The Therapeutic Spiral Model has given me a framework for working with trauma survivors in individual and group therapy. I know where to start and what steps to follow. Of course, no model can be the same for every client, but overall, I have some general principles to guide me. For example, before a protagonist can take a wounded child role, the protagonist needs to be able to rescue him/herself.
As therapist and psychodrama director, I am guided by The Intra-Psychic Role Atom of the Trauma Survivor (TSIRA). When I first came to understand it, I was relieved. I was a beginning therapist and psychodramatist, and for the first time, I felt I had something to “hang my hat on.” I could see the roles that were needed and the ones that clients were stuck in. The TSIRA aided me in formulating a treatment plan. It was a road map that led to healing; it elucidated the steps to take and included how to navigate the journey safely without re-traumatizing my clients. When clients were overwhelmed or dissociated, I knew how to help them regulate. I continue to use the TSIRA integrating my more recent studies of neuroscience and somatic attachment therapy.
Additionally, I have learned how the trauma in my family has affected me. TSIRA has provided me with the tools to work on my own healing and regulation. I can take the role of observing ego to get an objective view of my feelings and behaviors, notice my defenses, use my internal containing double when overwhelmed, and role reverse with my strengths.
As a trainer in TSM, Kate and I have been offering TSM courses over the past few years in the San Francisco Bay Area. In Spring 2017, we completed the full cycle of courses. In Fall 2017 I am beginning a new cycle of certification courses and am offering Surviving Spirits for Personal Growth and Professional Development with local team members. Kate will offer something and continue to come here once or twice a year. I also use TSM, and the TSIRA to inform my supervision.
In addition, I teach Psychodrama courses in two graduate programs, California Institute of Integral Studies and Kansas State University where I always include classes on TSM. I also offer training through the Bay Area Moreno Institute that includes TSM. TSM and the TSIRA also informs how my supervision.
Check out my new book The Therapeutic Spiral Model: A Psychodramatic Whole Person Approach for
Working with Trauma available on rowman.com