Using Shakespeare and science to help veterans reconnect to themselves and the community
At its core DE-CRUIT, developed by Stephan Wolfert, a US Army veteran, is the process of interweaving personal writings with veteran-related Shakespeare texts, applying stage skills for life-skills and completing the communalization of trauma within the veteran community.
Shakespeare wrote at a time when England was involved in many conflicts, therefore his plays feature characters who speak very clearly about trauma. Over the course, veterans select Shakespearian monologues that fit their experiences and are coached through line-by-line analysis
The program is scientifically evaluated under the guidance of Dr. Alisha Ali of the New York University’s Department of Applied Psychology, with the help of EEGs, Heart Coherence and psychological surveys.
This program is aligned with the Tarrant County Veteran’s Treatment Court Diversion Program.
Success of the Program
DE-CRUIT has reached thousands of veterans since it’s launch in 2017. It was developed after a decade of work through the non-profit Veterans Center for the Performing Arts (VCPA) based in Los Angeles.
The scientific team for NYU’s Department of Applied Psychology- Dr Alisha Ali and Dr Bruce Homer- has used quantitative and qualitative tests as well as innovative measures of dysregulation to demonstrate the effectiveness of the program in addressing posttraumatic stress and associated symptoms in veterans. Our evidence shows participants have a:
- Decrease in symptoms of post-traumatic stress
- Decrease in symptoms of depression
- Increase in levels of self-efficacy
- Decrease in psychological and physiological dysregulation
DE-CRUIT received the 2020 Aaron Stein award from American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) given to an organization that utilizes creative applications of group therapy to benefit the community, especially in non-psychiatric settings.
This unique process has been recognized by National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) with the Max Gabriel Memorial Award for broadening the understanding of PTSD and other mental health challenges faced by our veterans.