> Training > BADth Conference 2020 > Paper: Self Discovery through PTSD

Paper: Self Discovery through PTSD

Saturday 28 November 2020
15:30 to 16:30

As an M.A student, I was assigned to a group of veterans that suffer from chronic PTSD. They've been meeting for over a decade and participate in different art therapy groups. They were already working with a Dramatherapist and I wasn't meant to replace her. How was I to create a second group that didn’t impose or compete and simultaneously gain the trust and cooperation of these complex patients?

Trying to form my own identity as a Dramatherapist while complying with the requirements of my assignment meant I had to refine what I saw in Dramatherapy and imagine what could be. I ended up creating what was essentially a reading rehearsal, where every week my group and I read through a new-to-them scene, whether it be Shakespeare, Moliere or Brecht.

Every week, we ritualistically boarded an imaginary plane and flew through a combination of real and imagined memories: those of character, playwright, patient and therapist, memories that were both spoken and unspoken.

Because of PTSD my actors were inclined to rigidity and could not easily immerse themselves in play. While searching with them, I had to find my own freedom and agility and found myself imagining for them when they couldn't afford too. With them, I discovered that things which flared my imagination as a Theatre actress, gained new context and meaning when combined with the rich world of Dramatherapy and I started recognizing an idea of what kind of therapist I wanted to be.

This session is being recorded.

Zohar Avron, M.A. Dramatherapist in both public and private sectors. Works with adults, adolescents and children. Specializes in trauma and PTSD.