About Us

​Psychology Spa is the first specialized non-profit company in Psychoeducation in Palestine since 2016. Psychology spa is a place where groups meet to learn, discuss, share, and seek ways to gain psychological knowledge. 


We aspire to include psycho-education in the Palestinian school's curriculum. Our population still carries a stigma about mental health. It has not yet reached the stage of acknowledging psychological needs to enable people to seek help and psychological counseling. 

Therefore, there is a need to educate people and provide them with the required skills to help people help themselves with a better understanding of their psychological status and thus enhance their quality of life. 

Our Team

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Our Story

Mental illness is considered one of the largest and least acknowledged health problems in Palestine.

For decades the West Bank has suffered from political, social, and economic strife. Palestinians have been exposed to a series of traumatic events, such as imprisonment, torture, humiliation, human rights violations, house demolitions, land confiscation, restriction of movement, unemployment, and under-employment. As a result, many people suffer from various emotional and psychological traumas. 

Dealing with emotional and psychological needs is equally significant to physical survival needs. People are aware of the importance of mental and psychological health as part of the total health care picture, yet seeking counseling remains difficult to accept due to the social stigma. 

Mental health service providers in Palestine usually offer support, rehabilitation, and counseling services for people dealing with psychological problems. Mainly, these organizations focus on counseling and treating the disorders rather than arming people with the required knowledge to realize the importance of psychological needs to seek treatment. In most cases, these organizations are the ones who approach people to offer help. In many other cases, people ignore their psychological distress for an extended period and only seek help when they reach advanced disorder stages. 
 

Getting to a stage where dealing with the psychological need is a natural and essential need requires raising awareness of the importance of mental health in the first place. However, little attention is given to raising awareness of psychology and changing attitudes towards mental health. Therefore, Psychology Spa works to raise awareness of mental health, fight social stigma, and achieve social transformation regarding mental health.

The literary salon inspires our Work in the 18th century, where intellectuals gathered to debate and encouraged each other. It was a friendly, comfortable place where scholars had to study a particular literature work, either as a single intensive session or more extended weekly meetings. This experience was described as “a spa for the mind.” Hence, Psychology Spa is a meeting place where individuals and groups learn about psychology, mental health, share knowledge, and might discuss issues that are harder to bring up in casual conversation.

Our Vision

​At Psychology Spa, we work together with marginalized groups, women, and youth to enrich their knowledge about mental health and provide them with life skills through Psychoeducational sessions.

This works as a preventive method to support people’s mental health. Our vision is to raise awareness about mental health, fight mental health-related social stigma and make social transformation regarding mental health in Palestine.

Our Mission

​Psychology Spa adopts a strategy of sustainably empowering marginalized groups, women, and youth to enjoy a better quality of life. We achieve this through our psycho-educational discussion panels in a stigma-free place where there is no fear of being labeled as mentally sick. This is a group interactive learning experience where participants discuss, share and learn, as we believe that learning is an effective tool in leading any community transformation.
 

In this way, participants gain knowledge and skills that have a therapeutic value and reflect positively on their perspective about mental health. Our Palestinian community: including marginalized groups, women, and youth can enjoy better mental and physical health.

Jumana Kaplanian
Psychologist & Mental Health Trainer

Jumana is a skilled, motivated, and ambitious psychologist experienced in providing a specialized psychological assessment of clients’ problems based upon collected data through counseling sessions in Bethlehem, Palestine.

Jumana is a social activist and founder of Psychology Spa. Since 2019, she is a member of the Board of Directors of Psychologists and Social Workers in Bethlehem.
 

Jumana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Psychology from Bethlehem University in Bethlehem (2012) and holds an MSc in Psychology from Oxford Brookes University in Oxford (2014).

 

Besides Jumana’s strong academic background, she has gained rich practical experience, fundamental knowledge, and strong skills in the field of her study; working with women, youth, and children, especially in the marginalized communities and people affected by violence and conflict.

 

Jumana’s strong academic background combined with her practical experience has shaped her skills in a way that makes her more sensible and gives her a good understanding of the Palestinian population's needs. This understanding has enriched her special interest in teaching. She is very passionate about the discipline of psychology and has a desire to make psychology applicable to everyone and raise awareness about mental health in Palestine.

 

Jumana believes that the learning process is the most powerful in leading any community transformation. Learning is her effective tool in helping the Palestinian population to improve and enhance their quality of life, and thus she can give back to her community.

Watch my TEDx talk

Elias is a freelance photographer and art exhibitor, specialized in Socio-Arts focused photography based out of Bethlehem, Palestine. Elias is a Co-founder of Psychology Spa.

Elias earned a Professional Diploma in “Management and Preservation of Artistic Cultural Heritage in the Near East”, Universita degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale ‘Amedeo Avogadro’- Vercelli/ Italy (2011). He forged a skillful lens for socio-cultural interpretation by securing a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology from Bethlehem University (2006).

During his time at the University, Elias has excellent networking, communications, and public speaking experiences. He Worked as a Public Relation, Communications, Development and student director at Bethlehem University (June 2009- September 2010), and also as a Public Relations, Manger of the Austrian association “ Cultural Bridges with the Holy Land”, Rock to Bethlehem International Music Festival (June 2008-June 2012). 

By 2009, during a series of International presentations, Elias began to find his signature artistic voice when he realized the language of images and sight was more effective than the limitations of speech. During the last few years, his photos have made their way to local and international exhibitions, magazines, websites, and books. Working with a number of organizations, NGOs, ministries, and consulates, he was provided with a platform where he was fortunate to show Palestine to the world as he sees it.

Elias has the responsibility of an ambassador, manifesting the beauty and richness of his homeland and its wonderful people, as well as showing the burdens and harsh reality that Palestinians go through in their daily life. Capturing moments and sharing them is his passion, it is the fuel that keeps him motivated, knowing that his photos speak louder than his words.

Elias Halabi
PR & Communication Officer

Ayed Hoshyeh
Psychosocial Worker & Mental Health Trainer

Ayed is a psychosocial worker, mental health trainer, and since 2019 he is a member of the Board of Directors of Psychologists and Social Workers in Bethlehem. Ayed holds a Diploma in Trauma Therapy from Wings of Hope Foundation (2012) and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Hebron (1996).

Ayed has rich experience working in schools with children and teenagers, and also experiences in mental health training; including, stress management, communication skills, and trauma and crisis intervention.
 

One of the most important and prominent motives for my work in the field of mental health is the human consciousness, which dictates that we present our skills, values, and experiences in high quality and in a professional manner. Reaching a state of psychological stability and social well-being at the level of the individual, family, and society, based on the ethics of the profession and built on authenticity, acceptance, and compassion.

Rusaila Ibrahim
Social Worker

Rusaila is a social activist, social worker, and team leader. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Psychology from Bethlehem University (2009).


Rusaila volunteered in several organizations in the Bethlehem Governorate that especially target youth, women, and their children, and also worked with others on providing psychological support.

Rusaila has a rich experience working with groups of children and women at Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem. She leads activities with children and their mothers to provide psychological support and raise awareness of mental health.


Rusaila aspires to make a positive influence on the lives of marginalized groups in her society and help people to be in balanced mental and physical health. She always works on herself and skills as a specialist so she can better support the groups that she works with.

George Abu Zelof
Accountant

George is an accountant and holds a Bachelor of Accounting and Master’s degree in Marketing Management. His work experience is mainly in Strategic Finance, Financial Analysis & Planning, and Procurement Development.


George had actively exposed himself to a variety of working environments. This includes local and international agencies, as well as profit and non-profit organizations. 


From both an administrative and financial side, George has made a conscious attempt to understand the vocation from all perspectives and has not only had to practice admin and finance work for an international organizations’ internal operations but has also had tasks that involve monitoring and assessing local partners financial performance. In some cases, this has led to situations of mentorship and solution-oriented problem-solving.


George is comfortable working with people and appreciates the exposure to different functions within an institution. He believes that his previous experience has also added to the dimensions of understanding of funding development projects.

Farah El-Alem
Data Analyst& Researcher

Farah is a highly self-motivated individual, working towards making a positive impact on the world we live in. Farah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Brighton, London. She is also pursuing an Executive Masters in Business Administration from the American Arab University of Palestine, jointly with the University of Pennsylvania, with an expected graduation date of 2022.


Farah has been working in data analysis and research for the past 5 years, looking into measuring and assessing consumer behavior, customer satisfaction, as well as conducting multiple monitoring and evaluation for social impact projects in Palestine. Currently, Farah is working as a consultant, conducting research and assessments for the private sector, non-governmental sector, as well as some governmental related consultancies.


In the long run, Farah aims to extend her knowledge on social behavior and develop working models that combine employability, psychology, social impact, and social responsibility, in hopes to improve the general quality of life for Palestinians and others.

Farah is a highly self-motivated individual, working towards making a positive impact on the world we live in. Farah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Brighton, London. She is also pursuing an Executive Masters in Business Administration from the American Arab University of Palestine, jointly with the University of Pennsylvania, with an expected graduation date of 2022.


Farah has been working in data analysis and research for the past 5 years, looking into measuring and assessing consumer behavior, customer satisfaction, as well as conducting multiple monitoring and evaluation for social impact projects in Palestine. Currently, Farah is working as a consultant, conducting research and assessments for the private sector, non-governmental sector, as well as some governmental related consultancies.


In the long run, Farah aims to extend her knowledge on social behavior and develop working models that combine employability, psychology, social impact, and social responsibility, in hopes to improve the general quality of life for Palestinians and others.

​Farah El-Alem
Data Analyst & Researcher

Catherine is a qualified social worker from the UK, specialised in working with children and families who have experienced trauma and abuse. She has a Master’s Degree in Applied Human Rights from the University of York, England, and a Post-graduate Diploma in Social Work from the University of Bristol, England. Catherine worked for three years with women impacted by domestic abuse before moving to Bethlehem.

 

Catherine first came to Palestine in 2014 to volunteer with Women in Hebron community co-operative and in 2018 she married her husband, who is Palestinian. Catherine has since worked in schools in the Bethlehem area and has volunteered with a number of other community organisations. 

 

Catherine is motivated by helping people to find healing and freedom, with an understanding that we cannot move on from the past until we are brave enough to face it. She is particularly interested in ways to address the Palestinian situation in the face of trauma which is not yet confined to the past but is ongoing. Catherine has a personal interest in topics of vulnerability and shame, and in improving personal relationships through holistic communication. 

Catherine Qumseya
Social Worker