The therapeutic effects of imagination: Investigating mimetic induction and dramatic simulation in a trauma treatment for military veterans

This article was originally published in The Arts in Psychotherapy.

The concept of mimesis has existed since the time of the ancient Greeks and continues to be debated by artists and scholars alike concerning its meaning and implications for our understanding of the effects of theatre and fiction. In this article, we consider the possible therapeutic potential of mimesis, which can be seen as a way of thinking about theatre as a form of simulated story in which we can imagine ourselves. We focus on the healing effects of the imagination by analyzing its application through DE-CRUIT, a theatre-based treatment program for traumatic stress in military veterans. Through examples of specific veterans who have taken part in DE-CRUIT, we show how the imagination opens up emotional and psychological space for the exploration of trauma, thereby constructing a path to recovery that draws upon the human capacity for story-telling and meaning-making.

Read the full article here.