Developmental Transformations (DvT) was gradually developed in the USA from 1974-1992 by David Read Johnson and his colleagues Susan Sandel, Robert James Miller, Alice Forrester, Cecilia Dintino, and Greta Schnee.
In 1992, the practice was named and consolidated, and the Institute for Developmental Transformations was formed. Kate Hurd, Warren McCommons, Fred Landers, Nisha Sajnani, Ann Smith, Navah Steiner and Renee Pitre in particular, have further developed the practice. Many others worldwide are continuing to explore the possibilities of DvT.
DvT theory is based on the assumption that Being is inherently unstable. Sources of instability include the perception of Difference in the world, which gives rise to Desire, whose aim is to eliminate difference and this leads to suffering. The main areas that people experience instability include the Body, Others, and Change, and DvT targets these areas of experience by attending to embodiment, encounter, and transformation.
DvT privileges improvisational and embodied interaction over exploration or role repertoire or story, and training focuses on one’s abilities to use themselves and their capacity to communicate in subtle ways, through their own bodily movement, speech, sounds, gaze, and personality. This requires a number of years of intensive practice and supervision, as well as experience as a client in DvT.
In the context of psychotherapy and drama therapy, DvT has been especially effective with seriously disturbed populations such as patients with schizophrenia, dementia, and medical illnesses; and with traumatized children and adults.