Molloy Speech-language Pathology Student Guides Recovery Through Theater

Exploring Psychological Recovery Through Performance

May 31, 2018 - LI Herald

By Alyssa Seidman

As the curtain came to a close on her time as a master's candidate at Molloy University, Kerryann Scirocco, a Speech-language Pathology graduate student from Oceanside, was determined to redefine the term "research study" by exploring psychological recovery through performance.
"This interdisciplinary study has allowed me to collaborate with professionals across two clinical disciplines, and experience the effects of drama therapy on individuals diagnosed with aphasia," Scirocco says.

Aphasia, a neurological communication disorder, is characterized by partial loss of the ability to produce language, often due to a stroke.

Her research was focused on bringing awareness and recovery to individuals with aphasia, according to Dr. Hia Datta, of the Department of Speech Language Pathology. Datta connected the graduate student with Dr. Laura Wood in Molloy's Department of Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Wood specializes in combining counseling and drama therapy in "therapeutic theater" to help patients in recovery.

"Myself and my colleague Dave Mowers, who's also a drama therapist, created the co-active therapeutic theater model, which provides steps for creating theater that works with populations to create change," Wood explains.

The model was initially envisioned to assist clients with eating disorders, Wood says, but Datta believed it would provide an effective means to fund Scirocco's study. "Not only would this be innovative for the patients we're working with, but it would also be a vehicle for awareness," Datta says.

*Photo by Sue Grieco

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