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Showing posts from January, 2014

Is Ambivalence A Strength or A Problem To Solve? Yes.

One of my favorite Seinfeld episodes - The Nose Job - has Jerry involved with a stunning woman he is attracted to and dislikes with equal intensity. She's ignorant, bigoted, physically perfect, and sexually electric. There are some things about dating this woman that are truly spectacular for Jerry, so the conflict doesn't quite rise to the high stakes of Shakespeare's Hamlet - whose tortured paralysis of analysis was about whether or not to commit murder. It doesn't even rise to the level of head vs heart. It's chemistry vs character. Episodes of self-loathing vs fantasies fulfilled. In the end, it is her terrible acting that tips the balance of awfulness just enough for him to break it off. At least he has some standards
     Stay put or make a move. Desire or integrity. Familiarity or adventure. Deep emotional ties or freedom from commitment. The inner tensions between opposite but equal "wants" is part of most important decisions, and a sadly under-…

Improvisation Games & Exercises For Developing Emotional Intelligence

Since September Lifestage has been offering a monthly training workshop exploring the use of improvisation to develop Emotional Intelligence. These workshops have been geared toward the work done by clinicians, educators and trainers who guide the process of personal change or professional development, but as it turns out we have enjoyed some interesting diversity among the participants -  managers, business owners with both employees and customers, community activists, and performers. 
    Below is a collection of the exercises we have used in the workshops, accompanied by some studies that supports their use. 


Why Improvisation?
Improvisation is a powerful way to become aware of mental habits and patterns. Reflecting on our inner experiences after engaging in an improvisation exercise provides an opportunity to decide whether our mental habits are effective and useful or self-limiting and obsolete. The tensions of the creative process and this kind of interpersonal interaction are a fa…