Margot Escott, LCSW will present the keynote address for the Florida Council of International Association of Insurance Professionals September 15 on “Improve with Improv”. The mission of the council is to provide education, increase leadership and networking opportunities, and improve internal communication.
Escott will teach the basic philosophies of improv that help people become better listeners, thinkers, communicators, team members and leaders. Improv has nothing to do with having to be funny or turning people into comedians. Improv is about learning to accept the present moment and improve listening, communication and effectively interacting with others.
Escott teaches improv theatre at the Naples Players an has a private psychotherapy practice in Naples for over 30 years.
July 23, 2018
Margot Escott, LCSW Presents
Prevention of Medical Errors CEU
Gulfcoast Mental Health Counselors
at Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd. South
Fort Meyers, FL 33936
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.*
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.”
How 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