About the Author
Laurie L. Charles, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist and qualitative researcher based in Boston, Massachusetts (U.S.) She is a faculty instructor and former director of the MFT program at Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, Texas, USA, and recent subject matter expert in family therapy with two psychotherapeutic interventions courses sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), and as a WHO Mental Health Officer during the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa in 2015. Focused on scaling up family therapy practices for host country nationals in fragile states, Dr Charles' work as a scholar and practitioner includes the performance of qualitative rapid needs assessments & the supervision and training of psychiatrists, psychosocial workers, and family therapists for family therapy and psychosocial support programs in low and middle income countries. Dr Charles has both a PhD in Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University and a M.A. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Her publications have appeared in Family Process, the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, the Journal of Family Therapy, Qualitative Inquiry, and Boston Globe Magazine. She is a 2017-2018 Fulbright Global Scholar. Gameela Samarasinghe, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist by training and is an Associate Professor in Psychology in the Department of Sociology, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. She initiated the design of and introduced the Postgraduate Diploma and Master's in Counselling and Psychosocial Support at the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo. These postgraduate programs try to provoke thinking on alternative visions of what support to individuals and communities might look like while at the same time providing training on conventional counselling skills. She is the Coordinator of both programs. She has been a member of various advisory groups developing strategies for post-conflict trauma in Sri Lanka and internationally. These include her role as Technical Advisor to the Asia Foundation's Reducing the Effects and Incidents of Trauma (RESIST) Program and to the Victims of Trauma Treatment Program (VTTP), which are programs designed to support and treat torture survivors. She was a member of the international research team on "Trauma, Peace building and Development", run from the University of Ulster. She has written extensively on mental health and psychosocial wellbeing in Sri Lanka. She has been awarded many fellowships and has been the recipient of research grants including the Fulbright-Hays Senior Research Scholar Award (2004 - 2005) at Boston University and the Fulbright Advanced Research Award (2013 - 2014) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.