Varda Shoham (1948 - 2014)

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  • "Varda came to many of my watercolor workshops in Woodstock,..."
    - Peg Sheridan
  • - Karen Harmon
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    - Melanie McCarville
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Varda Shoham, 65, of Bethesda MD and Maurertown VA, passed away Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore MD after a four-year encounter with lung cancer.

Her husband and family will host memorial services on Friday, March 21 in Bethesda MD and on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 3:30 pm at the Dellinger Funeral Home in Woodstock.

Varda Shoham was a force in the world of clinical psychological science. During a distinguished 30-year career, she served as president of organizations such as the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology, the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science, and the North American Society for Psychotherapy Research. Varda also made major research contributions to the field of mental health, particularly studies of couple and family approaches to health problems and behavior change conducted with her husband and close collaborator Michael Rohrbaugh. In the past few years, Varda became a policy leader at the National Institute of Mental Health, where she worked to make behavioral intervention research more precise.

Born August 10, 1948 in Tel Aviv Israel, Varda Shoham was the daughter of the late Zvi and Alisa Shoham.

She received bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from Tel Aviv University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University. She taught for 25 years at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where for many years she served as director of the Clinical Psychology Program.

Survivors include her husband, Michael Rohrbaugh of Bethesda MD and Maurertown VA; brother and sister-in-law, Yoram and Bella Shoham of Houston TX; step children Michael Kaplan of Dripping Springs TX and Melanie McCarville of Tucson AZ; grandchildren Ella and Rowan McCarville of Tucson AZ, and Quinn, Tessa, and Tavis Kaplan of Drippings Springs TX; brother and sister-in-law John and Virginia Rohrbaugh of Shady Side MD; nieces and nephews Tammy and Sharon Shoham of Washington DC, Danny Shoham of Houston TX, and Marie and William Rohrbaugh of Shady Side MD; and mother-in-law Frances Rohrbaugh of Maurertown VA, who regards Varda as the daughter she never had.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Varda Shoham Clinical Science Scholarship Fund, C/O the Association for Psychological Science, 1133 15th St., NW, Washington, DC 20005, or online at:

Online condolences may be left at

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Published in Northern Virginia Daily on Mar. 22, 2014
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