Assael Romanelli Ph. D. – Play is a muscle

Assael RomanelliAssael Romanelli, Ph.D.  is a prolific writer, clinician, and internationally known trainer. Our first podcast was on May 5, 2017, a few months before we both presented at the “Yes, and Mental Health Conference” in Chicago. I was so glad to catch up with him and his great body of work over the past 4 years. He has made a great difference in the world of research and clinical improv. He conducted a research project teaching improv to social workers in 2019 he and colleagues published the research project “I’mprovisation – Therapists’ Subjective Experience during Improvisational Moments in the Clinical Encounter”. Assael developed a training course for therapists in theater improvisation skills and observed its impact on their clinical work. The 17 therapists that he trained in this study all had a positive change in relation to their work.

He describes his childhood where art was not considered an appropriate career path. But in school, he discovered Playback Theatre, a form of improvised theater based on audience stories. This art form corresponds with different disciplines such as Psychodrama, oral traditions, storytelling, community theater, social action, and more. Assael has also trained with the creator of Playback Theatre, Jonathan Fox. While living in London, he fell in love with short and long-form improv and trained with London’s best improv teachers. As a multi-potentialite, he began infusing and integrating his work in therapy, art, and education and founded The Potential State for Enriching Relationships, which he runs with his wife Galit. Together with his international online training, Dr. Romanelli also offers online individual, couple, and family therapy. Since 2019, Assael has been publishing original content on his Blog on Psychology Today, and The Potential State Podcast, and YouTube channel. You can learn more about Assael and his body of knowledge at his website at: Read Assael Romanelli’s paper click here 


You might want to listen to my fascinating discussions with other improv teachers and innovators including Susan Messing and Brian Palermo *Improv Interviews podcast‘ is introduced by Susan L. Parker of

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Please keep me updated about: