The Therapeutic Value of Improv
Nationally psychotherapists and psychologists are recognizing the therapeutic benefits in applying life skills from Improv games to personal challenges. For people experiencing anxiety, depression, or handling any difficult situation in life, Improv Comedy techniques are a fun and healing medium.
Improv is great for tackling these issues because it allows people to be fully in the moment and go with the flow. After all, everyday we use improvisation in our conversations with others – we don’t rely on a script and we don’t try to be funny!
We constantly need to improvise when life throws us curve balls. Improv Therapy helps people learn how to improvise in their own lives, especially in difficult situations and dealing with daily anxieties.
The concept of, “Yes, and…” is the first rule of Improv. The second is there are no “wrong” ways to improvise! Not only will group participants get to learn skills from Improv games, they will also get to participate in a group discussion afterwards that reflects upon what they learned and how they can apply it to their personal real life situations.
Improv Eases Anxiety
Social anxiety disorders affect 40 million Americans* and are the largest mental health problem today’s culture groups. Improvisational comedy techniques are being used for social anxiety as well as for other psychosocial issues such as depression, negative self image disturbances and bullying.
In Improvisational Comedy techniques, the basic principles of “yes and…” (to affirm and add rather than negate) allows clients to reframe perceived failures. The concept that there are “no mistakes” allows individuals to try new behaviors in a safe and accepting environment. In this workshop participants will understand how the combination of Improvisation games, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness Meditation can alleviate symptoms of social anxiety.
*Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million Americans over the age of 18 are affected by anxiety — roughly 18 percent of the nation’s population. Of those 40 million people, almost 7 million of them suffer from GAD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, with 15 million suffering from social anxiety disorder, 14.8 million suffering from major depressive disorder, and 7.7 million affected by post-traumatic stress disorder. (http://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics)
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