Contact! Unload: Military Veterans, Trauma, and Research-Based Theatre

George Belliveau and Graham W. Lea with Marv Westwood

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Contact! Unload: Military Veterans, Trauma, and Research-Based Theatre explores an arts-based therapeutic approach to mental health care, bringing to light the journeys of contemporary military veterans as they adjust to civilian life post-deployment.

The book is a call to action to address the transition many soldiers face when returning to civilian life. It presents an arts-based therapeutic approach to dealing with trauma, exploring the development, performance, and reception of Contact! Unload, a play based on the lives of military veterans overcoming stress injuries encountered during military service. The book, which includes the full script of the play, offers academic, artistic, personal, and theoretical perspectives from people directly involved in the performances as well as those who witnessed the work. The play and book serve as a model for using arts-based approaches to mental health care, and as a powerful look into the experiences of military veterans.

George Belliveau is the head of the Department of Language and Literacy Education and a professor of drama/theatre education at UBC.

Graham W. Lea is an assistant professor of theatre education at the University of Manitoba. Lea is from PEI and continues to maintain a summer residence in Victoria-by-the-Sea.

Marv Westwood is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Counselling Psychology at UBC. He is recognized internationally for the development of the Veteran’s Transition Program.

Contributors include: Michael Balfour, Elizabeth Banister, Marla Buchanan, Christopher Cook, Susan Cox, Britney Dennison, Heather Duff, Foster Eastman, Lynn Fels, Timothy Garthside, Alistair G. Gordon, Anna Keefe, Carson A. Kivari, Tim Laidler, Carl Leggo, Phillip Lopresti, Chuck MacKinnon, Candace Marshall, Blair McLean, Jennica Nichols, John S. Ogrodniczuk, Marion Porath, Janice Valdez, Marv Westwood.