Monica Forst, Registered Psychotherapist, M.Ed., I.C.A.D.C., C.C.C.

Trainer, Therapeutic Spiral Model

Why I believe in TSM.

My first experience with the Therapeutic Spiral Model is what sold me on it. It was 2000. I was a seasoned student with the Toronto Centre for Psychodrama and a therapist working with addictions in Ottawa, Ontario. I was invited to be on a team with Dr. Kate in Barrie, Ontario. It was a 3 day personal growth workshop for clients recovering from childhood trauma and addiction.   I witnessed one of the participants in the group barely able to sit in the group. His PTSD was highly activated. He shook and could not make eye contact with anyone. By the afternoon of the second day he put himself out to be a protagonist in a trauma drama and by the last day he was grounded, making excellent eye contact with other group members. He had actually made a link to choosing a career that kept him in a hyper aroused state, and realized he needed to make some major decisions about his work. I had never experienced healing at this level of efficiency. The way safety is addressed in the group, by warming up to and building prescriptive roles that strengthen the adult, the insistence that adult presence is required for healing to occur fit so perfectly with another model I was working with. The other rare quality about this model is how the team processes their own material as it comes up over the three days. We process our own material as a team and do our own personal work as a team so that we can always be clear for the clients. Then we use our material if and when appropriate, in service of the clients. There is often a parallel process that is going on with the clients so identifying what is up with the team is useful, and although we get our own personal work done when necessary, it is always in service of the clients. This is such a unique and wonderful quality. There is so much more, but I’ll stop here.

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