Staging Therapeutic Enactment with Veterans in Contact!Unload


Dr. Graham W. Lea

Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba

Dr. George Belliveau

Professor at the University of British Columbia


Dr. Marv Westwood

Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia

This article shares an excerpt from the research-based theatre production Contact!Unload. The play, developed with military veterans using community theatre approaches, explores experiences of veterans transitioning from active service and living with trauma-related stress injuries. The excerpt included in this article provides a theatricalized example of therapeutic enactment (TE), a central intervention of the Veterans’ Transition Project (VTP). After contextualizing both TE and VTP, the script provides a visceral example of one veteran’s experiences both in service and in a TE. This article provides an example of using TE with veterans living with traumatic stress injuries and, in doing so, demonstrates the potential of research-based theatre as a methodology for engaging in and sharing psychological research.

Lea, G. W., Belliveau, G., & Westwood, M. (2020). Staging therapeutic enactment with veterans in Contact! Unload. Qualitative Research in Psychology17(4), 521-540.