 2010. Also, I worked as a freelance clinical psychologist and translator with the Focusing Institute –USA. I have translated 15 modules on Focusing into Arabic. I am on my way to be qualified as a Child/Family and Adult Focusing trainer by the Focusing Institute in New York.  At the University of Hertfordshire  I have had training in Negotiation, Communication, Time Management and Assertiveness skills. I am also involved in the Multi-Cultural Project through the Staff Development Unit titled “How we can improve the interaction between the international students and home students”.

Currently, I have completed one year training in Systemic and Family Therapy at the Institute of Family Therapy in London 2010/2011.

Finally, I have always worked within a busy, practical environment as well as academic and have constantly related my studies to work experience and community activities. I enjoy working with different types of people coming from different cultures. Furthermore, I have experience in Computer Programming, Data base, SPSS and Webpage design. I can work well under any kind of pressure and consider myself to be a friendly person.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Mohamed Altawil, PhD , CPsychol