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TSM Certification Standards Revisions

I am delighted to announce that Kate and I have finally completed the revisions to the TSM Certification Standards and Procedures. Most of the changes are more structural than actual added requirements, however there are a few additions. Now that the Directorship of TSI is being shared, part of my role as Director of Training will be to make sure the standards and procedures are uniformly implemented, and that all the cracks through which things sometimes fell in the past are sealed up.
Here is a basic overview of the revisions:
  •  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.
Certification standards are NOT retroactive, so whatever is already completed is finished. Those in process at a certain level will be transitioned to the new standards as simply and as fairly as possible. Those individuals currently in training will be receiving an e-mail with further details.
For quick access to the appropriate website pages, please click on the links below:
Please address questions to cossa@att.net
From my autonomous healing center to yours,
Mario Cossa – Director of Training
Therapeutic Spiral International
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The Trauma Therapist Podcast

Dr. Kate Hudgins shares about how “Courage Is The Fear That Has Said Its Prayers”,  the start of TSM and teaches some Master Classes on Guy McPherson’s great program “The Trauma Therapist”. https://lnkd.in/eiawMrE

Spectrograms in India: Increasing Cultural Competency through the Third TSM Psychodrama Safety Structure

by Steven Durost, PhD, AL

 

Scarves on the floor and saris wrapped around participants.  96 degree heat drying sweat as it comes of the body and fans providing more noise than relief.  This day is the fourth day of a seven day stretch of TSI Psychodrama workshops presentations.  Yesterday, we completed yesterday a three day workshop in Bangalore and then directly after flew an hour to Coimbatore where we slept and woke to be starting today.

Frankly, I like the heat. I have been traveling in India for almost two weeks prior to the workshops and I have been cold.  The temperatures in New Delhi drop fast from 70 to 40 degrees when the sun goes down.  Finally a place I can feel my toes.

Karen Drucker and I stand before our second group of 18 curious and eager participants.  They have all been in psychodrama training for several years under the tutelage of Jochen Becker.  Jochen lives in Germany and has devoted one month out of every three to develop psychodramatists in India.  His years of devotion have paid off in a group of trainees who have skills and a rich understanding of psychodrama.

Karen and I work through the safety structures with spontaneity aimed at building the group sociometry.  We are eager to deepen our understanding of Indian culture and people.  We are aware that we are unaware of our blind spots. So, part as training and part to build our cultural competency, we ask the participants to break into three groups and to develop spectrogram criteria that will help us understand what is important to them.  What do they want us to know about them selves and their world?

Karen and I were struck by the criteria they created and how much it revealed about India and the what was important to the participants.  Here are the criteria we put into action and some of the things we learned about Indian culture.

 

Education Level

The first spectrogram criteria was to “put yourself along the line in relation to the amount of education you have.”  The placement of the participants showed they were a highly educated group with PhDs, accountant, leaders and counselors.  They said that there is a great pressure in India to be educated. In some cases, one person is educated in order that they can then support the family back home.  I asked if there is a lot of shame around the amount of education one has.  I was told there is a great amount of shame if one has not achieved well in school. A woman who is educated can get a better husband and command a larger dowry.  However, there is a doubled edge sword because a woman cannot be more educated than her husband.  “A woman can be educated but only just enough.”  One participant stated she defied her parents and became more educated than they thought was proper.  The depth of this criteria provided a rich understanding of a topic we would not have explored or if we had we would not have done so in the same way.

 

Personal Space

The next criteria was “at home I have little physical space for myself to I have a lot of physical space for self in my house.”  The participants were spread evenly over the line with some saying they have very little personal space at home and needed to go to work or school to have space that is their’s.  And, other participants saying they had a good amount of space.  Discussion about why this was an important criteria followed as participants express that the idea of personal space is different in India…with people on buses and trains pushed up against or purposely pushing against you.  Someone suggested the criteria might have a follow up of “who would want more space versus who is content with the space they have.” Then someone mentioned that asking for more was considered wrong when growing up, so the criteria would be hard to answer because it would work against cultural upbringing.  Others suggested that participants expand on “what do you have in that personal space at home” and “what are spaces outside home where you have space.” And there was one even more interesting criteria being “how much emotional space do you have in this moment?”

 

Feminine and Masculine

The next criteria opened up many possibilities for exploration.  “In this moment, I feel feminine and at the other end in this moment I feel masculine.”  Again the line was balanced out with the majority of the participants more or less in the middle.  All three men were in the middle stating they felt equally in touch with their masculine and feminine sides.  Three women were fully at the masculine end stating they were feeling very pro-active/action-centered/making something happen in their beings.  This criteria’s richness has another level as the god Shiva is sometimes portrayed as half man and half woman.  This portrayal is when Shiva and his wife Parvati are spliced together…showing male and female energy equally.

 

Geographic Area

One other criteria that emerged from the groups is more of a locogram in which participants would stand in positions representing North, South, East and West India.  From these places, participants could talk/show the diversity of cultures in India based on regions.  We were told that each area is different, with different festivals, food, politics, language, landscapes and uniqueness.  Much cultural abundance could be found in this locogram.

Education level, personal space, the masculine and feminine internal connection and geographic area as diverse cultural identity were the criteria that the participants felt gave Karen and I a deeper understanding of the lives they are living.  There was so much to unpack in what they offered and insight into their culture.  Without asking the participants to come up with their own criteria, we would have imposed our own criteria and never had the luxury of unpacking cultural differences that lay in our blind spots.  In the planning for the workshop, we brainstormed spectrogram ideas to attend to social issues, political differences, cultural defenses/values, conflicts and interests.  However, we did not come close to the topics they felt important.  The learning for me is about providing opportunity within the safety structures for groups to have their own time to explore and build the sociometry they feel is important to let them have time to “show” who they are and how they are connected.  I learned more about Indian culture in that 45 minutes than in the two prior weeks of travel, multiple tours and cultural events.  With thought and care, the third TSM safety structure can be used to deepen cultural competency, create human connection and expand the positive impact of a workshop.

A drum sits in the middle of scarves at the end of the last day.  Art pieces depicting the autonomous healing center have been created, shared and integrated.  The end of my time in India is approaching.  I know I will miss the heat.  And, because our hearts were open to each other, I will miss the people from this workshop too.

Dr Steve

Upcoming Training Series

Hello All you Lovely Psychodramatists.

Dr. Kate has asked me to write a blurb about the TSM training I have been offering in Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA over the past three years.  It started off as something organic and has evolved into four modules, each one containing 8 sessions. It is a closed group of trainees who meet for 3 hours once a month for 8 sessions.  This completes one module in the International Certification in Experiential Therapy Using the Therapeutic Spiral Model.

The first module is focused on Prescriptive (RX)  roles, teaching all the safety structures, doing small vignettes, and small group exercises that give people an opportunity to practice observing ego, containing double, body double, restorative roles.  Participants learn to use the Trauma Survivor’s Internal Role Atom (TSIRA) to build the spontaneity and creativity needed to work with trauma for themselves and their clients.

The second module is 8 sessions of learning about the three different types of defenses, ie. Survival defenses, addictions, obsessions and compulsions.  We make sure to have fun as we create different ways of exploring the group’s own defenses.  Then the last prescriptive role is introduced, the Manager of Defenses, and the group has opportunity to be creative in producing their own manager of defenses in self presentations.  This series ends with a prescriptive role drama.

The third module is 8 sessions directing and participating in full trauma dramas where transformative roles are introduced. The group meets the Sleeping Awakening Child, the Good Enough Mother, Father, Spirituality.  More seasoned group members have opportunity to direct full dramas, while newer group members become more skilled as auxiliaries, deepening their learning in prescriptive roles, taking on trauma- based roles of Victim, Perpetrator and Abandoning Authority and Roles of Transformation, as mentioned above.

The last module is 8 sessions on transformation. September 2019 will be the first 8 sessions of the last module so stay tuned!

Each series gives an opportunity to take in new group members and allow for successful departures. Currently we have 10 group members, 4 of whom are more seasoned and 6 who are new to the model.  At the end of each 8 session series I invite the Master and Creator of TSM, Dr. Kate herself, to come and co-lead a client group where trainees have opportunity to participate on the team and have in vivo supervision while practicing their skills with a client based group.

This leads me to tell you about the upcoming May, 2019 Personal Growth Workshop on Boundaries. (see TSI calendar at www.therapeuticspirslmodel.com for info and registration).  Since 2001 I have been bringing Dr. Kate to Ottawa to lead or co-lead personal growth TSM workshops.  All though the theme is always post traumatic growth, we often like to focus on a particular areaof growth.  This May the focus will be on boundaries…. Where I Begin and You End. May 24, 25 and 26th, 2019. We sure hope to see you there! Contact:  Monica Forst, 613-823-3848 or monforst@gmail.com.  Fee: $550.00 Cdn. Early bird.  $600. Regular.  Lunch included.

This workshop culminates the third module of the training series, where the training group will have just completed their 8 sessions on trauma dramas and many of them share their skills as Action Healing Team Members.

A Note from Monica Forst, TSI Trainer, Ottawa Canada 

Updates to trainers and team before Kate returns to Asia Feb 18-March 16.

I think most of you know that Mario is now the Co-Director of TSI with me. It feels good to have someone in that role again since Francesca retired. But I really feel her presence these days as I connect more with some of the trainers on our website with different projects. A lot is happening. Probably more than I know!

Going back to IAGP was the best thing that ever happened to TSM. I am personally working two new sites—Croatia and Spain, each with 4 workshop contracts for 2019-2020 for the Basic Core Courses. Looks like Spain will start off with a residential in a convent on the coast of southern Spain in Malaga if all goes well for June. Croatia is almost fully subscribed already for June. We will spend Christmas there this year as well!

Steven and Karen are offering the first two modules in two cities in India almost as we speak! And another two are already planned I think to complete their level 1 courses. Steven has been sharing his ahead of time sightseeing and the juxtaposition of wealth and poverty.

Mario is doing his last Bali retreat. And our co-creation at Steven’s castle of TSM and cultural influences.

Sylvia just complied a chapter on TSM in a book a friend of hers solicited her to do. I was supposed to help but couldn’t and she got it done with just a few corrections! Thanks again for Francesca’s support.

Today, Linda, Nancy Alexander and our respective media folks and the new TSI organizer María are meeting to discuss a way to promote their online ACTS program on TSM and psychodrama through TSI trainers. Mario and I will discuss later as he will be sound asleep when we are talking. Seems like a win-win and it is an amazing series. Now that ABE is sending a proposal to the membership to vote on accepting 100 or so online bird, this is a great time to be sharing this powerful resource.

Ben has built a soup kitchen in Egypt to support women working as well as graduated his 2nd TSM cohort. The soup kitchen is thriving!

Scott is building a very successful local practice as therapist and trainer in Phily as the TSI east coast site continues to grow after two years of my time and investment with a new full cohort starting with the March residential Director’s Practice workshop. He has published 5 articles!

I just published a chapter in a German psychodrama journal. Andrea and I have hired Jonathan Moreno’s agent to help us write and market a self-help book using TSM exercises for the general public.

Vlada’s book is doing well and she is having a new daughter in March so future work on its Applications will happen in time.

It has been a busy time for TSM but we are so excited to see what else the future holds. Congratulations to everyone and their successes thus far!

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TSM Six Safety Action Structures American Society for Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy

The TSM Six Safety Action Structures have been developed and used to concretize spontaneity and provide containment and group cohesion for all Therapeutic Spiral Model (TSM) groups for several decades now (Hudgins & Toscani, 2013).  The original paper on these safety structures (Cox, 2001) is available on my website at www.drkatehudgins.com.  This handout is an expansion on the original use of the structures with examples of how they can be used in individual, couples, group and family therapy, as well as in communities and organizations.  At the workshop, they are presented in action just as they would be used to start a TSM group in any of the above settings. Read more