2017 SNTI Presenters
Dan Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP, is a psychologist specializing in Positive Psychology, group psychotherapy, and psychodrama. He is the first licensed psychologist and psychodramatist to graduate from the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program from the University of Pennsylvania and is the creator of Interactive-Behavioral Therapy, the most widely used form of group therapy for people with intellectual disabilities. He is also co-developer of the positive psychology certification program for the Open Center in NYC.
Confessions of a Former Child: A Therapist’s Memoir, won the 2009 Written Arts Award in Creative Nonfiction. He now writes for Psychology Today as an expert on group therapy and authors the daily column, Ask the Therapist, for PsychCentral.com and their Proof Positive blog on practical applications of positive psychology. Honored by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers on the topic of depression, he joined the staff of Answers.com as their depression expert and writes for their well-being blog, Healthways. He is the creator of Interactive-Behavioral Therapy, the most widely used form of group therapy for people with intellectual and psychiatric disabilities. His new book: American Snake Pit, a memoir about his involvement in deinstitutionalizing the residents of Willowbrook, will be published by Stillhouse Press in March, 2018.
Berkshire Hills Music Academy Troupe
Troupe Members: Tori Ackley, John Libera, Justin Scott, Marco DiSantis, Etienne Perley, Sasha Harvey, Tim Connor, Franklin Nichols
The Performance Troupe has existed since the Academy opened in 2001, under various names and with a changing roster of band members and staff. At first the venture seemed risky - would there be sufficient interest in the community to hear these performers? The answer was yes, with their talent and enthusiasm quickly generating good reviews and attracting invitations. In 2003, the ensemble was formalized as a training program with a curriculum giving the performers professional experience. Its dual purpose is to provide opportunities to BHMA students who are seasoned musicians, and to promote the school through these musical ambassadors.
Over the past ten years, the Troupe has performed extensively, from Montreal to Washington D.C., appearing throughout the New England and Mid-Atlantic States at conferences, schools, colleges, nursing homes, senior centers, businesses and parties. Going beyond entertainment, a concert by the Troupe breaks down barriers and stereotypes as it testifies to the unique gifts of young adults with special needs. To their school assemblies and college classes promoting disability awareness, the Troupe members have added speaking about their lives to give depth and even more power to their presentations.