Tag Archive for: TSM

Written by: Cho-Kin Chan (M. Ed., PGDip., B.F.A.) , Theatre Practitioner, Certified Psychodramatist (BPA/UK, HKPA/HK), Drama Therapist (NADTA, US), TSM psychodrama trainee


The Wonderful TSM Wizard of Oz

From Canon of Creativity of Classical psychodrama to TSM Clinical adaptation

I’d like to tell you a story. The story was about a man (P) who arrived at the Munchkinland in the magical Land of Oz. P seek help from the wizard. Meanwhile, he was looking at his history with the lens of Cannon of Creativity from J.L. Moreno and experienced TSM adaptation of Cannon of Creativity from Dr Kate Hudgins.

Once upon a time, when P was a child. He witnessed a lot of quarrels and fights from his parents. From time to time, he experienced the unresolved relationship and often held among anger from the authority. He learnt not to express negative feelings, often shows his smiling face or not to feel in his daily life. This coping pattern, or we might say this “Culture Conserve” (CC), was in his life for many years.

One day, P met a young lady, the ballerina from his fantasy, and she was co-working with this guy. He was struck and couldn’t hold his emotion from the flame of love. He couldn’t find the right words when communicating with this lady nor react appropriately when working too close. P tried to hold himself. He was using his energy to suppress the flame and turn himself to numb.

Suddenly, there was a storm. The air in the house was suffocating. The tornado hide the light from the sky. It turned darkness. P was caught up in a cyclone. Meanwhile, he tried hard to open his eyes and he found that there were some images surrounding him. He saw his parents held the TSM trauma roles of perpetrator and abandoning authority. The child self of him was hiding behind the sofa. After watching the scene of his childhood, he reflected on how those experiences turned himself to someone who couldn’t cope well in his intimacy relationship.

It seems that he witnessed how blaming and scolding self was developed in his life. The trauma experience trapped his spontaneity. He wondered if there was no way to resolve it.  Although P felt stuck and hopeless, he wants to improve, become more mature, or have a better self for his future, especially for the intimacy relationship. The tornado brought P to the Munchkinland in the magical Land of Oz.


The falling house had killed the Trauma Witch of the East. P was in shock. At that moment, the body of the Trauma Witch of the East disappeared. It remained her voice from the air. She said, “I shall be back!” P was scared and lost.


A TSM wizard (W) arrived in the town and met P.

W said to P, “Let her go away at the moment. I am here with you. What do you want from here?” P wanted to go home.

W brought him a map of OZ.

W said to P “P, you should go to see the Powerful Wizard of Oz. He could help. And I like to introduce you a buddy. She is Dorothy (OE), and she is good at observe, support and remind what you need in your journey to OZ.”


P talked to Dorothy about what he wants to achieve in this journey. Dorothy repeated P’s message and supports him in his journey.

Next, W introduced Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion to P.

W said, “These 3 buddies had gone through their difficulties and grown. They can support you too.” (Restorative Roles).  P started to look at these 3 buddies, and he felt that he has similar quality with them. He associated the wise quality with Scarecrow. The appearance of Tin Man reminded P that he has a supportive relationship with a best friend. When P was looking at the Lion, the sunlight was shining on his fluffy fur. P felt the warm and containing energy from nature. Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tinman, Lion and P started the journey to OZ.

When P stepped on the yellow brick road to OZ, P was shaking with doubt.

“Could I survive this journey? What I should do?”

“Wow….” A little dog called Toto walked to P.

Toto (Roles of Containment) said, “My legs are shaking, and I don’t know if I could survive. I am now putting my feet on the ground and feel the support from the earth. I could take a deep breath slowly, I am with my buddies now. I know it wouldn’t be easy to go to Oz. And I would take the lead in the team with my pace on the yellow brick road.”

Toto’s voice awaked P. He looked at his buddies. P started to realize that he has a lot of support in his journey. He also felt warm and soothing when Toto put his hand on P’s leg. P became energetic, and he put his hand on their shoulder. The team were hopping, skipping, singing and dancing. They created its own rhythm and moving forward to Oz.

The Trauma Witch of the West saw them approaching with her one telescopic eye. She sent a pack of wolves to tear them to pieces, but the Tinman held P’s hand and used his body and axe to protect the team. She sent a flock of wild crows to peck their eyes out, but the Scarecrow and P knew that crow doesn’t like shiny stuff, high voices and noise. They got rid of the crow attack. She summoned a swarm of black bees to sting them, but the Lion brought the team Citronella, Mint, and Eucalyptus plants, which can repel the bees. She sent a dozen of her Winkie slaves to attack them. Dorothy reminded P that he has the team with him. Toto’s helped P in staying awake with a clear mind and felt grounded. P stood firm to repel them.

The interaction of the team warmed P to spontaneously react to the situation. It created a new way to respond to the dangers. P learnt the skills and integrated the element from each buddy to oneself through the Oz journey. He had developed new coping skills, the self-containment and feeling of grounded in his state of mind.  The new “Culture Conserve” (CC), had developed with the guidance from TSM wizard.

The Trauma Witch came back again. She brought winged monkeys and caught the team. P knew that he has to help himself and the team to stay conscious and be functional. He throws a bucket of water on himself to remain calm. Fortunately, the water splashed on the Trauma Witch, and she melted away. All the creatures rejoiced at being freed from her tyranny.

P walked into the castle, and he found a little boy. They called him Wizard of Oz. P was curious about him. “What happens to this little boy?”

The little boy was dejected. P kneels down on the floor, held his hands and gave him the comfort. After, the little boy looked at P. The TSM wizard appeared and stood beside P.

W said, “P, did you recognize who the boy is?”

P said, “he was my childhood!”

W said, “what do you want to do with the little traumatized P?”

P guided his team to create a circle of safety. Little P was standing in the middle of them. He observed the team slowly. After, he was smiling. It seemed that he likes to play with each team member. Later, he looked up, stretched his arms and had a deep breath. The team took a deep breath with little P. He was awakening! The air of the space became warm and comfortable.

Instantly, P began whirling through the air, and he fell off his feet on his home town Hong Kong. He felt grounded with confidence. P said, “I’m so glad to be home again. And it is my safety and comfort home!” Years later, he found his ballerina and married her on his birthday!

Written by: Tan Hong Kheng, Singapore

As TSM has become one of my main practice therapy models for my clinical work, case recording was a challenge. I thought of a way I can maintain a record that not only contains my work done in session, but is also a way for better tracking my client’s progress and follow up. Thus I’ve wanted to modify the existing format expecting to meet my new expanding needs, but it doesn’t.

My thoughts keep escalating and growing—-somehow things doesn’t work out accordingly. Then an idea pops in at the time I’m stuck with a C-PTSD client that I need advice from my supervisor on (Dr. Kate Hudgins). Why not TSM clinical map I asked myself with a sense of excitement!

So, I started by “deconstructing” the existing structure of the TSM clinical map.

Initially, I add only those elements which I realized might contributed to the accuracy of my overall assessment such as major events, medical history, medication, stressor and triggers. Somehow, it’s like something still missing. On second review, “making contract” (goal – types of drama) came right into my mind. Then I took an effort to go through again the seminal book on TSM (Experiential Treatment for PTSD:  The Therapeutic Spiral Model by Kate Hudgins 2002). Eventually, I managed to extract a few more essential elements that patched up the “missing piece”. “The stages of change” was the last piece that I intentionally included in to serve a reminder for counsellor/therapist to be mindful of our client’s pacing and where they are in their healing process. It also aligns with TSM’s value of enhancing safety space for healing.

After some final fine tuning, I took courage to presented it on one of my supervision sessions with Dr. Kate. The effort I’ve put in was acknowledge and affirmed.   Here is what I created and now offer to you.

This template/diagram was then translated into Chinese to meet the need for China Supervision Group as Dr. Kate suggested, where I was provided with a practicum site as AL.

After the completion of 5 sessions, they have given much positive feedback and shared that the whole process of supervision which has stimulated their interest of learning TSM further. Indeed, a very inspiring and reassuring experience for me as well.

My take away from the experience was, firstly, it’s another good way to“concretize and tangibly present” (Hudgins, 2002) the missing of actual/physical TSM Drama work that limited by online setting. Secondly, the diagram provides beginners with a comprehensive yet simplified version of TSM Clinical Map. Thirdly, as a learning material, trainees can use it as a route track on their own learning journey as well as client’s progress. During the China Supervision Group, homework was given at the end of each session in order to enhance their learning and understanding, such as to identify specific strengths and roles then fill in accordingly. Lastly, I’m truly happy that the template/diagram serves it purpose well and am glad to share a token of what I’ve benefited from my learning journey to be TSM Practitioner.

Tan Hong Kheng

Care Corner Counselling Centre




*Hudgins, M. K. (2002). Experiential Treatment for PTSD – The Therapeutic Spiral Model

All psychodramatic techniques have the goal of making the clients internal reality overly visible both to self and others. That is, psychodramatic techniques concretize and tangibly present all aspects of the clients internal experience, both verbal and nonverbal, for the purpose of increased awareness, exploration and change. (p.32)

Written by: Hogenboom, Q.M. (Ina), 2021

Changes in TSM team working online.

Changes seem to occur in dealing with spontaneity, creativity, healing and recovery, action and movement, change, new ways of communicating, use of possible techniques, dealing with technical problems.

Working online generally requires more creativity to meet the challenges of working online. Creativity is needed in finding new ways to use psychodrama techniques. As a group leader who works online, you have to organize the group structure more actively, through sociometry and good warm-ups. Sitting and talking generally does not help to achieve spontaneity, creativity, connections and safety. Online, we also need additional rules, for example about privacy, confidentiality and dealing with vulnerable people.



  • We use the micro facial cues more often to get information about the other person’s emotional responses.
  • Tele- and sociometric connections are present when working online, sometimes visible, sometimes invisible.
  • Extra focus on action and movement is needed.
  • More encouragement is needed to get people moving.
  • More focus on movement, interaction and communication.
  • Use catching and contagious positive behaviour in the spontaneity exercises to overcome self-criticism, shyness and inhibition online, as well as a normalizing and positively labelling attitude of the team.



  • Online, everybody is a beginner again.
  • Connect again to the basic principle of psychodrama theory, warming up to spontaneity.
  • Warm up as a team together to strengths and spontaneity.
  • Use active spontaneity exercises before, during and after the meetings with strengths, spontaneity, creativity and handling of vulnerabilities.
  • Refocus on healing of other team members and in clearing up things that hinder spontaneity and creativity of team members.
  • Handle uncertainties about technical issues.
  • View working online as a new psychodramatic adventure.
  • Feel the challenge to come up with new online applications of psychodramatic techniques, making use of the technical possibilities.
  • Use play, activity and humour to increase our creativity and the creativity of the group.


Healing and recovery

  • Offer online possibilities to ease the suffering of your clients and trainees.
  • Be more alert to the more undesirable effects of working online.
  • Find ways to stay in touch (including technically).
  • Prevent and handle withdrawal.
  • Create supportive connections.
  • Allow emotional release in a safe and balanced way.
  • It seems that the effects of TSM psychodrama is comparable to the live effects.


Action and movement

  • Good preparation of technical matters prevents loss of attention and spontaneity during the meeting.
  • Sufficient attention must be paid in the preparation of creating connections and active spontaneity exercises.
  • Connect to your flexibility, because new things always emerge

Handling change

  • Deal with ambiguity and ambivalence working online.
  • Prepare to uncontrollable things
  • Accept things outside the comfort zone, view it as a new challenge.
  • Study the needed technology to overcome your uncertainties.
  • Technical training is needed and provided to work with TSM online to apply the model to its fullest extent.


New ways of communicating

TSM Psychodrama online tries to find new ways of communicating to get the TSM-work done.

Talking and singing

  • Talking together in ‘washing the brain with positives’, only bits and pieces of the messages are heard. Therefore repetition is needed for all messages to get through.
  • Let people post their messages in the chat function and read them aloud. This way, no positive message is lost.

Non verbal

  • The tele connections proof to be available online.
  • The tele is visible when choosing roles in dramas and when working with sociometric choices in action sociograms.
  • Make graphs of the sociometric choices, which is not often done in live meetings. This is a great tool to gain insight into non-verbal communication in the group.
  • Use more physical exercises and physical ways to do dramas to get more information from the body.
  • Make more use of maximizing movement, action and facial expressions, possibly using humour and infectious behaviour.


  • Use the chat function extensively.
  • Since talking at the same time is not possible, messages and comments from team and group members can be voiced through the chat function.
  • Chatting is more accessible for shy and introverted group members.
  • Use the chat feature for training comments, healing messages, interpretations of what’s going on, relate roles to the TSIRA, etc.
  • The AL can use the chat to make suggestions to the TL without interrupting verbally. This can be done through a public chat or private chat.
  • Use private chats between team members to raise concerns about an individual, possible roles to use, and to inform the TL of responses in the group.


  • Be prepared to handle muting by participants. Discuss some ground rules.
  • Handle distractions by other tasks such as using their phone, typing an email, or talking to another member of their household.
  • Prepare to discuss some ground rules about privacy when things can be overheard by people who are not contracted in this group.
  • Ask people to unmute, because we need everyone to make a TSM Psychodrama production.
  • Use the group is the common brain, which reflects the common theme, problems and strengths.


  • Renaming is very useful for TSM Psychodrama.
  • Let participants rename themselves with their strengths, a message from the OE, a function they fulfil in the drama, a role that emerges through tele or projective identification. This is a fast way of communicating without any verbal interruptions.
  • Create a circle of safety with strengths by renaming the participants to their strengths.
  • Renaming is a new way of communicating from the group to the TL and the protagonist.
  • The offers of strengths are visible in an early stage of the drama
  • The projective identifications are also visible earlier than in live work, with the possible themes to work on.
  • Group members work on themselves by acknowledging their response and needs, making them visible through renaming, and providing a possible direction for further exploration.
  • Let TAE’s actively encourage group members to use renaming in the different stages of the group and in the different drama’s.
  • This process of renaming is crystallizing and refining further and further.


Use of possible techniques

Create sociometric diagrams in the background

  • Get a team member (Technical Assistant) to work in the background on creating sociometric diagrams in Powerpoint or Google Slides.
  • Create visual representations of the group with spectrograms, locograms and action sociograms (hands on shoulders).
  • Use names or avatars (photos) of participants.
  • Study and discuss the underlying messages and latent meanings of the group’s sociometric choices afterwards.

Working with screen sharing

  • Use screen sharing to present symbols to the group from which to choose.
  • Use cards to choose an OE or a defense.
  • Let participants make a screen print of their choice.
  • Use screen sharing to choose strengths (words or symbols), the Tian Dayton floor check, archetypes and many other useful models.
  • Show the choices with their avatars (photos), participants like to see that.


  • Use spotlighting with spontaneity exercises. Activate the participants to make special or funny moves and let others encourage them. This increases spontaneity, playfulness and fun.
  • Use spotlighting when participants present something in pairs. This is more powerful than when presented with a screen full of videos.
  • Use spotlighting with “Hands on Shoulders”. Telling your choice to a specific person on the screen is more powerful. People will use active phrases such as “I choose you”.

Additional screen

  • Use an additional screen with a photo as virtual background (magic shop, empty chair, wisdom chair, different coloured chairs, a stage, a symbol, etc.)
  • Use an extra screen with a “mystery guest”, an extra role from the TSIRA (prescriptive, trauma or post-traumatic growth), a super power, etc.
  • Use an extra screen for recording a meeting, to avoid heavy strain on the original laptop.


Dealing with technical problems

  • Technical problems remain a challenge, new unexpected problems will arise.
  • Define a new role for working online, which has to be added as a new team-role. Possible names for that role are: Technical Specialist, Zoom Queen Auxiliary, Technical Auxiliary Ego.
  • Training for this role is available in TSM. Note that this role is still developing.


Next training: Working as a Technical Auxiliary in TSM groups.

Date: March 4 from 9-11 am for New York, 3-5 pm Central European Time.


 Info and registration: Ina@PsychodramaQ.nl

Written by Joshua Lee

The tele flowed across differences too.  It was great to hear the older men share their positive projections of the younger men, stating, “You remind me of all the energy I once had as a younger man.”  And it was delightful to hear the younger men say, “I appreciate the wisdom and life experiences you all have shared in the group. I am glad you chose me to play a role in your dramas that helped you to face one of your fears.  It feels like I grew up a bit.”

The Game Plan for Better Living and TSM

The Game Plan (TGP) is a role-playing tabletop game.  More broadly, it is a trauma-informed and experiential coaching model as well.  Joshua Lee created the TGP to “help people elevate their performance in life’s games.” Examples of areas of life where people play games include their performance in relationships, productivity, peace of mind and their happiness.  There’s a contextual nuance of the use of the word “game”.  In the context of TGP, the word “game” is used to connect thoughts, feelings and actions to one’s beliefs and predominant thinking patterns.  Metaphorically, the idea is that one’s beliefs gives the player the actions they will both take and not take just like the rules that govern, say, a game of football.  Additionally, many elements of the TSM have been mapped onto the framework of TGP.  This makes it trauma-informed because of the use of the clinical map (the TSIRA) embedded in the framework.  By having the TSIRA in the background of coaching sessions, it’s a way to identify any overdeveloped roles, and subsequently, strengthening of underdeveloped roles in more spontaneous and creative ways experientially.   Once the “game”, which brought the player in for coaching, is uncovered by the player, they are usually empowered to take different actions, thereby giving them different results.  The old game is declared retired and a new game is started consciously.


Joshua S. Lee, MSW, ASGPP Diversity Award Recipient for 2020, TSM Certified Trained Auxiliary Ego (TAE)


By Karen Drucker

Sitting by the pool after a swim looking out on the waters of the Arabian Sea surrounded by palm trees and listening to the sound of tropical birds. I am treating myself to two weeks of Ayurvedic treatment at a place in Kerala recommended by Jochen Becker called Isola di Cocco. Feels like a well deserved rest and commitment to my health after nine intensive days of therapeutic spiral workshops.

We had a four day workshop in Bangalore, making friends with defenses, then a travel day to Delhi to begin a four day on transforming the trauma triangle. Arriving the first morning of the Bangalore group was like greeting old friends. Most of the participants had been with us last year and it was wonderful to see familiar faces!

                                   Bangalore Workshop Participants

                                  New Delhi Workshop Participants

Steven Durost and I had a smooth and beautiful co-leadership dance.

It’s such a privilege to work with someone I love, respect, and feel so met and supported by in all aspects of the work. From planning to timing, switching between team leader and assistant leader in directing the dramas, working with participants and the team, we were like butter.

Sadhana, a team member in Delhi writes, “It’s heartening to see how you have teamed up with Steven to make TSM such a beautiful experience for us. I love to see the way you two adore each other, shift effortlessly into various roles with so much fluidity and understanding and make a remarkable role models of professional partners with touch of Being incorporated into it. Could the universe give us any better gift than having the opportunity to see and experience Dr Steven and Dr Karen! I guess not.. This is the best gift!”

They loved the teaching I designed on working with the trauma triangle with an individual, splitting into groups of three to practice.

We were invited to Rashmi Datt’s house for dinner one night. She is a PAT and is the trainer in the Delhi group. It was very special to go to her house, which took almost an hour in crazy Delhi traffic, but we laughed a lot and enjoyed ourselves.

I’m including a poem written by one of our protagonists the night after her drama. She entitled her drama “Priyanka Owning Her Power.” One of her hopes for the drama was feeling worthy of accepting an award that she would be receiving a few days later. The picture tells the story!!

Lost & Found
by Priyanka Dutta

I was born resourceful,
I was born beautiful!
But somewhere in this life’s journey,
I lost a part of me…

I kept looking for it here & there,
But was left with frustration & despair;
As trust walked away from me,
I lost my ‘confidence key’.

Unlocking my potential became difficult,
And I started believing it was my fault;
I relied on others to feel good,
And to my ‘SELF’ I became rude…

But in my quest, I found a loving community,
Who embraced me & set me free;
I can’t thank you enough,
For reconnecting me to my other half…

Today I again feel resourceful,
Today yet again I feel powerful;
Trust came back to me,
I found my ‘confidence key’.

I feel very inspired, nurtured and enriched by this time in India and the privilege of working with such terrific people. Gratitude to Dr. Jochen Becker for his initial invitation and for inviting us back for the next two years!!

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

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

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

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 

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!