As an LCSW who has been practicing in Naples for 35 years, I know that mental health is being impacted by COVID-19 and that affects our physical bodies as well.
My greatest concern for people who are experiencing fear is that they trigger the “Stress Response” or Fight or Flight Syndrome, stress hormones are released and these “stress hormones” cause several changes in the body, including an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. While we need to stay socially distant to protect ourselves and others, we shouldn’t socially isolate ourselves with our fear and concerns.
Fortunately, technology makes it possible for health care professionals to see their patients online. Physicians have been using Telehealth for the past 40 years and Tele-therapy since the 1990s. To ensure client safety, the CMS has lifted any HIPPA restrictions on this type of treatment and are recommending it as a safe way to continue counseling sessions or see new patients. You don’t need to be computer savvy to use Tele-therapy, and it allows us to see our patients and them see us. Telephone therapy is also available to people who aren’t computer friendly.
Meet Mary Guzzy, professor of Humanities and Theatre at SUNY Corning Community College I Corning, New York. I had the pleasure of hearing Mary present at Dr. Daniel Weiner’s 4th Annual Conference for Growth Conference this past October, Rehearsals for Growth.
Mary has been a student of Rehearsals for Growth for several years and is finding a way to use improvisational therapy in her work. Mary’s presentation was on her visit to the Greek Island of Samos where refugees from the conflicts in the Middle East have been relocated.
Finding Support & Information While the diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) may be frightening, it is important to remember support and interventions are available right here in Naples, Florida both for those diagnosed with this disease and those family members who now find themselves in the role of Care Partner. Many people are familiar with Parkinson’s disease, which affects one million Americans, with 60,000 new diagnoses each year. But there are several other neurodegenerative disorders that have Parkinson’s like symptoms called A-typical Parkinson’s or Parkinsonism that are important to be aware of.
(Guest Post) Moving to an assisted-living campus does not have to feel like walking into a foreign land. Change is not always easy. At no other time in life is this as blazingly true as in our senior years when we have to make a decision about where to live. Mobility issues, financial struggles, and living too far away from loved ones can compound to the point where it is no longer safe for us to stay in our own home. When this happens, you have a choice: go into assisted living feeling like it means defeat or have a positive attitude and make the most of your situation.
Here are a few things you can do to make your new community feel like home.
Improvisational Theatre Games for people with Parkinson’s Disease and their care partners is not just fun but therapeutic.
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a movement disorder that affects up to 1 million people in the US and doctors diagnose 60,000 new cases each year. Improvisational Theater Games, based on the work of Viola Spolin, are being used clinically all over the world. Improv classes are being offered for stress management, Autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and other neuromuscular diseases.
Gulfshore Life Magazine Melanie Pefinis February 2019 (Pages 63-64)
The Naples Players put on a great show, as we theatergoers know. But maybe not all of us know that the 65-year-old institution seeks to educate our community as well as entertain it. There are the KidzAct youth program, internship opportunities, diverse creative workshop offerings for adults–and inclusive classes for people with additional needs, including improv for individuals with autism and those with social anxiety.
Margot Escott was familiar with the mission, so when she approached the players about bringing her own improv classes to the company, she knew the techniques she used with Parkinson’s patients would fit right in.
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.
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.
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.
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.