Linda Ciotola

I was more than half way thru my journey towards CP in classical psychodrama when a colleague told me about an upcoming workshop on The Therapeutic Spiral Model and the Containing Double . There I experienced  the power of the CD and the  model and decided to pursue TSM training concurrently with finishing my CP training. Along the way I met several fellow trainees who became valued friends and colleagues and learned how the model  provides safety for trauma survivors.

Because of my own background in dance, fitness, and yoga , I was especially happy to meet dance/movement therapist/drama therapist/psychodramatist Kamala Burden who was developing the Body Double role -building on earlier work done by Rebecca Ridge – finding ways to help keep trauma survivors safely in their bodies while doing their trauma healing . This seemed crucial to me since I knew the importance of breath in teaching the nervous system how to become calm and grounded. So Kamala and I began collaborating and discovering ways in which the BD role could help keep the protagonist in what Dan Siegel would call “The Window of Tolerance” . (maybe put link to BD article here?) We co-created the TSM “Bodyworkshops”.  Later, work by Stephen Porges affirmed how essential the “toning” of the vagus nerve is – not only in healing trauma but in repair of attachments/connections/relationships which are ruptured as a result of trauma. This vagus nerve “toning” is one of the things the BD does .I had the privilege of experiencing the healing power of the BD in role and wrote a poem from the role describing that experience .(perhaps link here to “Sleeping Awakening Child ” poem?)

After finishing my CP and becoming a TSM Team Leader, I collaborated with trauma psychotherapist , Nancy Alexander, in working with her severely traumatized clients who suffered from PTSD and often from DID. One of the ways we worked together used TSM in private dramas with two auxiliaries to hold victim and perp roles while Nancy held the OE role and I used something I called “the triple double” from the director’s role – CD/classical double/BD used moment to  moment as protagonist’s needs required. This on going work provided powerful healing for clients who had often given up hope previously . (perhaps link to teamwork and trauma article here?) Several years of this work led to the auxiliaries and Nancy earning TAE certs and to my TSM Trainer cert.

Collaborating with author and TSM -trained psychodramatist Karen Carnabucci to write Healing Eating Disorders with Psychodrama and Other Action Methods provided an opportunity to delve even more deeply into neurobiology and to include the adaptation of the TSM Trauma Triangle for eating disorders. I taught the Trauma Triangle of Eating Disorders at the Renfrew Conference .

As a TEP and TSM trainer, I love the trainer role which I have held for several years in collaboration with Cathy Nugent TEP (who holds AL cert) while also presenting widely at regional and national conferences.I am eager to continue teaching Trauma, the Brain and the Body as part of the TSM training series. Teaching the brain-body connections in action provides an opportunity to help trainees learn just how beautifully the TSIRA maps what trauma survivors need to heal – bodymindheartspirit. See my website here.

As part of my commitment to passing on this passion to help heal trauma, Nancy Alexander and I have collaborated to launch ACTS , an online educational series teaching basics of both classical psychodrama and TSM , in hopes of inspiring viewers to become trained and certified.

I am happy to provide training, supervision, consultations Contact me here.