Coordinating Council

2017 Coordinating Council Members

  • General Coordinator – Catherine O’Brien
  • Communications – Cheryl Leong
  • Education – Janet Lee O’Connor
  • Finance – Dianne Maki-Sethi
  • Canadian Regional Rep. – Janice Dowson
  • Midwestern Regional Rep. – Robert Hempel
  • Pacific Regional Rep. – Cathy Katz
  • Northeastern Regional Rep. – Karen Barret Rightler

Members-at-Large

  • Lucy Freedman
  • Vann Joines
  • Michael Harsh
  • Tom Nissley
  • Laurie Weiss
Catherine O’Brien

Catherine O’Brien

General Coordinator

Catherine O’Brien is an educator, a licensed MFT, and a certified TA Practitioner Instructor.  She learned about TA in the 1990’s and found the simple diagrams and principles ideal for her work in organizational training and development. She has served as the General Coordinator for USATAA since 2011 and was the local host for the Long Beach TA Conference in 2013.

Catherine loves to introduce TA to a new generation. To that end, she uses YouTube videos to share the TA message.  She created two interactive iBooks that include several short video clips. She developed a TA Practitioner Program Distance Learning program, which offers TA training online. Her goal is to share and re-energize the message of Transactional Analysis across the US.

Cheryl Leong, MFT 52417

Cheryl Leong, MFT 52417

Communications

Cheryl Leong is a licensed psychotherapist and certified coach in San Francisco. She grew up in a Singaporean, TA centric family and started her ‘grown up’ TA training in 2000. She is convinced she was born a prince and is now a fun frog. Over the years she has had training and supervision in both classic TA as well as Neo-Bernian approaches.

She currently manages the role of Communications Coordinator for the USATAA Council as well as serves a member of the USATAA Social Justice committee. Aside from owning her psychotherapy and coaching private practice, she also works at the Gay Couples Institute and the San Francisco Marriage and Couples Center. She is honored to serve USATAA, its members as well as promoting interest in TA education and application.

Janet Lee O’Connor

Janet Lee O’Connor

Education

Janet Lee O’Connor, EdS, LISAC, LPC is a psychotherapist, consultant, and supervisor who has practiced Redecision Transactional Analysis since the 1980’s.

She has been recognized as a Diplomate in Redecision Therapy and a Transactional Analysis Practitioner Instructor.

Janet has served as Rocky Mountain Regional Representative and Education Coordinator for USATAA.

Dianne Maki-Sethi

Dianne Maki-Sethi

Finance

Dianne Maki-Sethi, MA Counseling Psychology,  was first introduced to TA in the early 70s through 2 101s in Philadelphia. Later she renewed her interest in TA through The Eastern Regional TA Association.

She has served on the Council since 1999 first as a regional rep then Jamaica Gathering Coordinator until 2014. She also served as GC and is now Financial Coordinator.

Dianne is a certified Gestalt Therapist and recognized as a Diplomate in Redecision Therapy. In her other life she is very involved with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs the largest volunteer organization for women internationally.

Janice Dowson

Janice Dowson

Canadian Regional Rep.

Janice Dowson. BA, MA, CTA , TSTA (P), TAPI (TA Practitioner Instructor) is one of Canada’s foremost Transactional Analysis therapists and teachers, and an active ITAA member for over 35 years. She joined USATAA some years ago, and now serves as Canadian representative–active on social justice and education committees.

As a teacher, she emphasizes ethical application of TA approaches and teaches clinicians how to effectively aid people to change their games and unproductive life scripts while building therapeutic skills. In her clinical practice, Janice uses the practical tools of TA to help people solve problems.

Rev. Robert L. Hempel

Rev. Robert L. Hempel

Midwestern Regional Rep.

Rev. Robert L. Hempel, M.Th., T.A.P. is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, retired. He has used TA for over 40 years as a pastor.

He was introduced to TA in 1966 by the late Bob Goulding, M.D. and the late David Kupfer, at church meeting, which lead to extensive training with the Bob and Mary Goulding at Western Institute for Group and Family Therapy.

He also studied with Denton Roberts, and Maurice and Natalie Haimowitz of Chicago. He uses TA in his practice. Visit his website to learn more resurrectionpastoralcare.org.

He serves on the Coordinating Council as Midwest Representative, FaceBook page editor and a member of the Social Action committee.

Cathy Katz

Cathy Katz

Pacific Regional Rep

Cathy Katz, TAP, ASR is a certified, coach, radio show host and Pacific Coast Regional Rep. She has served on the USATAA Council for several years now. Cathy serves as an educator focusing on effective communication strategies and sharing the principles of TA with her clients for personal and business growth.
Karen Rightler, RN, BSN, MA-MFT, TAP

Karen Rightler, RN, BSN, MA-MFT, TAP

Northeastern Regional Rep.

Karen is an experienced Registered Nurse with a passion for mental health. She uses TA principles in the health care setting to facilitate better communication regarding medical treatment, long term planning, and end of life care.  Karen uses every opportunity to apply her training in TA to assist others with relationship building and personal growth.

Karen is a full time hospital RN Case Manager, and currently working toward her TAAP with Catherine O’Brien. She resides in Buffalo, NY with her husband and 2-year-old daughter

Lucy Freedman

Lucy Freedman

Members-at-Large

Lucy Freedman is a consultant, speaker, teacher, and coach who has practiced transactional analysis since the 1970’s.

She served as General Coordinator of USATAA and as President of ITAA, has organized several international TA conferences in San Francisco, and continues to teach and advocate for TA.

She lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California and enjoys walks in the redwoods near her home.

Vann Joines

Vann Joines

Members-at-Large

Vann Joines, PhD, TAPI, TSTA and a Diplomate in Redecision Therapy, serves as an educational advisor on the Council. He directs the Southeast Institute in Chapel Hill, NC where he trains other professionals in Transactional Analysis, Redecision Therapy, Advanced Integrative Therapy, Marriage and Family Therapy and a number of other approaches.

He is currently training in Chapel Hill, Louisville, KY, Japan, and China. He is co-author of TA Today: A New Introduction to Transactional Analysis (2nd Edition) and Personality Adaptations: A New Guide to Human Understanding in Psychotherapy and Counseling, and he developed the Joines Personality Adaptation Questionnaire.

Michael Harsh

Michael Harsh

Members-at-Large

Michael A. Harsh is a psychotherapist in Omaha, Nebraska.  Michael’s background includes a BA in Philosophy, a JD, a MA in Christian Spirituality, and a MA in Counseling.  He is a CTA-P, PTSTA-P through the ITAA.  He is a TAAP and a TAPI through the USATAA.

Michael also holds a certificate in Redecision Therapy from the Southeast Institute for Group and Family Therapy.  Michael is currently the North American Representative to the ITAA Board of Trustees and a USATAA Council member. Michael has used TA in his work with clients for the past 19 years.  He is now teaching TA and supervising trainees in the practice of Transactional Analysis.

Laurie Weiss

Laurie Weiss

Members-at-Large

Laurie Weiss, Ph.D. TSTA has been involved with TA since 1969.

She has served ITAA and USATAA in many capacities and practices (a little) psychotherapy, coaching and consulting with her husband Jonathan B. Weiss, Ph.D., TSTA in Littleton, CO.

She writes—8 books, several ebooks and many articles—so far.

Laurie is also a Master Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation. She and her husband Jonathan are currently the only Certified Master Logosynthesis Practitioners in the US.