Parkinson’s improv therapy tickles Naples’ patients’ funny bone

Parkinson’s improv therapy tickles Naples’ patients’ funny bone
By Harriet Howard Heithaus Naples Daily News – November, 2017

Read about how improvisational theatre can benefit those with Parkinson’s and their care partners.

This improvisational theater class won’t teach pratfalls or stage entrances. But the Parkinson’s disease patients who are learning elements of that art with therapist Margot Escott can count on broad smiles and hearty laughter.

Click here to view a list of current classes

Continue reading “Parkinson’s improv therapy tickles Naples’ patients’ funny bone”

Theater Programs for People with Disabilities

Theater Programs for People with Disabilities
Hello SWFL by Antoniette Meyer
October 9, 2018

The Naples Players provides a wellness program that helps people with disabilities like anxiety, autism, and Parkinson’s. The program teaches people improv skills that can translate into their day to day lives. “One of the beautiful things about improv is this rule of acceptance. We have to accept what our partners give us on stage. We have to be able to work together,” said Naples Players’ Education Director, Craig Price. In the Improv for Anxiety class, they have a rule that there are no mistakes. By creating a safe and welcoming atmosphere, it helps students enjoy the class without the fear of being judged. “Most of us with anxiety have the fear of ‘Did I say the wrong thing?’ ‘Will they accept me?’ ‘Did I do it right?’ There’s a lot of perfectionism with anxiety,” said Margot Escott the Theater Therapy Instructor.

Click to view a list of current classes

Click here to read more and view Hello SWFL’s video.

Learn to ad-lib your way through anxiety

Learn to ad-lib your way through anxiety
Florida Weekly
September 13, 2018

“Improv for Anxiety,” a six-week class in expressive therapy offered by licensed clinical social worker Margot Escott, starts Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Sugden Community Theatre in Naples.

Up to 20 percent of adults in America suffer from anxiety, making it one of the most common psychiatric complaints today. Using improvisational theater techniques to relieve anxiety is a relatively new option to talk therapy. It started several years ago at Second City in Chicago and is now blossoming in theaters around the country. Offered in a fun, supportive environment, this new approach to alleviating social anxiety, phobias and ordinary forms of shyness requires no prior improv or theater experience.

Click to view a list of current classes

Click here to read more at Florida Weekly

Improv Camp helps ADHD, autistic children

Improv Camp helps ADHD, autistic children
by Margot Escott for Naples Daily News
June, 2018

Summertime has many offerings for children’s camps. But the Naples Players Wellness Program offers a unique class for children who are on the autism spectrum (ASD), have ADHD and sensory processing issues.

Craig Price, Naples Players Education Director, is the instructor of the Acting & Improv summer camp and provides a unique experience for these children. The fundamentals of improv comedy help build self-confidence and improve communication skills, challenges for those with autism. Click here to read more in Naples Daily News.

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. Continue reading “TIPS ON RECOVERING FROM TRAUMA”

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. Continue reading “PARKINSON’S & ME”

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. Continue reading “Play Isn’t Just for Kids-Improv for people with Parkinson’s Disease”

SELF-CARE FOR CARE PARTNERS

To paraphrase a question a friend recently asked me “How does one meet their own needs and find balance while caring for a loved one with a chronic illness?”

My own experience with caregiving helps me answer that question. In 1996 my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. This coincided with the birth of the Parkinson’s Association of Southwest Florida. My father and I both volunteered with this great group. By 2000 Dad’s PD had progressed and my husband and I became the full-time care partners. Because I had consulted in skilled nursing facilities in the past, I was determined to keep dad in his own home and if possible, die at home. Although I had worked with care partners in the past, until I became a care partner for my father, I really didn’t understand the challenges they go through. Continue reading “SELF-CARE FOR CARE PARTNERS”

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.