Rescripting the Legacies of Trauma:
an Introduction to Trauma Drama

December 12 - 13, 2017

Presented by Joseph Spinazzola, Ph.D., with
members of JRI’s acclaimed Trauma Drama Ensemble


We’re pleased to offer the first open-enrollment 2-day intensive training on the trauma drama intervention model! Trauma Drama is an evidence-informed, innovative approach to tertiary prevention and clinical intervention for vulnerable youth exposed with histories of exposure to familial and community violence; school bullying, intolerance and hate crimes; maltreatment or neglect; and disrupted caregiving and other chronic life adversity. Trauma Drama uniquely synthesizes elements of improvisational theater and cooperative play into a therapeutic framework grounded in the six core components of complex trauma intervention: promotion of safety; self-regulation; healthy attachments; identity-development; self-worth, esteem and competency; and integration of trauma and adversity experiences into a meaningful and forward-looking life narrative. Guiding by the principle of transformative action, Trauma Drama immerses youth in vivid and poignant “as-if” activities and theatrical skits with peers and adult troupe members that seek to provide an optimal balance of challenge and opportunity to promote self-expression, cognitive flexibility, creative problem solving, “in vivo” conflict resolution skills, and above all, an embodied sense of personal agency and mastery.

On day one of this training, registrants will be immersed in the model as a participant. This includes a medley of the improve games and cooperative play activities intentionally developed, adapted, and selected to advance the clinical objectives underscored in the model: attunement, regulation, reciprocity, impulse control, problem solving, self-expression, and community building. Day one also features improve scenes from the core trauma drama curriculum addressing themes of trauma, violence, and exploitation. On day two, participants will be divided into four small groups in order to experience the model as members of a trauma drama intervention team, with guidance by troupe leaders to learn, rehearse, and ultimately present and perform an entire session of the trauma drama curriculum. Space in this workshop is limited to 48 participants.


Joseph Spinazzola, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Trauma Center and Vice President of Behavioral Health and Trauma Services at Justice Resource Institute. Dr. Spinazzola is a Research Professor of Clinical Practice in the Department of Psychology at Suffolk University, and an Adjunct Professor at Richmont Graduate University. He is also a member of and lead examiner for the Forensic Panel. In his 19th year with the Trauma Center, Dr. Spinazzola remains actively involved in all facets of the Center’s work and mission, serving as a clinician, clinical supervisor, senior trainer, and Director of JRI’s Institute of Research, Inquiry and Evaluation. Dr. Spinazzola is the Director of the Complex Trauma Treatment Network of the SAMHSA-funded National Child Traumatic Stress Network, a national initiative to transform large regional and statewide systems of care, and is Co-Principal Investigator of the Developmental Trauma Disorder National Field Trial. Dr. Spinazzola specializes in the assessment, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of complex trauma in children and adults, and is the author of over three dozen peer-reviewed journal publications on traumatic stress and youth violence. Dr. Spinazzola holds particular interest in dissociative coping adaptations in survivors of chronic maltreatment and neglect and in the role of transformative action, play and improvisational theater in the recovery process. He is co-author of the forthcoming book: Reaching Across the Abyss: Treating Adult Survivors of Childhood Emotional Abuse & Neglect.

Featuring appearances by members of JRI’s acclaimed Trauma Drama Ensemble!


Space in this workshop is limited for quality of training. Space in the first two days of the workshop is limited to 48 participants. Once the limit has been reached, you will be notified that you have been put on a waiting list, and will receive a space on a first come, first served basis.


This training is appropriate for advanced, intermediate and beginning student/early career mental health clinicians (including psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, master’s level counselors, clinical nurse specialists, marriage and family counselors and other providers who work with adults, children or families), allied professionals (including case managers, school personnel educational advocates, milieu personnel, social service organization administrators and leaders, state agency personnel, law enforcement, judicial personnel and advocates, early-interventionists, clergy, community-leaders and activists, and artists for change), and state agency personnel, behavioral health services administrators, faith-based, tribal and nonprofit organization leaders interested in applying trauma-informed principles toward enhancing trauma-informed systems for the individual, families and communities they serve in order to mobilize change, empower minds and bodies, ameliorate health disparities and reroute healthy life trajectories that have been disrupted by familial trauma, social adversity, chronic oppression and community violence.


The Justice Resource Institute (JRI) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. JRI maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

For information regarding the status of continuing education credits for Massachusetts social workers and licensed mental health counselors, please contact the Training Division administrative support staff.


If you are unable to attend the Training Institute, we will provide a full refund six weeks prior to the start date. If you cancel within six weeks but more than two weeks prior to the start date, we will provide a credit toward a future Training Institute workshop, less a $100 administrative fee. We must receive explicit notification of this cancellation, and credit must be used within one year of the original training date. We are unable to provide a refund or credit within two weeks of the start of the Training Institute.

Presenters: Joseph Spinazzola, Ph.D.

Dates: December 12th and 13th, 2017

Time: Tuesday, 9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m., and Wednesday, 8:45am – 3:45pm

Location: Brookline Holiday Inn, 1200 Beacon St., Brookline, MA 02446


  • 2-Day Training: $400.00

*We provide discounts to students and groups.

To enroll in this workshop, please be sure to submit both the Registration form as well as payment. If you prefer to enroll online using PayPal©, please use one of the following direct links.

Registration closes Friday, December 8, 2017.



*Students must provide proof of school registration. A group is considered three or more people from the same organization and proof of non-profit status must be provided.