How Saliha Works
Saliha researches and practices from the perspectives of Relational Thinking and Relational Play. Relational Thinking is the mindful practice of designing life/processes from within the spaces between people (ie relational space). Relational Play is the ability to create with agility and flexibility (improvise) from within the relational space. Saliha combines interdisciplinary ideas and methodologies of embodied trauma-informed critical collaboration to partner with clients for creating positive change for belonging and bridging. She embraces living as a process of improvised interactions of inquiry that are culture building.
FOR LEADERS & ORGANIZATIONS: She offers process consultation and facilitates inclusion and belonging processes to help organizations align with the diversity and equity goals. Organizations and teams seeking to counteract dominance and racism at the workplace will gain actionable interactional frames, practices, and processes that are sustainable and transformational. She provides training in relational intelligence for professionals interested in systems, leadership, change, communities of practice, and organization development.
FOR COUPLES: As a couple and family therapist and relationship coach she promotes and facilitates generative equitable relationships where people feel alive and dignified. She approaches pain as a presence for honor, grace (connection), and action. Saliha works with couples and families grappling with differences of gender, culture, religion, values, and ethnicity; navigating cultural dislocation and life transition; struggling with relationship challenges, abuse, anxiety, and trauma.
Saliha has 20+ years of experience in human and organizational development, diversity, and collaboration. She was elected to the American Family Therapy Academy‘s (AFTA) Board of Directors (2012-2018). Saliha is a Professor at the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Mercy College at Dobbs Ferry, where she runs the Relational Play Lab. She was an online faculty member in MS Relational Leading Program at Taos Institute, and an advisor at the Taos Doctoral Program. She is a Taos Institute Associate and is currently the Director of Research and consultant to the International Trauma Studies Program, affiliated with Columbia University. Saliha received her PhD in Human Development with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Virginia Tech. She has completed the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders from Stanford Graduate School of Business. As the former associate director of Houston Galveston Institute, she focused on organization development, community engagement, and leadership in addition to therapy, training, and research. She is the founding board member of the International Certificate in Collaborative-Dialogic Practices.
From riot relief to refugee resettlement and hurricane response, she has designed a number of community projects to foster collective resiliency and inclusivity across diverse communities. In addition to directing and coordinating the mental health at the largest shelter in Houston in response to Hurricane Katrina, she was the program director for Community Partnership for Resiliency helping the Houston community to connect and create an organized response to disasters (Katrina, Rita & Ike). She was a facilitator for the Healer’s Art program at Baylor College of Medicine and for the community engagement training program for NYC’s Mental Health Service Corp. She facilitated the development of a human rights defender’s story-making kit as an initiative of community resiliency. She is the co-founder of the Resilience-Collective in response to COVID-19.
Most recently she has consulted on DEI and disaster preparedness and response to organizations in profit, non-profit and governmental sectors. At Mercy College as the Chair of Learning Environments, she is leading the design of inclusive learning spaces and facilitates training on hosting difficult conversations. Her scholarship is focused on relational practices for inclusion and belonging in families, communities, and organizations. She is the recipient of the first John Shotter Award, in recognition and promotion of the humanizing aspect of everyday life, presented by the International Network of Collaborative-Dialogic Practices. She received a leadership award from the City of Houston’s Disaster Mental Health Crises Response Team for directing the Mental Health Services at the George R. Brown Katrina Shelter in 2005. She was one of the first US trainers of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Psychological First Aid Trainers Program. Originally from India, Saliha now resides in New York City with her husband and bonus son.