Staff

Amana Ayoub, Psy.D., has been working with survivors of torture and genocide for over a decade, having been mentored at the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture in Chicago, Illinois. She received her Doctorate in Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and has interned with various professional organizations focusing on the mental health needs of refugees, as well as treating other survivors of severe trauma (i.e. domestic violence, sexual trafficking of women and children, and hate crimes against gays and lesbians). Having maternal and paternal grandparents who were refugees and war survivors, she is passionate about human rights. Dr. Ayoub has worked with clients from almost every country in the world, with particular focus on Asian issues, survivors of the Bosnian genocide, and the elderly. She is also an expert in child survivors of violence. Dr. Ayoub is currently Senior Staff Psychologist at Center for Survivors of Torture (CST) in San Jose, CA, and regularly testifies as an expert witness on behalf of clients seeking asylum Via CST, she also provides training to educate other legal and health professionals in this very specialized field.

Armina Husic joined Asian American for Community Involvement in 2001; she is the Program Manager of the Center for Survivors of Torture (CST) at Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI). A former refugee herself, Ms. Husic has assisted hundreds of survivors of torture. She is a passionate advocate for victims of severe trauma in need of psychological and social support services. Her dedication and good work affect not only past victims, but also their families, children and all those that come into contact with them. On March 30, 2006 she was awarded by the Board of Supervisors of Santa Clara County with the award “The Focus on Peace Building and Non-Violence”. Prior to joining Asian Americans for Community Involvement, Ms. Armina Husic worked as a program assistant at the RefugeeWorks, a program of Lutheran Immigration Refugee Service. She has extensive experience in assisting states, counties, voluntary agencies, mutual aid associations, employment service providers, workforce development boards, and policy makers in their efforts to help refugees achieve self-sufficiency. Ms. Husic is the co-founder of the mutual assistance agency Eastern European Service Agency which serves refugees from former Yugoslavia settled in Santa Clara County. She is fluent in Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian.

Daryn Reicherter, M.D., is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Stanford University, School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He is dedicated to providing a combination of administrative and clinical services in the area of cross-cultural trauma mental health. He has worked as a Psychiatrist at the Center for Survivors of Torture, Asian Americans for Community Involvement for more than five years. In addition to chairing the Board of Directors for Survivors International, he is the Director of Cross Cultural Psychiatry at the Gardner Mental Health Care Clinic where he works with Cambodian survivors of genocide. Dr. Reicherter is involved with the movement for promotion of trauma mental health and human rights issues spanning countries including Cambodia, Haiti, Zimbabwe, and Indonesia. He serves as consultant to the Documentation Center of Cambodia for the Victims of Torture Project. He has edited two books and multiple chapters and articles on the topic of Human Rights and Access to Mental Health. He has also been involved in the creation of clinical mental health programs for the underserved in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the Clinical Director of the Integrated Behavioral Health Program at Revenswood Family Health and the creator of Stanford’s Free Clinic Mental Health Program. After receiving degrees in Psychobiology and Philosophy from the University of California at Santa Cruz, Dr. Reicherter completed his doctorate in medicine at New York Medical College. He completed internship and residency and served as Chief Resident at Stanford University Hospitals and Clinics.

Natasha Wright, MSW, ASW joined AACI in 2014, and currently works as a behavioral health counselor at the Center for Survivors of Torture, providing mental health counseling and clinical case management to refugees, asylees, and torture survivors. She holds a B.A. in political science from Reed College, and a Masters in Social Work from San Jose State University. Ms. Wright is also a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, who served as an educator, trainer, and youth development volunteer in rural East Java, Indonesia from 2011-2013. Having personally experienced the disorientation and uncertainty of being suddenly immersed in a new culture, Ms. Wright is passionate about helping people seeking safety and refuge in the United States to find connection, meaning, and healing in their new home, and develop a sense of holistic wellbeing.

Richard Shapiro, M.D., is licensed by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is a board certified psychiatrist in adult and forensic psychiatry. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Cornell University Medical College. He has received extensive medical training at Cambridge Hospital, where he was chief resident in inpatient and forensic psychiatry, and a clinical instructor in Psychiatry. In addition Dr. Shapiro was a clinical fellow in Psychiatry and Medicine at Harvard Medical School and currently serves as clinical faculty at Stanford University Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Shapiro is in private practice in San Francisco and Menlo Park, California and has been a psychiatric consultant for The Center for Survivors of Torture (CST) at Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) in San Jose, California for many years providing psychiatric treatment services and consultation to survivors of torture, and severe trauma; in addition to providing clinical trainings and workshops in the community.

Roby Shamas, MFT

Rola Cheikh has recently joined the Center for Survivors of Torture. She has a BA in Fine Arts and has been an ESL teacher in international schools in the Middle East. Rola was a close witness all through her life to refugee camps in the Middle East due to her parents’ work with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA. This close encounter created the passion to help refugees overcome the difficulties of being uprooted from everything familiar and in many cases the unbearable load of being subjected to different types of torture. Rola is involved with a multi-cultural community that enables her to provide assistance to refugees, especially from the Middle East and to link them to the available resources with focus on cultural needs.

Sabrina Macek

Sallie Rupe, LMFT joined Center for Survivors of Torture in 2015.  She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with nearly 15 years of experience working with at-risk populations, specializing in treating childhood trauma, depression, anxiety, and ADHD.  She dedicated nearly 9 years to working with at-risk foster children in residential care, supporting them as they overcame traumatic pasts and significant mental health challenges.  Sallie became involved in serving the unique needs of foreign-born youth as she developed the first intrinsic mental health component to a Refugee Foster Care program in the United States.  Having grown up oversees and transitioned into the United States at age 15, she is passionate about supporting young people as they redefine their identity and strive to maintain their cultural roots while successfully navigating their personal assimilation process.  She strives to promote awareness within the mental health field of the unique needs of this population, and has presented seminars at national conferences to support other providers in providing culturally contextual care to foreign-born youth.  Her clients appreciate Sallie’s relaxed approach to therapy that emphasizes finding peace in the midst of each person’s unique Life Adventure.

Sarita Kohli, M.A. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, currently serving as Interim CEO and President of Asian Americans for Community Involvement  (AACI), San Jose.  Herself an immigrant, Ms. Kohli has worked with immigrant populations for over 10 years, providing individual and group psychotherapy and case management, and has trained in the assessment and treatment of trauma and torture. She also supervises clinicians working with traumatized clients. Additionally, Ms. Kohli is involved in advocacy for the torture survivor population and in training clinical and other providers who work with this population, having made numerous presentations at the state and local levels on working with the special issues related to refugees and torture survivors for medical, psychological, legal and community-based organizations.

Shilpa Kapoor, Psy.D.

Tiffany “TK” Truong is the Data Reporting & Activity Specialist for Center for Survivors of Torture (CST).  She has a BA in Psychology from UCLA, where she contributed to research on family dynamics and health outcomes. With an interest in nonprofit work since high school, she focused on fundraising and events for mental health advocacy groups such as Active Minds, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) throughout college. As a second generation American, she strongly believes in the services, advocacy, and education that CST provides clients every day.  Through data analysis and visualization, she helps highlight the powerful work CST does with survivors of torture and the refugee population.

Zahra Ordikani

Interpreters:

Michael Kidane

Saman Mashayekhi

Crystal Romero