ACTS Research Lab

Research on the DE-CRUIT program is conducted through the Advocacy & Community-based Trauma Studies (ACTS) lab headed by Dr. Alisha Ali. Below are selected recent publications from our research.

Scholarly Publications

In-Press/Under Contract

Ali, A., Wolfert, S., Smith, R., & Healy, J. (in press). Soldiers’ stories: Themes of collective healing and recovery in a group treatment for trauma in military veterans (Abstract). International Journal of Qualitative Methods.


Ali, A., Wolfert, S., Lam, I., Fahmy, P., Chaudhry, A., & Healey, J. (2022). Treating the effects of military sexual trauma through a theater-based program for U.S. veterans. Women & Therapy, 45(1), 25-40.

Ali, A. N., Wolfert, S., & Pensavalle, C. (2022). A theatre-based program for traumatic stress in military veterans. In Doing Performative Social Science (pp. 29-40). Routledge.


Lucchesi, N. (2021, May 19). Shakespeare is brilliant … at helping war veterans treat PTSD. Inverse.


Ali, A., Wolfert, S., McGovern, J., Aharoni, A., & Nguyen, J. (2020). A trauma-informed analysis of monologues constructed by military veterans in a theatre-based treatment program. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 17(2), 258-273.


Ali, A., & Haen, C. (2019). Creative arts therapies and the military: Integrating research and practice in the service of active duty members and veterans. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 62, 2-4.

Ali, A., Wolfert, S., Fahmy, P., Nayyar, M., & Chaudhry, A. (2019). The therapeutic effects of imagination: Investigating mimetic induction and dramatic simulation in a trauma treatment for military veterans. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 62, 7-11.

Ali, A., & Wolfert, S. (2019). Treating trauma through the imagination: Therapeutic effects of simulation and mimetic induction. In L. D. Green & K. Ubozoh (Eds.), We’ve Been Too Patient: Voices from Radical Mental Health. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

Ali, A., Wolfert, S. & Homer, B. D. (2019). In the service of science: Veteran-led research in the investigation of a theatre-based posttraumatic stress disorder treatment. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 1-19.


Ali, A., Wolfert,. S., Lam, I., Fahmy, P., & Chaudhry, A. (2018). Psychotherapeutic processes in recovery from military and pre-military trauma in veterans: The effects of theatre as a mental health treatment. Journal of Applied Arts and Health, 9(3), 337-350.

Ali, A., Wolfert, S., Lam, I. & Rahman, T. (2018). Intersecting modes of aesthetic distance and mimetic induction in therapeutic process: Examining a drama-based treatment for military-related traumatic stress. Drama Therapy Review, 4(2), 153-165.

Ali, A., Wolfert, S., McGovern, J. E., Nguyen, J. & Aharoni, A. (2018). A trauma-informed analysis of monologues constructed by military veterans in a theater-based treatment program. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 1-16.

Wolfert, S. & Ali, A. (2018). Re-humanization through communalized narrative for military veterans. In N. Way, A. Ali, C. Gilligan, & P. Noguera (Eds.), The Crisis of Connection: Roots, Strategies, and Solutions (pp. 398-413). New York: New York University Press.


Ali, A., & Wolfert, S. (2016). Theatre as a treatment for posttraumatic stress in military veterans: Exploring the psychotherapeutic potential of mimetic induction. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 50, 58-65.

Interviews, Popular Publications & Presentations

To Be Or Not To Be: Lockdown Shakespeare (2022, October). Episode 17: How Hamlet’s speech saved my life.

Katz, R. (2022, May). A tempo: Arts programs that help veterans receive funding boost. A Tempo with Rachel Katz.

National Public Radio (2021, November). Conversations with veterans.

Dimitropoulos, S. (2021, May). In Shakespeare, veterans find a “tower of strength”. Inverse.

Howes, R. (2019, January/February). Point of View – Theater as therapy: Can Shakespeare heal the trauma of war?. Psychotherapy Networker.

Pennacchia, M. (2019). Theatre strikes back in the digital era: An interview with Stephan Wolfert. Multicultural Shakespeare, 20(1), 37-49.

Ali., A., Wolfert, S. & Homer, B. D. From victimization to empowerment: Using communalized narration to address military sexual trauma. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Women in Psychology, Philadelphia, PA, Mar 8-11, 2018.

McGovern, J. E., Ali, A., Wolfert, S. & Nguyen, J. (2017). Examining process and outcome in the experiences of military veterans in a theatre-based trauma treatment program. Presented in the 2017 Annual Applied Psychology Research Day Conference, New York, NY.