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Center for the Living Arts

(510) 595-5500

Home Events Healing the Wounds of History: Level 1

Healing the Wounds of History: Level 1

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

A 13-Week Experiential Training – Live Online

Facilitated by
Armand Volkas, LMFT, RDT/BCT
Nermin Soyalp, PhD
Janna Browning Weir, MA, PDT
Marjorie Florestal, MA, JD

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

• Learn peacebuilding and conflict transformation approaches to heal generational, historical and ancestral trauma through drama therapy.
• Apply the Healing the Wounds of History approach as a powerful tool in transforming individuals, groups, and societies.
36 Continuing Education (CE) Credits available for Psychologists, MFTs, LPCCs and LCSWs. Approved by the American Psychological Association.
• Fulfills core educational requirements in Registered Drama Therapist Alternate Training Program with the North American Drama Therapy Association.

February 22 – May 17, 2022
Tuesday Mornings + 1 Day Intensive
9am – 12pm PST
All Day Intensive: Saturday, May 7th

Live Online via Zoom

$1,500 NOW $995
Sign up before February 14th & receive a $500 discount!

(Payment plans, work/trade and limited discount scholarships available)
Contact us directly if you need additional financial support


No previous theatre experience required
Shy clinicians welcome! 

Healing the Wounds of History through Drama Therapy

In this course, participants will learn a unique approach to healing collective trauma and transforming intercultural conflict using techniques drawn from drama therapy, expressive arts therapy, Psychodrama, Sociodrama and Playback Theatre. Through experiential exercises integrated with didactic explanations of the model, facilitators will guide participants through an embodied exploration of the following questions: How do cultures emotionally integrate a legacy of perpetration or victimization? How do we prevent the rage, guilt and shame of one generation from haunting a people for generations to come?

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 in working through personal and collective trauma in multiple cultural and clinical contexts.

Drama Therapy and the expressive arts can provide a bridge between personal and collective experience, help people digest complex feelings, heal deep wounds and put ghosts of history to rest. Healing generational, historical, and ancestral trauma involves an uncovering of the dysfunctional narrative or “life script” that we carry beyond your conscious awareness as a member of the collective. Hurtful spoken and unspoken messages about life, love, and our self-worth, as well as positive messages that have been handed down from our culture or ancestors, can impact our feeling of well-being, self-esteem, and our very identities.

The Healing the Wounds of History training will culminate with participants assisting in a one-day intensive workshop on Saturday, April 23rd with one group or culture who share a legacy of generational and historical trauma, where the tools they have learned will be applied and integrated. In p
ast workshops we have worked with Armenians on the legacy of Genocide, Brazilians on colonialism and the legacy of enslavement, and the Tibetan community on their historical legacy of the modern occupation of their land.


Armand Volkas, MFT, RDT/BCT
[email protected]
510.595.5500, ext. 11

Nermin Soyalp, PhD
[email protected]

510.595.5500, ext. 16



Healing the Wounds of History is a process in which psychotherapy, drama and expressive arts therapy techniques are used to work with a group of participants who share a common legacy of historical trauma. The process was developed by Armand Volkas, a psychotherapist and drama therapist from Berkeley, California. Volkas is the son of Auschwitz survivors and resistance fighters from World War II. He was moved by his personal struggle with this legacy to address the issues that arose from it: issues around identity, victimization and perpetration, meaning and grief. Healing the Wounds of History helps participants work through the burden of such legacies by transforming their pain into constructive action through acts of creation and acts of service.


This course fulfills the core drama therapy (3 unit, 45 hour) educational requirement for Drama Therapy with Specific Populations or Advanced Elective in Drama Therapy for the Alternative Training Program with the North American Drama Therapy Association when combined with additional required coursework. An additional $50 administrative fee will be added to the total course fee. Contact Armand Volkas for more information, contact: [email protected], (510) 220-5186


• 36 Continuing Education (CE) Credits are available for Psychologists, MFTs, LPCCs and LCSWs for an additional $75 fee.
• CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Academy (SCA) which is co-sponsoring this program. The Spiritual Competency Academy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. SCA maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
• 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.
• LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFTs, and other mental health professionals from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board as to whether or not they accept programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association

• SCA is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. RNs must retain this document for 4 years after the course concludes.
• SCA is an approved CE provider for National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coaches (CEP Number 100196)
• For questions about enrolling in CE or receiving your Certificate of Attendance, email [email protected]
• For other questions about CE contact David Lukoff, PhD at [email protected]


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 Danieli’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



Feb 22 2022


Pacific Standard Time
9:00 am - 12:00 pm




Healing the Wounds of History,
Living Arts Drama Therapy Institute


Zoom Online Class
Armand Volkas, LMFT, RDT/BCT


Armand Volkas, LMFT, RDT/BCT
(510) 595-5500, Ext 11
[email protected]

Armand Volkas, MFT, RDT/BCT is a psychotherapist, drama therapist and theatre director. He is Clinical Director of the Living Arts Counseling Center in Emeryville, California, Drama Therapy uses acting improvisation and psychodrama as therapeutic tools. Armand is a Board Certified Trainer in this discipline with The North American Association for Drama Therapy. In addition, he is Associate Professor in the Counseling Psychology Program at California Institute of Integral Studies. He has developed innovative programs using drama therapy and expressive arts therapies for intercultural conflict transformation and healing generational and historical trauma. He is also Director of The Living Arts Playback Theatre Ensemble which transforms the personal stories of audience members into improvised theatre pieces. At the heart of Armand’s work is a respect for the power of personal story to build bridges between people and cultures.


Nermin Soyalp, PhD
Nermin Soyalp, PhD
(510) 595-5500, Ext 16
[email protected]

Nermin Soyalp 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.

Marjorie Florestal, MA, JD
Marjorie Florestal, MA, JD
(510) 595-5500
[email protected]

Marjorie Florestal is a Haitian American professor and genre-bending storyteller who uses narrative as a tool for healing personal, collective, and intergenerational trauma. She holds a masters in Jungian psychology with an emphasis on archetypal stories, and she is completing a doctoral degree in human development with a focus on trauma and healing in law students. Marjorie has worked with Armand Volkas in the Healing the Wounds of History modality since 2019. She has facilitated healing circles with African American women reclaiming joy after the historical trauma of slavery, Armenian descendants grappling with a legacy of genocide, and participants from Northern Ireland dealing with interreligious conflict. She also brings some of the tools and techniques of HWH into the law school classroom to educate students in trauma-informed practices for effective lawyering. In her spare time, Marjorie writes thrillers that link pulse-pounding action with legacies of historical trauma and healing.

Janna Browning Weir, MA, P-RDT
Janna Browning Weir, MA, P-RDT
(423) 747-0575
[email protected]

Janna Browning Weir is a seasoned Drama Therapist, Director, and Facilitator with Healing the Wounds of History (HWH). Janna received her BFA in Acting from Emerson College in Boston and her MA in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Drama Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. She has directed and performed in productions across the country including Massachusetts, California, Colorado, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. Janna has worked with Armand Volkas, since 2007, in his work Healing The Wounds of History, which uses Expressive Arts Therapy to work with groups that share a common legacy of historical trauma. Her time with Healing the Wounds of History includes the groundbreaking work Facing the Mountain which brought Armenians and Turks together to address the shared legacy of the Armenian Genocide. Most recently she co-facilitated the HWH workshop Facing Whiteness, a drama therapy workshop examining the historical legacy and identity in White Americans, as well as, Jewish Identity Now and HWH: Palestinian Identity. Janna is the founder and director of Integrative StoryWorks, a company that uses personal stories to create public performances and exhibitions with the intention of healing individual and collective wounds.

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