DE-Cruit Inc

Treating trauma through Shakespeare and Science

NEW YORK, NY   |  www.decruit.org

Mission

DE-CRUIT is an interdisciplinary, trauma-informed program designed to help military veterans overcome the obstacles of transitioning from military service back into their communities.

Ruling year info

2017

Founder

Stephan Wolfert

Co Principal Officer

Alisha Ali Ph.D.

Main address

64 Bleecker Street 162

NEW YORK, NY 10012 USA

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EIN

82-1087937

NTEE code info

Theater (A65)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (E01)

Citizen Participation (W24)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

DeCruit

DE-CRUIT uses routinized techniques derived from principles of classical actor training (e.g., experiential analysis, symbolic representation, spoken verse) to transform military camaraderie into camaraderie among treatment group members to communalize the process of healing from the trauma of war. The DE-CRUIT model combines these techniques with treatment elements from two state-of-the-art therapeutic approaches: Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) (which focuses on re-construal of traumatic events and accompanying reactions to enhance an individual’s sense of mastery and safety); and Narrative Therapy (which involves the externalization of previously-internalized narratives and a re-examination of habitual reactions to trauma-based triggers). This integrative model is comprised of three major components, each of which is an extension of existing evidence-based treatment principles that are readily adapted for use with military veterans. These components are as follows:

Unit Cohesion: Unit cohesion is a bond that is formed among members of a military unit. Because this sense of cohesion becomes so engrained in soldiers, returning veterans often feel untethered upon returning to civilian life when their unit members are no longer alongside them. The DE-CRUIT program adopts the notion of military cohesion as a mechanism to foster bonding among group members and creates a sense of connection grounded in the participating veterans’ shared expression of trauma and in their shared goal of adopting the routines of the DE-CRUIT method. These routines include daily breathing exercises, practice in finding and using one’s voice, and accessing the symbolic expression of trauma through dramatic verse. Working together to master the recitation of dramatic verse – a skill that is foreign and often intimidating to most of the veterans in the group – reflects the therapeutic notion of feeling “safe, but not too safe”, a key technique in trauma therapy that fosters support, but also challenges clients to take measured risks.

Communalization of Trauma: Both CPT and narrative therapy include techniques that encourage trauma survivors to relate their stories of trauma. The DE-CRUIT program expands these techniques into a multi- session group process that encompasses progressive phases of narration and sharing. The sharing element finds its foundation in psychiatrist Jonathan Shay’s emphasis on the communalization of trauma as essential in fostering veterans’ reintegration into civilian life. In the DE-CRUIT program, veterans describe and share their first-hand experiences of trauma in the form of a first-person trauma monologue. The method of narration begins by introducing clients to the Shakespearian monologue. The choice of Shakespeare’s work as a therapeutic catalyst for traumatized veterans is specific and deliberate: Among the characters in Shakespeare’s plays are numerous veterans who astutely describe their military trauma through heightened verse that is at once linguistically distinct from the veteran’s own language and experientially close to the veteran’s own traumas. After engaging in a line-by-line experiential analysis of some of Shakespeare’s veterans’ monologues, veterans write their own personal trauma monologues. They then relinquish their monologues to their fellow group members, and each member learns, rehearses, and ultimately performs one of their co-member’s monologues, thereby creating a communal narration of trauma.

Therapeutic Embodiment: A key element in the DE-CRUIT program is a focus on rhythm, embodiment, and breath in the reading, reciting and performing of dramatic verse. This focus is derived in part from scientifically supported relaxation and breathing techniques used in psychotherapy for trauma. Recent research on the neurological effects of relaxation techniques has found significant positive outcomes from the use of these techniques in veterans and in other traumatized populations. The DE-CRUIT program utilizes these techniques and integrates them into a structure that mimics the routines and rituals of military training while also subverting those routines into patterns of emotional self-awareness as opposed to violence- oriented patterns of aggression. The veterans work together on fully inhabiting the spoken verse in passages and monologues, progressively immersing themselves in the patterns of breathing, movement, and rhythm that are required to master the execution of the various texts.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Families

Where we work

Financials

DE-Cruit Inc
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DE-Cruit Inc

Board of directors
as of 4/15/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr Jason Cleveland

CEO Lab79 Technologies, former CEO Asylum Research

Stephan Wolfert

DeCruit