Integrating Comedic Improv Training Exercises with Psychodrama to Promote Trauma Resolution in Adolescent Substance Abusers, Allen Johnson


Most of the research about trauma and substance use has been on adults with studies documenting the rates of co-occurrence as high as 75% (Smith &Saldana, 2013). Studies have demonstrated a link between traumatic stress and substance use disorder in adolescents, with co-occurrence rates as high as 54% (Suarez, Belcher, Briggs, & Titus, 2012). Studies that document the need for specialized services are rare. Those that exist have recommended an integrated system of care as the optimal approach (Suarez et al., 2012). Based on the rates of co-occurrence, it makes sense for the treatment selection also to be trauma-informed. Psychodrama brings the body into the therapeutic process (Dayton, 2015). Comedic improv training exercises modify treatment for adolescents and provide an adequate warm up to psychodramatic process (Cossa, 2006). Safety Zone: A Group Therapy Manual for the Treatment of PTSD and SUD is a treatment manual that provides a specialized service of integration tailored to work with adolescents in a way that provides trauma resolutions while also working with substance abuse.  

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