Therapeutic Spiral International (TSI) presents the opportunity to receive International Certification in Trauma Therapy using the Therapeutic Spiral Model (TSM). This is an acknowledged and researched method of using psychodrama and experiential psychotherapy to treat trauma with individuals, groups, and communities who present with symptoms of PTSD.
The Therapeutic Spiral Model requires both attendance at the level 1 and 2 theory workshops listed below and satisfactory practicum experience either on a TSM team, or in the setting in which you work. Supervision can be given by TSM Trainers or Trainers doing a TSM Trainer Practicum under their own supervision with Dr. Kate Hudgins.
Required reading includes Experiential Therapy to Treat PTSD: The Therapeutic Spiral Model (Hudgins, 2001) and The Therapeutic Spiral Model to Treat Trauma: Stories from the Frontlines (Hudgins & Toscani, Eds., 2013). All courses will have handouts and supplemental readings. Since this is an experiential method, the majority of the learning is in action with demonstrations, live supervision, protagonist-centered psychodramas, sociodrama, and Playback Theatre.
LEVEL 1 – TSI CORE TRAUMA COURSES: THE BASICS OF PSYCHODRAMA, TRAUMA, AND THE THERAPEUTIC SPIRAL MODEL
In these courses students first learn in action the neurobiology of the brain that is/has been traumatized. Throughout the 4 courses, we teach basic psychodrama skills of doubling, role reversal, sociometry, sociodrama, Playback Theatre, and others from classical psychodrama. In addition, specific TSM interventions for safety when working with trauma (difficult students, clients, managers, et al.) are taught through the clinical map of the Trauma Survivor’s Intrapsychic Role Atom (TSIRA)—essentially a map of a person’s psyche. This encourages students to use the TSIRA map in their setting of choice, including clinical practice, education, community organizing, law, and volunteer work.
Participants receive supervision while working in small groups, during TSM dramas as team members, and in the processing of dramas. Protagonist opportunities and personal growth are included and evening sessions focus on a plan for long-term supervision and practicum development. Each course is 3 days and earns 22 hours of training with TSI and with the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy. Hours can also be counted for the psychodrama requirements in Drama Therapy, in individual settings, and toward certification with the Society of Experiential Therapists.
WORKSHOP 1: NEUROBIOLOGY OF TRAUMA
Before delving into the core of the work, students will participate in several of the Six Safety Structures of TSM for group cohesion and safety. This is a necessary component and will be used in all workshops to guarantee that the group is safe for personal work and exploration.
We now know that people who have experienced traumatic events can have significant changes in the neurobiology their brain. The right brain, which holds emotions, relationship information, unprocessed trauma often in the form of flashbacks, body memories, intrusive thoughts and dissociated feelings, is always turned on by an overactive amygdala. While the left brain’s coherent function, which provides meaning and helps people stay in the here and now, is interrupted by stress hormones as the result of the danger signals from the amygdala. Most recently, research has shown that much more of the brain develops through interpersonal interaction showing changes in the brain in the vagal nerve, and in other deeper brain structures than were previously thought to exist.
This workshop specifically teaches the Neurobiology of PTSD in Action— a visual tool that anchors what the brain is experiencing during an actual trauma and during flashbacks. We will examine many simulated as well as real situations, with participants bringing their own and clients’ stories to the group.
This workshop also teaches in theory and practice, specific TSM interventions to address the very primal defenses against trauma—Body Double (BD) and Containing Double (CD). The BD is a role that attunes the client to their own bodily reactions and defenses in a traumatic experience or during a flashback and helps calm and soothe them. The CD is specifically addressed in Workshop 2.
WORKSHOP 2: CONTAINMENT – THE KEY TO SAFETY WITH ACTION METHODS
This second TSM workshop presents the overall template or protocol for conducting psychodrama and all experiential therapy methods safely, regardless of the problem a client presents. It teaches how TSM’s clinical methods, especially the Prescriptive Roles of the TSIRA, can be adapted to help with residual trauma. Participants learn to balance thinking and feeling so that old, unprocessed memories can be held safely in the present, and reexamined from the here-and-now perspective to find new solutions for repetitive situations.
This workshop teaches a core action intervention of The Therapeutic Spiral Model called the Containing Double (CD) (Hudgins & Drucker, 1998), which is helps clients with trauma balance the thinking and feeling parts of their brain. This enables them to stay in the present and make new, spontaneous and creative actions. Most importantly, the CD is taught through demonstration and live supervised practice. It can be used immediately following the workshop in individual, couples and family therapy, as well as by educators and community organizers.
WORKSHOP 3: WORKING WITH DEFENSES IN ACTION
In this workshop we focus on the defenses people use at the time of trauma to protect themselves to ensure survival. These learned defenses then become part of the trauma-survivor’s role repertoire into adulthood. They worked initially but become pathological when they do not support growth— i.e., true spontaneity and creativity.
This is a very personal workshop in which participants will examine their own outmoded defenses.
WORKSHOP 4: TRANSFORMING THE TRAUMA TRIANGLE
In this workshop we begin to focus on the trauma-based roles of the TSIRA by learning TSM’s Trauma Triangle—a configuration that clarifies the destructive cycle of Victim, Perpetrator, and Abandoning Authority. In addictions, Karpman’s Triangle is well-known with the interpersonal roles of Victim, Perpetrator and Rescuer. Through years of experience, we’ve redefined this triangle to represent the internalized experience of the trauma survivor. Using role theory, TSM’s Trauma Triangle incorporates the intrapsychic trauma-based roles of Victim, Perpetrator and Abandoning Authority, which are internalized when there is no rescuer available in the interpersonal world.
The Trauma Triangle represents a closed circuit of energy embedded in the personality structure of those who have survived cruelty or trauma, repeating itself as life-long patterns of abuse and neglect. This training provides tools that empower transformation from self-neglect to self-care and to instill healthy problem-solving into daily life, and personal dramas to transform the Trauma-based Roles.
LEVEL 2 - ADVANCED CLINICAL TSM COURSES
Level 2 courses teach participants more advanced observation and intervention skills in experiential action work for all settings. These clinical skills are not taught in any other psychodrama training program in the world. The courses provide deep psychological learning about the psychodramatic process and nuances of personal and group psychology, and they afford exceptional personal growth opportunities.
As in Level 1, participants receive supervision while working in their own practice setting, during TSM dramas as team members, and in the processing of dramas. Protagonist opportunities and personal growth are included in all the workshops. Each course is 3 days and provides 22 hours of credit for TSI International Certification in Trauma Therapy, as well as for the national certification in psychodrama, and other CEUs as noted previously.
By the end of Level 2 Advanced Clinical Workshops, participants will have identified their strengths and vulnerabilities of working in the roles of TAE, AL, TL, and Trainer. They will have had the opportunities to work both with and without a team, while using the clinical skills of the AL role in all settings, including education, therapy, and organizations.
WORKSHOP 5: DIFFERENTIAL DIRECTING AND TEAM PRACTICE
Spontaneity and Creativity are the curative agents of change when using psychodramatic methods and the Therapeutic Spiral Model (TSM) to treat trauma (Hudgins & Toscani, 2013). Spontaneity, from a psychodrama view, is the ability to change a repetitive behavioral reaction to an old situation and adapt an appropriate behavior to a new situation. Using this definition of spontaneity, then, means that different interventions are therapeutically indicated with different clients and symptoms. This workshop provides an opportunity to improve clinical action skills with people who have different diagnoses and problems of living.
The group will review and bring to life DSM-V diagnoses of mood, personality, dissociation, and addictive and eating disorders. Using action demonstrations and role play, participants learn to apply psychodramatic methods such as role reversal, doubling, mirroring, concretization, etc. to increase access to spontaneity and creativity, with a wide range of clients.
This Level 2 workshop also explores the Team Roles in depth and how to work both with and without a team using the clinical principles and structures of TSM. Participants take the roles of director, client and auxiliary, experiencing their own healing, both personally and professionally, along the way. This workshop models and teaches how to work as an open, honest, and transparent team.
WORKSHOP 6: THE DANCE OF TRANSFERENCE AND COUNTERTRANSFERENCE
In the previous workshop we addressed working with different diagnoses; here we focus on the important issues of transference and countertransference when working with trauma survivors. The role of therapist, teacher or leader of any sort sets the stage for a dance that has a few steps but can become quite intricate and inextricable, as roles get thrust upon them.
On the flip side of the coin, many practitioners find it an intense experience to work with trauma survivors due to countertransference that gets triggered by stories of horror, terror, rage and despair. Some defenses may be denial, minimization, over-identification, and role reciprocity as they’re pulled into the dance of trauma.
This workshop gives participants a deep personal and professional understanding of the clinical depictions of transference and countertransference—and how they can help or hurt the therapeutic process.
WORKSHOP 7: USING PROJECTIVE IDENTIFICATION WITH TRAUMA
This workshop teaches the difficult-to-understand clinical concept of Projective Identification (PI) through action exercises and during individual and group sessions. PI’s are unsettling to group process as much as to personal relationships and they seem to appear at intense emotional moments. Participants learn to identify and use PI’s in service of the person or group instead of having them disrupt a potentially healthy situation.
This workshop completes the 2-year series of TSM theory courses that leads to International Certification in Trauma Therapy Using the Therapeutic Spiral Model. Participants may be certified as TAE, AL, TL, or Trainer depending upon completion of supervision plans and requirements met by the end of the theory courses. At the end of this course, participants doing Trainer practica will be given the authority to supervise or train others and give them International Certification Credit in the TSI Program on Trauma Therapy using the Therapeutic Spiral Model.