“DE-CRUIT is a perfect storm of specific aspects of trauma therapy that join together in a comprehensive program,” says Michelle Jeffers, a PhD student in Steinhardt’s Counseling Psychology program who works closely with Ali on her research with veterans. “Shakespeare is full of military connections, and the rhythm and flow of the words help with processing emotions. Being able to translate your story in a structured way in a safe space is challenging but beneficial, and it helps to experience things with other people who know what you’ve been through.”
Jeffers and Ali are conducting further work to study the efficacy of the DE-CRUIT program to replicate it elsewhere and for different participants.
“We’re going to conduct interviews with eight recent DE-CRUIT participants who have completed their final monologue presentations,” says Jeffers. “We want to ask the right questions to hone in on what makes DE-CRUIT work so well for them. By finding common themes, we can put out into the world what about this program works and better understand how to translate that success for other populations who’ve experienced trauma.”
DE-CRUIT’s research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Psychological Association, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, the Humanities Council of New York, and the Creative Forces Military Healing Arts Network.
One of their latest grants is from the National Endowment for Humanities to adapt the DE-CRUIT model for use with previously incarcerated veterans.
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