Meet the Board

Armenian American Mental Health Association (AAMHA) board members and advisors

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

Raffi Tashjian, AdvisorRAFFI TASHJIAN – CO-PRESIDENT

Dr. Tashjian is a board certified Psychiatrist, currently retired from private practice. He has been on AAMHA’s board since its inception.

 

 

 

 

Shakeh Kaftarian, AdvisorSHAKEH KAFTARIAN – CO-PRESIDENT

Dr. Kaftarian is a medical psychologist, whose research has included women’s health and gender issues. She has served as a research administrator at the National Institutes of Health; senior advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; and a research professor at the Hebert School of Medicine of the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. As a Fulbright Scholar at the American University of Armenia (AUA), she recently conducted research on the status of women of Armenia, and chaired an international conference titled “Empowerment of Girls and Women of Armenia.” Her efforts have been instrumental in the development of a major scholarship program at AUA in support of women students in engineering and computer science. Her bigger vision will hopefully be translated into programs directed at non-matriculated rural women.

 

Gina Balit, Website Committee Chair and SecretaryGINA BALIT – VICE-PRESIDENT & WEBSITE COMMITTEE CHAIR

Ms. Balit is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Art Therapist. She works in a private practice setting, with locations in Woodland Hills and Brentwood, and provides home-based services near Burbank, Glendale, and Los Feliz. Gina has a deep and life-long love for children and art. She works solely with young children and specializes in children of divorce and abuse. She is bilingual in Armenian (western and eastern dialects). She has extensive experience in school-based settings and has Domestic Violence certification, having worked with women and children individually and in groups in agency, shelter, and transitional home settings. She has also worked with autistic children and has provided home-based Applied Behavioral Analysis. Gina is also a graphic designer and a “techie” who is passionate about providing marketing/logo design services. Prior and into her therapy career, she was also an administrative assistant and bookkeeper for 10 years. She values being a leadership position and has also served on the board of SFV-CAMFT. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Cal State Northridge in Child and Adolescent Development with a minor in Graphic Design and a Masters in Psychology: Marriage and Family Therapy/Art Therapy. Her private/business contact information is gb1105@gmail.com or 818-533-1897 (website www.TheArtofMFT.com).

 

Alice Kevork, TreasurerALICE KEVORK – TREASURER

Ms. Kevork is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice under the supervision of Stan Rushing, LMFT. Alice has been working with children and families since 1989, as an associate preschool teacher, a special education classroom assistant, and a certified Speech and Language Pathology Assistant. Alice has been providing therapy to families, children, adolescents, couples and individuals for the last 18 months. She obtained her MA in MFT and BA in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College. Alice is Quad-lingual; she speaks, reads and writes English, Armenian, Arabic and Turkish. She chose this field because of her love for children and their families and is honored to be at their service. In her spare time, Ms. Kevork visits her elderly friends who need company. She sees them as rare jewels, values their wisdom and enjoys her time with them. She welcomes clients who are facing various issues including feelings of sadness, anxiety, developmental issues, and other life stressors. She works from a systemic perspective and specializes in working with the family unit and believe that a problem within a family context affects and is affected by all those involved. She also specializes in offering premarital counseling and working with couples who are facing difficulties with intimacy, vulnerability and other relational issues. She a Certified Prepare & Enrich facilitator as well as a Certified Positive Discipline Parenting Class facilitator. Her contact information is alicekevorkmfti@gmail.com and 818-419-2409.

 

SONA TER-YEGISHYAN – SECRETARY

Ms. Ter-Yegishyan is currently a Master of Social Welfare candidate at UCLA. She has an extensive background in counseling and providing case management and community resources for clients of different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Her main goal as a future therapist is to make mental health services more accessible to the Armenian-American community of Los Angeles through psycho-education and mindfulness practice.

 

 

 

TALINE GUEVREKIAN – EDUCATION/PROGRAM COMMITTEE CHAIR

Ms. Guevrekian is a 4th year graduate student and doctoral candidate for her doctor of psychology (Psy.D.) degree in Clinical Psychology. Her dissertation topic investigates acculturative influences on psychological well-being and health risk behaviors in Armenian Americans. She is currently interning at Aurora Charter Oak Hospital in Covina where she provides individual, group, and family therapy to adolescents and adults residing in the inpatient treatment facility. She also conducts neuropsychological, cognitive, personality, and behavioral assessments to adolescents and adults with varying disorders. She holds Bachelor degrees from the University of Southern California in Psychology and Biology and a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology.

 

Charles Pilavian, AdvisorCHARLES PILAVIAN – EDUCATION/PROGRAM COMMITTEE CO-CHAIR

Dr. Pilavian is a clinical Psychologist, practicing for over 24 years on three continents. In psychotherapy, his mission is to help you learn how to help yourself. He has two doctorate degrees, both in neuropsychology. He is trained in psychodynamic and humanistic approaches. He specializes in neuropsychological and fitness for duty evaluations, pre-employment law enforcement, and personality assessments, as well as in the treatment of depression & anxiety, mood disorders, relationship issues, personality disorders, and problems related to the workplace.

 

Armineh Gourgian, Social Committee ChairARMINEH GOURGIAN – SOCIAL COMMITTEE CHAIR

Ms. Gourgian is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She uses variety of theoretical orientations such as Gestalt, Psychodynamic, Cognitive/Behavioral, Emotion Focused, and Hypnotherapy to help clients struggling with depression, anxiety, phobias and personality disorders. She also works with families and couples, helping them with conflict resolution, at two locations in Pasadena and Glendale. You can contact her at 818-970-5245 or arminehgourgian@yahoo.com.

 

MARINA O. – MEMBERSHIP/OUTREACH COMMITTEE CHAIR

“Ms. Marina,” as her students and colleagues call her, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker currently working as a school social worker. Marina specializes in providing psychotherapy, case management, and crisis intervention to children, young adults, and families. She is passionate about helping youth reach their full potential and thrive. She provides a safe emotional space and judgement-free environment to her clients and, if applicable, their caregivers. Prior to joining the school district, Marina worked for a behavioral health agency for several years utilizing a variety of modalities to help clients process trauma, strengthen resiliency and coping skills, decrease substance use, and manage feelings of anger appropriately. Parenting groups and positive parenting strategies is another passion and specialty of Marina’s. She enjoys volunteering with mental health organizations, in the past having been active in multiple NASW-CA local units and regional committee, and is excited to join the board of AAMHA.

 

 

ADVISORS

 

Siran Tashjian, AdvisorSIRAN TASHJIAN

Ms. Tashjian is a Registered Nurse, currently retired. She practiced Psychiatric Nursing in Memphis Tennessee and worked as a case manager for the Department of Health Care Services in Los Angeles until December 2016.

 

 

 

Karina Markossian, AdvisorKARINA MARKOSIAN

Ms. Markosian is a Post Doc Intern and the Program Director at Daylight Adult Health Care Center in Glendale (where we hold our board meetings and lectures).