Linda Ciotola, M.Ed., TEP ~ My Story and Mission
Even as a child, I was on a mission, driven to discover the fullness of well-being. I danced, acted in theatre, played the piano, read, wrote poetry and as I grew discovered that it was - no, it is - the creative process that holds the power to heal. At the same time, I knew that the body is the battleground, holding the pain of unresolved life stories. This led me to the field of health and fitness - becoming a certified group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and health coach, with a concentration in nutrition and eating disorders.
Then, when I experienced my first psychodrama workshop, I exclaimed, "Psychodrama! Where have you been all my life?!" It was that day that I signed up for training to become a certified psychodramatist. Immersed in this field, I became a board certified trainer-educator-practitioner of psychodrama, sociometry and group psychotherapy as well as a trainer in a specialized psychodramatic trauma treatment method: The Therapeutic Spiral Model. Being faithful to the bodymindheartspirit connection, I earned certification as a yoga instructor and Master Reiki Teacher. In collaboration with professionals from a variety of fields, I have interwoven these modalities to create a unique and wholistic strategy of healing.
As a recipient of the Zerka Moreno Award focused on increasing utilization and awareness of psychodrama, my efforts are now to inspire and mentor others. I am passing on what I have learned through written articles, co-authorship of a book, presentations at workshops and conferences, and I am now currently co-developing an ACTS innovative online educational series to introduce action methods. I am deeply devoted to the words of JL Moreno, the founder of psychodrama, who once said, "No truly therapeutic endeavor can have as its mission anything less than the healing of all humankind."
Ciotola, M.Ed., CHES (ret.),TEP
Psychodramatist, Workshop Facilitator,
& Certified Health Education Specialist
Ciotola is a Certified TEP: trainer-educator-practitioner of
psychodrama, group psychotherapy, and sociometry, and a Certified
Health Education Specialist with 40 years experience
group facilitation, and lifestyle counseling. She is an American Council
on Exercise Gold Certified Personal Trainer and ACE
Certified Fitness Instructor
Specialty Recognitions in Nutrition and additional certifications
in Yoga, indoor cycling, and Zumba.
Linda is an ACE Gold Certified Health Coach, as well
as a Certified Post-Rehab Fitness Specialist, and IDEA Master
Trainer. Linda is a Certified Usui Reiki Master Teacher and Certified Lightarian Reiki Master Practitioner. Her areas of expertise include nutrition,
exercise, stress management,
trauma, eating disorders, women’s health, body image, and
mindbody wellness. Linda is an ACE Certified MINDBODY Specialist.
She has designed and taught health and fitness classes at the
college level, facilitated eating disorders support groups, and worked
hospital, and community settings as well as private practice.
She has presented widely at regional, national and international conferences.
Linda is a master
member of I.D.E.A.,
(The Association of Fitness Professionals), International
Association of Eating
Disorder Professionals, The American Counseling Association,
The National Eating Disorders
Association, The American Society of Group Psychotherapy and
of Body Psychotherapists. She is a certified trainer-educator-practitioner
of group psychotherapy, sociometry, and psychodrama and is an
accredited Certified Trainer in the Therapeutic
Spiral Model ™ of psychodrama used specifically for working
with trauma survivors, and is Co-Leader and Developer of
the Therapeutic Spiral Bodyworkshop specifically designed
for healing body-based
and she is the founder of the Eating Disorders Resource Network.
The Who’s Who of American Women, and the Who’s Who
Registry of Business Leaders have honored Linda’s professional
work and contributions to her field. IDEA acknowledged her as
a Master Trainer,
level of recognition in the personal training profession.
is a “CHES”?
A CHES is a Certified Health Education Specialist,
having passed requirements established by the National Commission
Health Education Credentialing, The American Association for Health Education,
and The Society
for Public Health Education. A CHES has demonstrated
competencies in the designated Seven Areas of Responsibility:
1) Assess individual and community needs
for health education
2) Plan health education strategies, interventions,
3) Implement health education strategies,
interventions, and programs
4) Conduct evaluation and research related
to health education
5) Administer health education strategies,
interventions, and programs
6) Serve as a health education resource person;
7) Communicate and advocate for health and
On-going continuing education is required to maintain CHES certification. Linda
Ciotola has been a CHES since 1992.
What is a Body Psychotherapist?
A body psychotherapist sees a person as an essential
embodiment of mental, emotional, social, and spiritual life. Goals
of body psychotherapy include conscious integration
of alienated aspects of the
Body psychotherapists work with psychiatric clients; traumatized
clients; clients with addictions and/or eating
disorders; clients with psycho-somatic symptoms; clients wishing
to enhance life skills, relationships,
communication skills, or psychosomatic functioning. The
goal is to help clients work toward a greater sense
of self-regulation and self-determination.
An atmosphere of safety, mindfulness, mindbodyspirit interactions,
attention to in-the-moment experiencing, and respectful
pacing are fundamental to this work.
What is a T.E.P.?
A TEP is a certified trainer-educator-practioner
of psychodrama, group psychotherapy, and sociometry who has passed
rigorous requirements established by the American Board of Examiners
in Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy including a
Master’s Degree in a human relations field, plus several hundred
hours of training and supervision in psychodrama, and has passed
a comprehensive written examination as well as an on-site exam in
Linda is the 2008 recipient of the prestigious Zerka Moreno Award,
given for outstanding contributions in the field of Psychodrama, Sociometry,
and Group Psychotherapy by the ASGPP.
Linda is a Fellow of the ASGPP and the recipient of the Zerka Moreno Award for outstanding endeavor in the field of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama.
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