SalihaDr. Saliha Bava, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and relationship consultant, is interested in relationships and how play can help them grow. Her practice focuses on the “we spaces” between people in relationships, communities and businesses. She conducts play/workshops world over to actively engage in the art of exploring and engaging relational play for its creative inclusive potential.

Dr. Bava researches and practices from the perspectives of Relational Thinking and Relational Play. Relational Thinking is the mindful practice of designing life from within the spaces between people (ie relational space). Relational Play is the use of creativity and flexibility (improvisation) from within the relational space.

Dr. Bava combines interdisciplinary ideas and methodologies to partner with clients and organizations for creating positive, inclusive change. She embraces living as a process of improvised inquiry. She performs as a couple and family therapist and coach for generative professional and personal relationships. She also provides training in research and relational thinking for professionals interested in systems, leadership, change, collaborative-dialogic practices and organization development. Check out her portfolio for publications across contexts.

Dr. Bava’s Affiliations

Dr. Bava has 20+ years of experience in human and organizational development, diversity and collaboration. Saliha is a Professor at the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Mercy University at Dobbs Ferry, NY. She was elected to the American Family Therapy Academy‘s (AFTA) Board of Directors (2012-2017).

Dr. Bava is a doctoral advisor at the Taos Institutes Doctoral Program and visiting faculty in their Relational Leading Program. She serves on the Taos Institute‘s  Board & is an Associate. She is the Director of Research and consultant to the International Trauma Studies Program and has researched theater, community engagement & resiliency, and psychosocial practices. She is the founding board member of the International Certificate in Collaborative Practices.

Dr. Bava received her PhD in Human Development with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Virginia Tech. She is a graduate of 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 has consulted on disaster preparedness and response to organizations in profit, non-profit and governmental sectors. She has consulted to organizations on team & culture, collaborative learning, online learning practices, and social media. 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 received the John Shotter Award in recognition and promotion of the humanizing aspect of everyday life in 2019.

Originally from India, Saliha now resides in New York City with her husband and bonus son.