TIPS ON RECOVERING FROM TRAUMA

Although it has been 2 months since Hurricane Irma devastated Collier County, many people are still feeling the effects of this traumatic event. Today I was with some friends who continue to suffer daily due to Irma. Some are homeless for an indefinite amount of time, some are seeking welfare and Food Stamps (something they never thought would happen in their lives), and spending their days on the phone with government agencies, insurance companies, etc. A traumatic event is a life-threatening occurrence and post-trauma stress is a normal response to an abnormal event, such as Irma. Living through a trauma affects the body, mind, and spirit.

PARKINSON’S & ME

In 1997 my father, Ivan Escott, Jr. was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It was a lucky coincidence that this was the year that the Parkinson Association of South Florida (PASFI) was founded. I had the opportunity to speak at a meeting with the founding members of PASFI before they were incorporated so knew about their mission. A few weeks after that, my dad received his PD diagnosis. How fortunate we were to know there was a place where he could be involved, receive education and support.

Play Isn’t Just for Kids-Improv for people with Parkinson’s Disease

You don’t have to want to be a performer on stage to learn improv games! We can play them just for the fun of it. There is growing research on the therapeutic benefits of Improvisational Theatre Games for people with PD. The Neurology Department of Northwestern University has partnered with Second City since 2015 researching the benefits of teaching improv to people with PD and their caregivers. Their research showed that improvisational theatre games help to cultivate focus, improve communication, and promote well- being.

SOCIAL WORK & IMPROV COMEDY

As an MSW and an improviser, I am proud of the relationship between my two vocations and the women who pioneered social work and improv comedy, the “Mother of Social Work” and the “Mother of Improv”. How their lives intersected is inspirational to me.

Improv for Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are one of the top reported psychiatric disorders in the US today. Most of the clients seeking help in my practice are coming due to anxiety issues. There are many types of anxiety disorders, from nervousness to full blown panic attacks.

According to professional literature, psychotherapy that emphasizes working with, rather than against, the experience of anxiety – for instance, CBT, ACT, and various forms of exposure therapy – has proven very effective.*

Why I Love Improv

George Carlin, when asked, “How old are you?” “I’m four and a half! You’re never thirty-six and a half. You’re four and a half, going on five! That’s the key.”

I love Improvisational Comedy because it connects me to the playful, spontaneous child that’s still a part of me, and all of us! Find a friend and create a story together today. Or have a deep conversation with your dog. Better yet, call someone and tell them, “I love you.”

Improv Improves Toastmasters Skills

Improv-Photo-for-FacebookHow does the popular art form of Improvisational Comedy help members of Toastmasters? Let me count the ways.

Improv Comedy Classes and Performance Groups have been mushrooming internationally over the past decade. Inspired by the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway” and comedians such as Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Steven Colbert who all studied Improv, there are hundreds of classes and thousands of Improv Players today. These fun and skill building techniques are being taught in schools, universities, health care, mental health (insert Article Below Improv anxiety) and now Toastmasters are learning to have fun and gain greater expertise with Improv Comedy. *see below what is Improv

What’s in your Toolbox?

Tools

Recovery from addictions and maintaining sobriety isn’t an easy process, but the 12-step programs offer practical Tools for Recovery to help us get sober and stay sober. These tools work!

There are four tools we will look at today, in the acronym, HALT, Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired. These four tools help the newcomer as well as the “old timers”.

Living in Day-Tight Compartments

rock_odatA piece of advice often heard in 12-step programs is to learn to live “one day at a time.” Striving to live one day at a time has been said millions of times in Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step rooms for over 75 years. Practicing this suggestion can be difficult, especially for people who want to stop drinking. But this principle is essential in recovering from alcoholism and addiction.

Moment of Clarity

sky-214844_640Alcoholism* is often described as a three-fold disease – mental, physical, and spiritual. The mental aspect of the disease of alcoholism is characterized by denial and delusion thoughts. Family members and friends are often amazed that, despite severe consequences such as arrests, divorces and physical deterioration, the alcoholic continues to drink. The defense mechanisms of denial and delusional thinking are so powerful that the active alcoholic cannot comprehend the reality of their situation.