102 – Shakespeare and Trauma Treatment

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Shakespeare and Trauma Treatment

Using Science and Theater in Healing-Centered Practices

Therapists understand the profound healing that can occur when we “speak what we feel, not what we ought to say,” as Shakespeare writes in King Lear. But how can Shakespeare help us do this? Experience how classical actor training methods using body, breath, play, and awareness can help treat trauma across a range of populations. Drawing on psychological, social, and neurological science, the DE-CRUIT method encourages trauma survivors to use Shakespeare’s characters and spoken verse to awaken self-awareness, discover a new physical presence, observe inner thoughts and behaviors without judgment, and exchange limiting habits for new positive patterns of growth and reflection. This workshop offers a body-centered approach for participants to discover new ways to:

  •  Identify and eliminate anxiety activation points through somatic movement, breath, and sound
  • Access emotion and self-connection through a body-centered "crown to the toe" check-in
  • Use Shakespeare's text to access and examine charged memories
  • Ignite confidence, creativity, and the capacity for self-regulation through play and communalization of trauma

Stephan Wolfert, MFA, US Army '86-'93, Actor/Writer/Director is the founder of the nonprofit DE-CRUIT, which received the 2020 Aaron Stein award from American Group Psychotherapy Association, given to an organization that utilizes creative applications of group therapy to benefit the community, especially in nonpsychiatric settings.

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