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Healing Historical Trauma through Drama Therapy: A 14-Week Training Live Online

September 13 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm


Healing the Wounds of History Institute & Living Arts Counseling Center present

Healing the Wounds of History

Healing Generational Trauma, Conflict Transformation & Peace Building through Drama Therapy

A 14-Week Experiential Online Training

For Psychotherapists, Drama and Expressive Arts Therapists, Social Workers, Interns, Trainees, Coaches, Peacebuilders, Social Entrepreneurs, and Activists

Mondays + One-Day Intensive on Zoom
with Additional Learning Resources

Facilitated by

Armand Volkas, MFT, RDT/BCT

Nermin Soyalp, PhD

Starting on September 13th, 2021


Register Today!
Date & Time

Mondays, 9:00am to 12:00 pm (Pacific Time)
(From September 13 to December 13, 2021

San Francisco | 9am – 12pm
Chicago | 11am – 2pm
New York | 12pm – 3pm
Paris | 6pm – 9pm
Istanbul | 7pm – 10pm

One all-day Saturday Intensive,  November 20th, 2021
9 am to 4 pm (Pacific Time)
(Timing to be adjusted based on training participants time zones)

Meetings on ZOOM


Culminating Saturday Workshop on november 20th with a group carrying generational trauma:

The training participants will assist in supporting a conflict transformation process with a group carrying generational trauma (e.g. Tibetan community on their historical legacy of modern occupation of their land) or with two polarized groups in conflict (e.g. Turks & Armenians on the legacy of Armenian Genocide, Chinese & Japanese on the legacy of Japanese militarism and atrocities)… choices to be proposed, discussed and agreed upon by the training group.

Additional Learning Resources

Relevant reading and video materials will be shared with the training participants in an online environment



Payment Plans and Limited “Discount” Scholarships Available.


Continuing Education Credits

36 CE Credits for Psychologists, MFTs LCSWs and Nurses are available for an additional fee.

See below for more details about the training and Continuing Education Credits.

Healing the Wounds of History is a therapeutic and creative process in which experiential techniques are used to work with people who share a common legacy of generational, historical and/or collective trauma.

This 45-hour course will introduce peacebuilding and conflict transformation approaches to healing generational, historical and ancestral trauma through drama therapy. The course will involve experiential learning and techniques culled from drama therapy, psychodrama, sociodrama, Playback Theatre, expressive arts therapy, autobiographical therapeutic performance and Transactional Analysis.

The experiential portion of the training will focus on the application of Healing the Wounds of History as a tool in working with individuals, groups and transforming societies. The didactic portion of the training will offer readings and a theoretical basis and rationale for the use of Healing the Wounds of History approaches in working through personal and collective trauma in multiple cultural and clinical contexts.

In light of the current social justice challenges and a cultural paradigm shift towards racial and social equality, this workshop humbly hopes to contribute innovative tools in healing historical traumas at the personal and collective levels.

Topics will include: 

Intercultural communication, Intercultural conflict transformation, Commemoration, Cultural identity and self-esteem, Peacebuilding, Collective grief and mourning, Collective trauma, Ancestral trauma, Historical trauma, Generational trauma, Dueling narratives, The art of apology, Uncovering dysfunctional cultural life scripts, Exploring and owning the potential perpetrator in all of us.

The Healing the Wounds of History training will culminate with participants assisting in a one-day intensive workshop on Saturday, December 5th with one group or two groups who share a legacy of generational and historical trauma, where the tools they have learned will be applied and integrated.

More Information about The Healing the Wounds of History Process:

Uncovering the Narrative

Healing generational, historical and ancestral trauma involves an uncovering of the dysfunctional narrative or “life script” that you carry beyond your conscious awareness as a member of the collective. Hurtful spoken and unspoken messages about life, love and your self-worth, handed down from your culture or ancestors, can impact your feeling of well-being, self-esteem and your very identity.

Personal Traumas

Mixed in with the collective experience are our personal traumas, inherited from ancestors or their perpetrators, which can seem to confirm dysfunctional beliefs about ourselves. In our work together, we will learn how personal and collective traumas can arise from deep ancestral explorations. We will then apply experiential methods to address them.

Healing Through Action

Action methods taught will include psychodrama, sociodrama, Playback Theatre, drama therapy, autobiographical therapeutic performance and expressive arts therapy. Personal and professional growth will be built into the training through self-exploration in a safe and contained environment. Positive messages inherited from ancestors that can guide the participant in their lives today will also be celebrated.


This training can apply to requirement for The North American Association for Drama Therapy Alternate Training Program and The Healing the Wounds of History Certificate Program

Facilitated by

Armand Volkas, MFT, RDT/BCT, (MFT #28789)

Armand Volkas, MFT, RDT/BCT is a psychotherapist, drama therapist, theatre director and professor. Armand has received international recognition for his Healing the Wounds of History approach to bringing groups in conflict together. He has facilitated groups in multiple countries including, descendants of Jewish Holocaust survivors and The Third Reich; Turks and Armenians; Turks and Kurds; Palestinians and Israelis; Japanese and Chinese, Tamil and Singhalese, Japanese and Koreans; African-Americans and European-Americans and the factions involved in the Lebanese Civil War.

Armand is Artistic Director of The Living Arts Playback Theatre Ensemble, now in its 30th year. He is Clinical Director of the Living Arts Counseling Center in Emeryville and Associate Professor in the Counseling Psychology Program at California Institute of Integral Studies and has been Adjunct Professor at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute and the Canadian School of Peacebuilding.

Armand has been honored with the Raymond Jacobs Award for his dedication to diversity and cultural competence and The Gertrud Schattner Award from the North American Drama Therapy Association for his distinguished contributions to the field. He has developed innovative programs using drama therapy for social change, intercultural conflict transformation, intercultural communication and peacebuilding.

Nermin Soyalp, PhD

Nermin Soyalp, PhD, has been a collaborator with Armand Volkas in the HWH approach since 2012 where they together organized HWH workshops with Germans and Jews, Turks, Kurds and Armenians. She is a skilled trainer and a facilitator. She has been facilitating peace building workshops in the Bay Area and in Turkey since 2012 and has designed and conducted trainings on conflict transformation, and experiential training in both for profit and non-profit organizations as a senior organizational development consultant/professional since 2008.

Nermin grew up in Ankara, Turkey. After graduating from Hacettepe University (Ankara, Turkey) in Statistics, she moved to California, and received her MA in Organizational Psychology at John F. Kennedy University, specializing in social systems and network analysis. Currently, in addition to working as an Organizational Consultant in Oakland, CA, Nermin is a Healing the Wounds of History facilitator and co-director and recently completed her PhD at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). Her thesis is about historical traumas and healing between Armenian, Kurdish, and Turkish people.



For more Information and Registration


Nermin Soyalp
(510) 541-3211

Armand Volkas
(510) 595-5500, Ext 11

Register Today!

CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC) which is co-sponsoring this program. SCRC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. SCRC maintains responsibility for the program and its content. SCRC is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association. 

For questions about CE, visit www.spiritualcompetency.com or contact David Lukoff, PhD at CE@spiritualcompetency.com.

Learning Objectives: At the end of the program, participants will be better able to…
  • Discuss the differences between collective trauma, historical trauma, ancestral trauma and generational trauma using the psychodramatic technique of the locogram
  • Describe how historical trauma impacts cultural and national identity and self-esteem in traumatized cultures at a personal level
  • Explain the social, psychological and biological mechanisms through which historical trauma is passed from generation to generation
  • Demonstrate how dysfunctional cultural narratives are formed through the use of the Healing the Wounds of History Map of Messages exercise
  • Apply the basic principles of intercultural communication though psychodramatic soliloquy and interpersonal dialogue
  • Analyze how personal and cultural messages get translated into “life scripts” through the Map of Messages exercise and through the Therapeutic Spiral Model
  • Design a drama therapy progression in service of trauma transformation goals
  • Compare the differences between therapy and activism
  • List the 6 phases of the Healing the Wounds of History approach
  • Apply and teach the principles of intercultural communication through psychodramatic doubling, sculpting and soliloquy
  • Design a social change project, of your own choosing, which reflects a passion, belief, or value that you hold deeply
  • Utilize skills of drama therapy, sociodrama, psychodrama, expressive arts therapy and creative ritual with a social change and therapeutic intention
  • Demonstrate and use at least 3 drama therapy spontaneity exercises to form group cohesion.
  • Demonstrate a beginning competence in how to use drama therapy in working with social justice and peacebuilding issues.
  • Explain the steps involved in personal and collective apology and repair
  • Utilize beginning psychodramatic and drama therapy techniques with individuals and groups in service of healing generational trauma
  • Demonstrate how to uncover historical wounding in individuals and groups, develop a hypothesis about the collective trauma and empower the client to transform their traumatic inheritance by creating a new narrative
  • Analyze and discuss the terms social change, peacebuilding & conflict transformation
  • Assess the psychosocial consequences of political denial or minimization of collective and historical traumas like the Holocaust, Slavery and the Genocide of Armenians and Native Americans in individuals and groups who carry these legacies
  • Discuss epistemological similarities and differences between collective and transgenerational trauma theories
  • Describe the psychobiological components of historical trauma by explaining the basics of Epigenetics
  • Discuss and compare the differences and similarities in the approaches to healing historical trauma outlined by Eduardo Duran Healing the Soul Wound of Native Americans, Joy DeGruy’s Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome and Armand Volkas’s Healing the Wounds of History model
  • Explain Yael Danielli’s theory of differing responses to transgenerational trauma through the observation of adaptational styles in families from traumatized cultures: victim, numb and fighter in trauma survivors children
  • List and explain the principles of Transactional Analysis and explain Eric Berne’s theory that dysfunctional behavior is the result of self-limiting decisions made in childhood in the interest of survival that culminate in life scripts


September 13
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category:


Nermin Soyalp
(510) 541-3211