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  • Writer's pictureAtara Vogelstein, LCAT & Founder @TherapyWalks

Tomorrow may be The 4th of July, but All Are Not Free

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Using Role Profiles to Comprehend Experience During Periods of Societal Unrest,

Specifically in Times of Coronavirus Pandemic and Racial Justice Protests

A worksheet for clients and clinicians (best used in session with therapist support)

By Atara Vogelstein, Drama Therapist & Licensed Creative Arts Therapist

The following role profiles may describe aspects of an experience you are having throughout recent events. You may be familiar or unfamiliar with one or more of these roles; behavioral, emotional, or bodily (somatic) experiences. These descriptions are one clinician’s expression of each role in a given moment, and are not exhaustive nor limited to these words. Please add to or make changes to each role as needed to expand or more closely identify with any one of these frameworks. Some of the language may bring up challenging emotions, sensations, or memories invoking trauma, depression, anxiety, or grief. This worksheet is recommended for use in sessions with the guidance and support of a culturally-competent therapist.


The Depressed One

I am the depressed one. I am sad, and angry, and irritable. I feel everything, and I feel nothing. I want nothing, nothing to do with anyone, anything. I don’t recognize myself. I cry and I’m numb. I feast and I starve. The day eats me in bed, then night. Nothing I do changes anything. The world has flipped upside down and left me underneath. On my worst days, my body above ground is my tomb. How did I get here? I don’t care.

Somatic | Emotional *highlight or circle any or all that apply

heavy, tired, lethargic, overwhelmed, anxious, numb, sad, depleted

Changes or additions:

The Anxious One

I am the anxious one. My breath races in my throat and catches in my chest. My mind does not stop running. I worry about everyone and everything. Nothing is certain. I fidget and I shake, I can’t sit still, I can’t be still. Nothing I do makes it stop. Sleep is my dream and my enemy. The pressure won’t go away. Nothing I do is enough. There’s always more, more to do, more to worry about, more to think about. I race myself to defeat.

Somatic | Emotional *highlight or circle any or all that apply

tense, tight, restless, sleepless, exhausted, wired, stressed

Changes or additions:

The Defeated One

I am the defeated one. I am fighting battles already fought. I try so hard. I work so hard. Nothing changes. I keep asking what’s the point. Why even try. It’s worthless. I question my worth. The pressure mounts and I am at the bottom. How many times must I climb? I have lost direction, lost meaning, lost connection. The ground sinks further away. I am footless.

Somatic | Emotional *highlight or circle any or all that apply

heavy, tired, exhausted, anxious, numb, sad, achy

Changes or additions:

The Angry One

I am the angry one. I ball my fists in fury, outrage, no one hears me. How long do I shout before I fail? How long do I remain silent? Enough is enough and enough is never enough. I am forgotten. I am overlooked. I am accused. I am beaten. Never right. Always wrong. My face is hot and my chest is tight and my body could bring an earthquake. An earthquake! I am hurting! Why can’t they see that I’m hurting! Must I break?

Somatic | Emotional *highlight or circle any or all that apply

tight, tense, hot, energized, loud, restless, stressed, sad, scared

Changes or additions:

The Oppressed One

I am the oppressed one. Freedom does not come to me. I once thought I was beautiful and joyful and loving. This feels like an impossibility. I am a headless bird trapped in a cage by an ugly and hateful executioner. He keeps me alive to taunt me. I’d say, let me out, or just die, but then who would protect my family? He’d cut off their wings too, though they’re already clipped.

Somatic | Emotional *highlight or circle any or all that apply

anxious, stressed, tense, alert, hyper-vigilant, trapped, sad, angry, scared

Changes or additions:

The Liberated One

I am the liberated one. I was shackled by powerful people, powerful systems, powerful oppressors. They made me believe this destitution, this worthlessness, this helplessness was inside of me. They convinced me that this is how it would always be. I fought and I searched, long and hard, and called on others for support. One by one, I removed each shackle, lifted it, with all my might. I’m not free entirely, but I have shifted this weight, and created possibility.

Somatic | Emotional *highlight or circle any or all that apply

lighter, calmer, clearer, centered, grounded, uplifted, inspired

Changes or additions:

The Hopeful One

I am the hopeful one. I look around and see my present, and face tomorrow. I anticipate the sunrise, the day it brings, and being in it. Darkness may be in my past, present, and future, but I find light. I shine this light, and share it, and give it. Tomorrow will be.

Somatic | Emotional *highlight or circle any or all that apply

Energized, light, upbeat, purposeful

Changes or additions:

Missing Role(s):

Images and associations (continue on new page as needed):


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