Trauma

Healing Through Writing and Performance

For the past 15 years I've worked directly with trauma survivors, using writing and performance as healing modalities.  And, yes, I bring comedy into this work.  "But trauma isn't funny," you might say. Yes and no.

 

Here's my philopsophy:

Traumatic events themselves are not occasions for laughter. This would imply, at best, trivialization; at worst, cruelty.

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and as the child of a Holocaust survivor, I'm not laughing at anyone's suffering.  

However, I do encourage trauma survivors to find some humor in their current situation. To do so means they are no longer stuck in a ditch of victimization and relentless pain. Humor, to me, is a form of critical thinking.  It invites perspective and breath.  It is a crucial component of healing.

That said, I don't force my students to write anything ha-ha iif that's not an organic part of their journey. Rather, through specialized exercises, I invite my students to see their lives from different perspectives.

 

Past Initiatives

Youth from Conflict Regions

At a peace camp, I was hired to develop drama techniques that would facilitate dialogue between Jewish Israeli and Pan-Arab teens. At the same camp (in the U.S. and in Greece), I used these methods with opposite factions of the conflict in Cyprus as well as with youth from all over the Balkans.

I also initiated a writing/performing workshop at a youth drama festival in Bosnia Herzegovina.  This was for young people from the former Yugoslavia, in the aftermath of the Bosnian war.

 

Wounded Soldiers Returning from Iraq and Aghanistan

I began a writing program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  This was for wounded soldiers as well as former military working in a civilian capacity.

 

Female Military and Veterans

At the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY (a prestigious healing retreat), I taught writing and performance at two special healing retreats for women who've served our country. Many of these women suffer from sexual as well as military trauma.

 

Individuals Who've Been Sexually Abused/Assaulted

I ran a year-long workshop at the DC Rape Crisis Center for their population.  Working with a staff counselor, I helped these individuals write about (and perform) stories about their healing journey. 

 

Partnerships:

In the past I've partnered with these organizations:

  • Seeds of Peace
  • Walter Reed Army Medical Center
  • The 81st Airborne
  • DC Rape Crisis Center
  • The Omega Institute

 

I'm currently Seeking Partners

Currently, through my Tame the Shame Project, I am seeking organizations to partner with, especially those that serve survivors of sexual trauma.  If you have a population you think I might serve through this project, please contact me.