Abstract Classical psychodrama embodies the theory and practice of spontaneity and creativity as the goal of all methods of change. In today’s world of post-traumatic growth (PTG), this is a perfect match for the view of humans as resilient and always seeking growth, even following traumatic and often violent experiences. This article of the Zeitschrift für Psychodrama und Soziometrie details the Therapeutic Spiral Model (TSM), which is a trauma-informed, stage-process model to change the self-organization of people affected by trauma by using experiential methods. TSM presents the first internal role map for working with parts of self, developed through decades of clinical observation (Hudgins 2017, 2002). TSM connects with advances in clinical psychology on trauma and attachment, and the latest research on interpersonal neurobiology, and makes a crucial turn from interpersonal work in psychodrama to the focus on inner parts of self. The trauma survivor’s internal role atom (TSIRA) is presented as a three-stage model to guide all action methods when working with parts of self that include: Prescriptive (RX) roles, the TSM Trauma Triangle, and roles of transformation and post-traumatic growth (PTG). Composite examples are given from a lifetime practice in the global community to help bring the clinical structure of the internal role atom to life for inner parts work.
By Scott Giacomucci & Joshua Marquit
Results demonstrated over 25% decrease in PTSD symptoms for participants in Mirmont’s “Phoenix/Trauma Group” which is based on trauma-focused psychodrama. Considering the average patient only attended the group 4-5 times (2x per week), these results are quite meaningful and 2.5x the level of change in a residential trauma-focused CBT program with similar qualities.
This single group pretest-posttest study explores the effectiveness of trauma-focused psychodrama in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at an inpatient addiction treatment center. The results contribute to the limited research bases of both psychodrama and PTSD treatment outcomes in inpatient addiction treatment. The present study supports the potential effectiveness of two trauma-focused psychodrama models, the Therapeutic Spiral Model and the Relational Trauma Repair Model. Findings of the research demonstrate clinically significant reductions in overall PTSD symptoms (over 25% change) and each PTSD symptom cluster (i.e., re-experiencing and intrusion, avoidance and numbing, and hyper-arousal). Additionally, patient satisfaction exit survey data support overall treatment effectiveness and highlight its tolerability, and capacity for establishing emotional safety, connection, and group cohesion. Patients even described the trauma-focused psychodrama treatment approach as enjoyable and helpful. Overall, the results of this study are promising, and support continued clinical application of trauma-focused psychodrama treatment with other subpopulations diagnosed with PTSD. However, the ability to isolate effects of trauma-focused psychodrama in this study is compromised due to the absence of a control group and participants’ involvement in other inpatient treatment services.
Anath Garber is a friend and colleague whose expertise in psychotherapy and particularly the technique of psychodrama is very intriguing to me because I believe live theater can be religion and therapy and therapy as drama and healing may be the best invention since the wheel …
Listen to Part 1 Here
Listen to Part 2 Here
Working with projective identification in the Therapeutic Spiral Model (TSM)
by Ina Hogenboom
I have had to cancel my workshop on Containment in Zagreb due to Trumps travel ban. I am deeply disappointed as I love this group and organizers Vedran Korusic, Ines Cokarić and team members Axel Eichel and Ina Hogenboom. We will move the workshop to our June dates.
Meanwhile, we will announce next week several Zoom efforts to connect people during this time of crisis. I will be offering a 4 week group on darling with the acute effects of the virus n how to contain the fear triggering off other traumas via TSM Psychodrama. Look for our eblast!
By Karen Drucker
Sitting by the pool after a swim looking out on the waters of the Arabian Sea surrounded by palm trees and listening to the sound of tropical birds. I am treating myself to two weeks of Ayurvedic treatment at a place in Kerala recommended by Jochen Becker called Isola di Cocco. Feels like a well deserved rest and commitment to my health after nine intensive days of therapeutic spiral workshops.
We had a four day workshop in Bangalore, making friends with defenses, then a travel day to Delhi to begin a four day on transforming the trauma triangle. Arriving the first morning of the Bangalore group was like greeting old friends. Most of the participants had been with us last year and it was wonderful to see familiar faces!
Steven Durost and I had a smooth and beautiful co-leadership dance.
It’s such a privilege to work with someone I love, respect, and feel so met and supported by in all aspects of the work. From planning to timing, switching between team leader and assistant leader in directing the dramas, working with participants and the team, we were like butter.
Sadhana, a team member in Delhi writes, “It’s heartening to see how you have teamed up with Steven to make TSM such a beautiful experience for us. I love to see the way you two adore each other, shift effortlessly into various roles with so much fluidity and understanding and make a remarkable role models of professional partners with touch of Being incorporated into it. Could the universe give us any better gift than having the opportunity to see and experience Dr Steven and Dr Karen! I guess not.. This is the best gift!”
They loved the teaching I designed on working with the trauma triangle with an individual, splitting into groups of three to practice.
We were invited to Rashmi Datt’s house for dinner one night. She is a PAT and is the trainer in the Delhi group. It was very special to go to her house, which took almost an hour in crazy Delhi traffic, but we laughed a lot and enjoyed ourselves.
I’m including a poem written by one of our protagonists the night after her drama. She entitled her drama “Priyanka Owning Her Power.” One of her hopes for the drama was feeling worthy of accepting an award that she would be receiving a few days later. The picture tells the story!!
Lost & Found
by Priyanka Dutta
I was born resourceful,
I was born beautiful!
But somewhere in this life’s journey,
I lost a part of me…
I kept looking for it here & there,
But was left with frustration & despair;
As trust walked away from me,
I lost my ‘confidence key’.
Unlocking my potential became difficult,
And I started believing it was my fault;
I relied on others to feel good,
And to my ‘SELF’ I became rude…
But in my quest, I found a loving community,
Who embraced me & set me free;
I can’t thank you enough,
For reconnecting me to my other half…
Today I again feel resourceful,
Today yet again I feel powerful;
Trust came back to me,
I found my ‘confidence key’.
I feel very inspired, nurtured and enriched by this time in India and the privilege of working with such terrific people. Gratitude to Dr. Jochen Becker for his initial invitation and for inviting us back for the next two years!!
We Have a special invitation to the TSI Family:
TSI is happy (excited, delighted – you name it) to announce a collaborative effort with ACTS (Alexander and Ciotola Training Services) to share the latest information about the efficacy of action methods (specifically TSM Psychodrama) in working with survivors of trauma and in promoting Post Traumatic Growth.
Nancy Alexander and Linda Ciotola are recipients of this year’s (2019) ASGPP Collaborators’ Award for the work they have done blending psychotherapy and psychodrama for trauma survivors.
The product of their collaboration is available in an on-line course: Introduction to Psychodrama for Trauma Survivors which includes 11 training modules (complete with video presentation, downloadable handouts, and more – see below for details of modules) and a video of a full-length psychodrama directed by Linda.
For a brief, video introduction to this program please visit:
ACTS offers a tiered pricing structure, based on your status as a professional: trainer, trainee, student, etc.; and region of the world in which you live.
You can order the course directly from the links we are providing below.
For standard pricing based on professional status please visit:
For those living in countries identified by the IAGP for reduced fee (or to find out which tier you are on), please visit here:
6 CEU’s are available for your participation in this on-line course through CE-Classes.com.
For information and ideas about:
- how to establish a study group facilitated by a TEP to be able to obtain distance-learning credit from the American Board of Examiners (and perhaps by other psychodrama certification boards),
- using the on-line course to waive a requirement for TSM Level I certification, or
- setting up a study group with an interpreter for groups for whom English is not a preferred language
please contact Mario at email@example.com
We are excited to be working with ACTS in this manner and by the opportunities this on-line course will provide around the globe.
Below are the description of the modules contained in the course:
MODULE ONE: AN OVERVIEW OF PSYCHODRAMA
Includes a brief history of Psychodrama’s founder J.L. Moreno, MD and his early work, an overview of the method’s applications and the overarching principles contributing to its effectiveness.
MODULE TWO: WHAT IS TRAUMA?
Creating a working definition of trauma, the various ways it is re-experienced for the individual, its effect of “rhythmic rupture,” and various contributing causes and their overwhelming prevalence.
MODULE THREE: WHAT ARE THE TRAUMA DISORDERS?
An overview of the trauma disorders occurring across a broad diagnostic spectrum, including: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Depersonalization Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
MODULE 4: HOW TRAUMA AFFECTS THE BRAIN
How trauma reorients and effects the brain, neurological changes as a result, including the impairment of communication between the brain’s hemispheres, and functional implications of overwhelming trauma
MODULE FIVE: FUNDAMENTALS OF TRAUMA-BASED PSYCHOTHERAPY
Highlighting the imperative of the therapeutic relationship for healing, the essential nature of safety and consistency, and the role of expressive therapies, including their ability to connect the internal verbal condition with the non-verbal.
MODULE SIX: TRAUMA-FOCUSED PSYCHODRAMA
Reviewing the ability of Psychodrama to bring objectivity and accurate labeling while re-writing trauma-based material, moving the brain beyond what is “stuck,” and creativity as the key to change.
MODULE SEVEN: THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF PSYCHODRAMA
Introducing a myriad of Psychodramatic and related action, art, movement and music methods and adaptations, including the Therapeutic Spiral Model.
MODULE EIGHT: HOW PSYCHODRAMA DIFFERS FROM OTHER METHODOLOGIES
Delineating the inherent differences between Psychodrama and other forms of therapeutic interventions, in particular how it is separate in nature from Psychotherapy and theater.
MODULE NINE: THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAUMA-BASED INDIVIDUAL THERAPY
Underlining the symbiotic nature of the therapeutic relationship and the healing process, establishing it as the core of reconstructive work and experiential validation.
MODULE TEN: THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF A PSYCHODRAMA
An overview of the essential elements, roles, rules and guidelines, and prevailing structures and methods of a Psychodrama according to the Therapeutic Spiral Model.
MODULE ELEVEN: CLOSURE AND WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
Summary statements on the importance of safeguards using theater methods, expected outcome factors, testimonials from patients, and where to find out more about Psychodrama.
Check out my new interview “The Trauma Therapeutic Spiral Model” with Guy Macpherson on the Trauma Therapist Podcast. Watch Here!
We are happy to announce the formation of two TSI International Training Groups in Experiential Trauma Therapy using the Therapeutic Spiral Model to treat trauma. Please join us as we start our new cohorts in Zagreb, Croatia in December, 2019, and in Philadelphia, PA, USA in February, 2020. You can become part of our TSM international community of like-minded people seeking to change how trauma work is done around the world.
The Therapeutic Spiral Model (TSM) is a 3-stage, process model of Experiential Trauma Therapy using clinically modified psychodrama interventions and additional action strategies from Gestalt therapy, Focusing, etc. TSM Psychodrama has research support showing that its use of spontaneity, creativity, and role theory to guide safe and effective psychodrama results in clinically significant changes in anxiety, depression and symptoms of PTSD. In these groups, we will continue our research on increases in spontaneity and post-traumatic growth.
Each cohort will provide the opportunity to meet the requirements of the Introduction to Theory Certification in Experiential Trauma Therapy
by summer 2020. Learn the neurobiology of trauma and why the latest research in neurobiology and attachment prescribed Experiential Therapy as the treatment of choice for trauma-related difficulties. Experience the safety of containment as you share your personal traumas as part of your training in TSM. Finally enjoy transforming your trauma triangle to one of personal recovery, empowerment, and connection to others.
In Zagreb, the group is conducted in English and we invite people of any nationality to join this group. It is already half subscribed so please sign up early. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/2I8o8iz
Philadelphia brings a rich opportunity to interact with senior TSM clinicians and trainers in our on-going cohort of 4 years. This diverse group of practitioners seek to bring TSM to their own private and professional settings. Learn more by contacting Dr. Kate at drkatetsi@ icloud.com
Dr Kate will be joined by an international training Action Healing Team throughout the year.
- December 15, 2019- Neurobiology of Trauma
- March 22, 2020- Containment: The Key to Safety with Action Methods
- June 28, 2020- Making Friends with Defenses
- Feb 7, 2020- Brain in Action
- May 1, 2020 Making Friends with Defenses
- July 10-12 Transforming the TSM Trauma Triangle
Each workshop can be taken as a stand alone training or you can come to all and receive an International Certification in Experiential Trauma Therapy Theory in TSM Psychodrama
- In order to meet he needs of diverse students, we now offer three different levels of International Certification in Experiential Trauma Therapy using the Therapeutic Spiral Model.
- Level I – Introduction to Theory (for those only interested in learning the basic principles of TSM.)
- Level II – Advanced Theory and Practice (for those interested in advanced coursework and being certified in the TSM Action Trauma Team roles of Trained Auxiliary Ego (TAE), Assistant Leader (AL), and Team Leader.) Note: Students may begin the practice requirements for Level II while completing Level I course work.
- Certification as a TSM Trainer
- Requirements for maintaining certification have been added. Please see the Overview section linked below.
- Each student is required to have an Individualized Training Plan outlining their proposed involvement for the coming year (September 2019 through August 2020).
- Training Plans will be reviewed on a yearly basis and updated and/or revised as needed.
- A Dropbox file for each trainee is being established to maintain accurate records of all Training plans, requirements completed, and submitted reaction papers. Note: Reaction papers have long been a requirement. It just has not been enforced. It will be now.
- January 2021
- November 2020
- August 2020
- July 2020
- April 2020
- March 2020
- January 2020
- September 2019
- August 2019
- July 2019
- June 2019
- May 2019
- April 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- October 2018
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- November 2016
- October 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- July 2015
- MEET THE TSI TRAINERS AND TEAM MEMBERS
- LINDA CIOTOLA, M.ED., TEP
- Mario Cossa, RDT/MT, TEP, CAWT
- Axel Eichel, M.Sc., TSI Trainer, HP Psychotherapy
- Monica Forst, Registered Psychotherapist, M.Ed., I.C.A.D.C., C.C.C.
- Kate Hudgins, Ph.D., TEP
- Sylvia Israel, LMFT, RDT/BCT, TEP
- Ben Rivers, PhD, RDT, APTT
- FRANCESCA TOSCANI, M.ED., TEP
- Vlada Zapesotsky, Ph.D., PAT
- TSI Calendar
- Certification Process
- Connecting With Us
- The Therapeutic Spiral Model
- Video Gallery