Who We Are:

Post Traumatic Stress Theater is a collaboration between community leaders and groups, in an effort to stem the growth of this condition among our veterans, their friends, and their families.

It is our goal to provide veterans’ facilities and clinics with a new method to help clients examine their uncontrollable feelings of stress resulting from war-related stress.

Our Mission is to provide veterans, their families, and others who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress with a therapeutic environment for gaining an understanding to this condition. We do this via a stage play called ’Scars”, written by Father Richard Berg, that will be part of a downloadable package of information, including stage directions, character descriptions, and informational material about PTS and its history.

Our Founders:

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Author of Scars, the book: Richard Berg, CSC

a Portland native and alumnus of the University of Portland (Columbia Prep 1954, Ph.D. 1969 in psychology), has served in many academic roles at the University, including dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. His pastoral interests led him to accept appointment as pastor of the parish of St. Vincent de Paul (also known as the "downtown chapel"), an extraordinary Catholic ministry in the heart of Portland's skid road.  His work there brought many UP students into service roles with needy populations in the area.  His leadership also brought into existence the MacDonald Center, a residence supported with private and public funding serving both urban and academic communities through neighborhood outreach, volunteer and education programs, and assisted living for frail poor of all ages.  Until recently he served as executive director of the Macdonald Center. Presently he serves in a pastoral role at Mary's Woods, a retirement center founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names. Fr. Berg resides at the Holy Cross Court.

Richard Berg was born in Portland, Oregon.  He completed undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame and theological studies at the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, where he was ordained a Holy Cross priest in 1963.

A predoctoral research fellow with the National Institutes of Mental Health, he completed the Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at the University of Portland in 1969 and continued with two years of postdoctoral research for the National Science Foundation at Purdue University. His scientific publications include research articles in refereed psychological journals and the presentation of his research on electric stimulation of the brain to the national meeting of the American Psychological Association. Following postdoctoral studies, he taught psychology for three years at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas and directed a community-based care program.

He was appointed religious superior for the Holy Cross Community in Oregon in 1974, continued teaching psychology, and in 1978 was appointed dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Portland. He served as academic dean for 13 years until 1991.

His book, Depression and the Integrated Life (Alba House, New York), coauthored with Christine McCartney, was published in 1981and later translated for an Italian edition, La Depressione (Cittadella Editrice, Assisi, 1985).

In 1989, while continuing as academic dean, he was also asked to serve as pastor of the inner city parish, St. Andre Bessette Downtown Chapel.  It was during his tenure at the Downtown Chapel that he began his ministry of urban outreach to the poor and mentally ill in Old Town.  Richard Berg was convinced that social isolation in the downtown community is a cause of great suffering in the lives of many individuals.  He began by sending teams of students from the University of Portland and Notre Dame with parishioners from the Downtown Chapel to visit and work with people who are homeless and those living in Portland’s lowest-income hotels. This effort became the Maybelle Center’s visiting program to address isolation caused by mental illness, physical disability or addiction.

As the Maybelle Center (formerly Macdonald Center) visiting program grew, it became clear that more care was needed for the frail poor in the urban community. In response to the need, Father Berg and his team built an assisted living facility in the neighborhood for those not able to care for themselves independently. Ground was broken for the new building in October of 1998 and the Maybelle Clark Maybelle Center and Residence opened its doors on August 26th, 1999. This award-winning facility is believed to be the first Medicaid-only assisted living facility for the frail poor in the country.

Today, Richard Berg serves as chaplain at Mary’s Woods, a large retirement community located south of Portland at Marylhurst.

His recent publications include: Fragments of Hope (Corby Books, 2011), SCARS, the Effects of PTSD on Family, Work and Relationships (Corby Books, 2013), Putting Down Roots, Advent 2011 (Twenty Third Publications), and Turning Stones into Gems, Lent 2012 (Twenty Third Publications), and Mercy Remembered coauthored with Greg Hadley (2015).

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Elliot Maxwell, MA, Drama Therapist

Elliot Maxwell received the MA in Drama Therapy from Concordia University in Montreal in 2018. Elliot has found acting and creating theatre deeply healing, and this has inspired his strong belief in drama therapy. Elliot helps families and individuals with PTSD move towards post-traumatic growth (PTG) to reach deeper levels of self-love and resiliency.

Elliot is also a filmmaker currently creating a collection of short therapeutic films intended to encourage resilient conversations on surviving sexual abuse. Additionally, he is creating a non-profit arts organization that fosters community and produces artists’ works that allow both artist and audience to flourish and speak the artist's truth. He hopes to help reframe the creating and witnessing of art to allow deeper self-love, flourishing and authentic relations.

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Ben Cobb, MA, Mental Health Therapist, Cedar Hills Military Program

Ben Cobb is a licensed professional counselor(LPC) working with active and retired military service members who suffer from chemical dependency issues, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues. He has worked in the field of mental health and substance abuse treatment since 1998. He earned his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Oregon and M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Lewis and Clark College.

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Producer: John Beaulieu

Mr. Beaulieu’s business career has spanned over 56 years, including chairmanship of two NASDAQ-listed companies. Mr Beaulieu possesses a wealth of knowledge from the capital markets arena, finding, financing, and assisting in the growth of more than 75 emerging growth technology-based companies since 1986. Mr. Beaulieu co-founded Cascade Pacific Management, LLP, a venture capital fund in Portland, OR, in 1990. Mr. Beaulieu’s business career included being President of Steelcraft Corporation and holding other general management positions at American Standard & Evans Products. Earlier executive employment was at Proctor & Gamble, Ford Motor Co., and Arthur Young & Co.

Richard Berg and John Beaulieu have maintained a life-long friendship, having first met when they were classmates at Columbia Prep in Portland Oregon in the mid 1950s..

John Beaulieu recruited Roccie Hill, former Vice President of the Palm Springs Writers Guild, when he was working with the group in the Southern California desert. He knew that her screen and stage writing skills, matched to the other skills of the team, would result in an electrifying theater piece that would be of great help to our returning veterans and their families.

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Author of theatrical adaptation, Scars: Roccie Hill

Roccie Hill is an American author (Three Minutes on Love, Private Sojourner, and Window of Exposure). She received her Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA in Philosophy. Roccie taught English and Creative Writing at the American College (now University) in Paris. Also a professionally exhibited photographer, Hill is the single mother of one daughter, a pilot and Major in the US Air Force. Hill is an Ambassador for the AcademyWomen organization, and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the International Society of Family History Writers Editors.

Please help!

Your donation to Post Traumatic Stress Theater supports the creative dramatic program designed to soften the scars of this disease from the daily lives of its sufferers and their families.  Post Traumatic Stress Theater is a project of the University of Portland.  Donations to our work is tax deductible. Your contributions are greatly appreciated!  Checks should be made out to "University of Portland (PTS Theater Program)" and may be sent to: 

PTS Theater Program
 Attn: Richard Berg, CSC
 University of Portland
 5000 N Willamette Blvd
 Portland OR 9720

Contact Us

Ph: 503-943-4678 (Richard Berg, CSC)
Email: info@ptsdtheater.org

PTS Theater is a Portland-based 501(c)(3) organization providing a unique opportunity to help our returning warriors find relief through creative dramatics.