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Good Games Are Great For Growth: Why Improv Is Therapeutic

In his article "The Tao Of Improv" psychotherapist Robert Taibbi describes his introduction to improvisation at a particularly challenging period in his life."I had just finished emotionally marching through a some significant losses – the death of my father, then my first wife – the hospitalization of my daughter," he writes. "I was also bored with my job – lots of long-winded, stagnant community meetings, worries about the morale among my 40+ staff, sweating the quarterly budget review, and having little time for clinical work. I felt dazed, dull. Then one day I stumbled on a sign posted in a store window. A woman was offering improv classes, and to my own surprise, I called, and then actually showed up. The class was a good mix of men, women and backgrounds – a computer guy, an aikido instructor, a research biologist, a salesman, a musician, a poli-sci student – folks very different from my usual world." 
This very accurately describes what is distincti…

Workshop Handout - Strengthen Resilience Through Improvisation

"Words can introduce you to an idea,  but we think it takes an experience to transform you."  Alan Alda, If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look On My Face

"We define resilience as 'the capacity to be resourceful and creative, to make choices, and to take effective action, no matter what is going on.'" Presence and Resilience

Resilient people share 3 common traits, according to research discussed in Harvard Business Review: 1) acceptance of reality; 2) deep belief that life is meaningful; 3) an uncanny ability to improvise. Training in improvisation is an engaging, imaginative way to power up all three of these traits. For therapists, educators and other professionals working with human development, the games and exercises that cultivate the skills for improvisation are remarkably effective tools. The "yes...and" principle at the heart of improvisation is built on acceptance of the reality created by others players or the director or group leader.…

Storytelling and Improvisation Intensive: The Creative Process of Attitude Change

Stories are what we make out of our experiences, and improvisation is the experience we make. Attitudes - defined by the American Psychological Association as "the cognitive and emotional tendencies to perceive the world in a certain way" and powerful determinants of the choices we feel are available to us and are an expression of the story we tell about ourselves and the way we view the world. Because behavior is so closely linked to attitudes, focusing on attitude change is much more likely to lead to successful behavior change. Attitudes change through experiences that can give rise to a new narrative about who we are, what we freely choose and our potential for transformation. The Will and The Skill Both attitudes and behavior are more likely to change when we have the will to navigate through the discomfort of going against ingrained mental and emotional patterns, and the skills we need to think and act in new ways. These games and exercises are important for working with…

IMPROV RULES: Social-Emotional Development From The Classroom To The Consulting Room Using AI

"I think improv helps people become better humans. It makes people listen better. Improv rules are life rules. And so, if a lot more people are taking improv, a lot more people are being thoughtful in their daily life about how they interact with each other....We could say that saying 'yes' is the foundational thing, but really its listening and hearing what the other person is saying. Then building off of that rather than waiting for someone to stop talking so you can say your thing. That's the hardest thing to learn as an improviser-its to listen. And I think that's one of the hardest things to do as a person." 
Learning To Listen, With The Help of Improv, on Atlantic.com
Improvisation can be a seemingly magical experience from the perspective of both improviser and observer. People with little or no actual knowledge about one another, in an empty space, create a world, a relationship, a story with neither script nor director nor defined outcome. It can appea…