American Snake Pit:Hope, Grit, and
Resilience in the Wake of Willowbrook
Nonfiction | Memoir
May 1, 2018
Dan Tomasulo is the author of two previous titles, most recently Confessions of a Former Child: A Therapist’s Memoir (Graywolf Press, 2008), winner of the 2009 Rebecca's Reads Written Arts Award in Creative Nonfiction. He co-authored Healing Trauma: The Power of Group Treatment for People with Intellectual Disabilities (2005), the American Psychological Association’s first book on psychotherapy for people with intellectual disabilities, and is also the author of Action Methods In Group Psychotherapy: Practical Aspects (Taylor & Francis, 1998). His second memoir, American Snake Pit, was selected as a finalist for The Southampton Review's 2016 Frank McCourt Memoir Prize and the screenplay has received over 20 awards at international film festivals since June 2017.
In addition to his writing, Tomasulo is the creator of Interactive-Behavioral Therapy, a widely used form of group therapy for people with intellectual and psychiatric disabilities. An expert on group therapy, he writes for Psychology Today's "The Healing Crowd." He also authors the daily column, "Ask the Therapist" for PsychCentral.com, as well as their "Proof Positive" blog on practical applications of positive psychology.
He is a celebrated international speaker on topics including resilience, the science of hope, mental health, intellectual disabilities, positive psychology, positive education, and positive psychotherapy. He serves as part of the core faculty for the Spirituality Mind Body Institute (SMBI) at Columbia University's Teachers College and holds a PhD in Psychology, an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School, and was the first licensed psychologist and psycho-dramatist to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania's Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program, where he currently serves as an assistant instructor for Martin Seligman, founder of positive psychology. He is a developer of the Dare to be Happy experiential workshops for Kripalu, and recently became Director of the New York City Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center. He has been honored by the health and wellness platform, Sharecare, as one of the top ten online influencers on the topic of depression and won the 2010 and 2012 International RETHINK Theater Playwriting Competitions, which premiered in Auckland, New Zealand on World Mental Health Day.