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Showing posts from April, 2016

Developing Emotional Intelligence Through Applied Improvisation: An Essential Mind and Skill Set For Social Workers and Human Service Providers

This course is approved for Continuing Education for social workers by the New York State Dept. of Education for social workers provider #0270. It is offered to social workers, psychotherapists, as well as providers, trainers and educators in the field of health care as a full-day intensive that offers 6 hours of Continuing Education. 
     Health care professionals in the medical and mental health fields are often at the intersection of a workplace that is rapidly changing in some areas while actively resisting change in other areas, heightening the stress in these demanding, high-stakes jobs. This training is designed to address these tensions and their impact on professional practice by exploring ways to manage them through development of Emotional Intelligence (EI). The mind and skill set associated with EI has immediate impact in the daily performance of health care professionals and scientific evidence to validate it. Having worked in the fields of mental health and health care …

WHY STORIES MATTER in business and in life

Storytelling is the new big thing in business, according to the big thinkers at organizations like Harvard Business Reviewand Forbes magazine"Robert McKee, the world's best-known screenwriting lecturer, argues that executives can engage people in a much deeper--and ultimately more convincing--way if they toss out their PowerPoint slides and memos and learn to tell good stories," writes Bronwyn Fryer in HBR. "As human beings, we make sense
of our experiences through stories. But becoming a good storyteller is hard. It requires imagination and an understanding of what makes a story worth telling."
 What is true in business is true in every area of life. Therapists listen to stories, work to help their clients make meaning out of experience and frame struggle as a pathway to owning and recognizing our own strength. Another Harvard Business Review article, "Storytelling that Moves People" shares the insight that "Stories fulfill a profound human nee…

THE IMPROVISER'S TOOL KIT: Skills For Thinking and Acting Under Pressure workshop handout

The ability to think and act under pressure is "emotional agility," which is the psychological and emotional capacity to navigate uncertain and unfamiliar situations without being derailed by the stress response.  The skills learned through improvisation games and experiences replace the natural self-protective defenses of over-thinking, emotional over-reactions, desire to control events and need for certainty. 
Emotional agility is defined by Mind-Fitness Training Instituteas the "cognitive and psychological adaptability, or the ability to think rapidly and creatively under stress, anticipate or quickly adapt to uncertain or changing situations and improvise when faced with obstacles." It is difficult to impossible to think on our feet when the stress response is flooding us with cortisol and adrenaline, and it takes nothing more than a perceived sense of threat for the stress response to shut down our prefrontal cortex which is responsible for reasoned judgm…

Its The Human Connection In Improvisation That Cultivates Emotional Intelligence

Improvisational acting is one of the most immediate pathways to becoming aware of, and gaining mastery over emotions, and emotions are the soul of human connection. Now some new findings about the reach and impact of working with emotions in this way have recently come out of a program run by actor Tim Robbins in the California prison system. For the past six years, Robbins has worked with inmates using a method called commedia dell'arte, which involves putting on a costume and mask - or painting one's face - to depict a specific emotional state, and then improvising with other actors expressing that feeling dramatically.  "We demand the truth from them by asking them to play a character to express extreme emotion, we encourage them to use their imagination," says Robbins. "They are playingso they can express the incredible rage they feel through these characters and they can express the intense sorrow and true fear they have, and the joy that's still there…