Laurie Charlés, Ph.D.
The Fletcher School – Alumna
160 Packard Ave.
Medford, MA 02155
Skype Phone: 781-780-3975
Dr. Laurie L. Charlés, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist and qualitative researcher whose scholarship and consultation practice is focused on scaling up family therapy practices for host country nationals in fragile, conflict and violence affected states (FCVs), with emphasis on enhancing public mental health initiatives with vulnerable and at-risk populations during postconflict country reconstruction, and in low resource settings across the globe. She has been a part of numerous mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) projects, as a family therapy trainer and consultant, and also, as an analyst who has written about the efficiency and integrity of such projects.
Dr. Charlés has performed qualitative rapid needs assessments with and for survivors of sexual and gender based violence in Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo; worked in Conakry, Guinea as a Mental Health Officer for the World Health Organization (WHO) Ebola Response Team, supporting MHPSS efforts in the country during the outbreak in 2015, and been subject matter expert and trainer/supervisor of family therapy in multiple mental health scaling up projects in FCVs with the World Health Organization. She has provided family therapy supervision and delivered training for psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychotherapy professionals in post conflict Kosovo; in Lebanon in programs focused on Syrian refugees; for Syrian practitioners working with family systems approaches in the ongoing Syrian conflict; for displaced and traumatized populations in a primary and secondary care hospital in the Central African Republic; for psychosocial support workers treating torture survivors and displaced families in Yaounde, Cameroon; in a psychotherapeutic interventions course in post conflict Libya; in multiple projects training group counsellors in Sri Lanka; teaching and training family therapy in pre-revolution Egypt; and teaching graduate students from throughout Asia at a private university in the Philippines. Throughout her international work, Laurie has also taught in the U.S. in graduate family therapy master’s and doctoral training programs across the country, supervising U.S. trainees in university family therapy clinics with live supervision, as well as performing her own clinical work in multiple community settings. She is former director and Associate Professor of the Family Therapy Master’s program at Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, Texas, USA. Her own clinical work has revolved around crisis intervention, particularly with populations including at risk adolescents and youth, refugees & torture survivors, forcibly displaced; and chronic health patients in community based settings.
Dr. Charlés’ publications have appeared in Family Process, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, Journal of Family Therapy, the Journal of Systemic Therapies, the Boston Globe, Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, and Family Therapy Magazine. She is author of four books, including Taos Worldshare Book Psychosocial Innovation in Postwar Sri Lanka, with Gameela Samarasinghe, and Family Therapy in Global Humanitarian Contexts: Voices and Issues from the Field (2016, Springer), also with Dr. Gameela Samarasinghe. She has two forthcoming books in 2018/19, including “Family Systems and Global Humanitarian Mental Health: Approaches In The Field,” and “Family Therapy Supervision In Extraordinary Settings: Illustrations of Systemic approaches in Everyday Clinical Work,” a collection of case examples of systemic family therapy supervision across the globe, co-edited with Dr. Thorana Nelson.
Dr. Charlés has a PhD in Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University, and two Master’s degrees, one an M.S. in Family Therapy from Our Lady of the Lake University, and the other an M.A. in International Relations, the latter from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She has been the recipient of numerous research grants and awards, including the Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Award (2010-2011) at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Faculty of Graduate Studies, and a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from Nova Southeastern University (2006). She is currently a consultant to a Transitional Justice initiative at The Asia Foundation in Sri Lanka, and a 2017-2018 Fulbright Global Scholar Program Fellow, Program of the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.