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Written by Mario Cossa

Abstract This article in the journal Zeitschrift für Psychodrama und Soziometrie explores the foundations of resilience theory and the application of the Therapeu- tic Spiral ModelTM’s (TSM) form of psychodrama in building resilience in youth through increasing the internal locus of control and supporting the ability to internal- ize the positive regard of peers and adult mentors. The author describes a program developed to serve these goals while working with post-high-school youth, ages 17 to 19, in the Campuhan College Program in Bali, Indonesia.

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By Mario Cossa, RDT/MT, TEP

Norman Garmezy, Ph.D., a Developmental Psychologist from the University of Minnesota, is generally credited with the seminal research on resilience and attempts to define what are now called protective factors—those aspects and experiences in a person’s life that equip them with
the ability to rise above adversity (Konnikova, 2016). Unfortunately, his untimely death caused the publication of his research findings to be posthumous.

In 1989, the results of a three-decades-long, intensive study on resilience were published by Emmy Werner, also a Developmental Psychologist (Konnikova, 2016). Her findings showed that a combination of environmental factors (such as the presence of a positive, caring adult in the lives of her subjects) as well as particular elements of personality (especially a belief in one’s own ability to affect the outcome of life situations) each had significant impact on the development of resilience.

In my work with adolescents both in the USA and in numerous countries around the globe, I have found the Therapeutic Spiral Model™’s (TSM) form of psychodrama (Hudgins, 2019) to be an effective tool for developing and enhancing resilience in youth from diverse backgrounds and cultures (Cossa, 2019, 2006). This article focuses on a specific intervention strategy developed for working with a group of youth in Bali, Indonesia.

Read the whole article here.