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.
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”
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”
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”
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”
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.
Caregiver Support through Therapy Naples Daily News
Margot Escott was profiled in the Naples Daily News in Florida about the importance of offering a support system for people who take care of loved ones. The newspaper reported that Escott and her husband took care of her father when he was suffering from the effects of Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
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.”