Dr. Peter Felsman on Improv and Anxiety

Dr Peter Felsman
Peter FelsmanHow wonderful to get to know the delightful Dr. Peter Felsman. He is a therapist, improviser, and researcher. Peter has written several papers and research studies on improv including The use of improvisational theater training to reduce social anxiety in adolescents with Colleen M. Seifert, and Joseph A. Himleb. He hails from New Jersey and was in a family with several psychotherapists, so he knew his path at an early age. In his first stage performance, he played Winnie the Pooh. He told his mother he didn’t like it and she asked what he wanted to do. He replied, “I want to be absent.” He was on stage again in Middle School, playing Uncle Henry in The Wizard of Oz, which was his final performance. He shared that Uncle Henry had to yell, and that was something he was unfamiliar with, as he grew up in a “sound-sensitive” home.
Peter switched to the “Pit,” got a music degree in percussion, and played for many staged performances. He had five degrees from the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. He earned a BA in psychology, a BS in social psych and MSW, and then Ph.D. in social work, where he began his research work. In 2019, he held a postdoctoral associate position at Stony Brook University. The position was a joint appointment at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and the Social Competence and Treatment Lab. He described a meeting with Alan Alda that left a lasting impression on him.
He took his first improv class in college and was immediately inspired to learn more. He later studied at Chicago Second City, the IO and Annoyance, and several other improv schools. His journey into improv and therapy is fascinating and as a therapist, I certainly appreciate what he is contributing to our field.


You may enjoy hearing from improv teachers and innovators including Colin Mochrie and David Pasquesi  *Improv Interviews podcast‘ is introduced by Susan L. Parker of yourinternationalvoice.com

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Nathan Keates on Improv and Anxiety

Nathan Keates 1Meet the wonderful Nathan Keates with a Master’s Degree in Autism from the Tizard Centre. He is currently involved in a doctoral research project on autistic adults and anxiety, investigating changes from an improv course. Nathan began teaching improvisation in the UK in 2006 and quickly expanded his teaching to the United States. In 2007, he found a love for applied improvisation for autistic people and his enthusiasm continues to this day in his practice, teaching, and his research. Nathan’s classes have been taught in festivals, schools, colleges, community centers, and theatres to students from seven years old to students who are now retired. As a qualified teacher in the UK, Nathan brings a spontaneous and rationalizable approach to his teaching and currently conducts research with autistic people. Learn more about Nathan on his website NathanImprov.com for his improv-related materials and information.
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Fearless Improv on Zoom with Margot Escott, LCSW

fearless improv

WHAT: Fearless Improv on Zoom
WHEN: Tuesdays,  6:00-7:00 pm (EST)
(Weekly drop-in class)
No commitment is needed. Just drop in and have fun.
WHERE: Online! Email Margot Escott for login information
COST: $10 suggested donation per class (Pay through Venmo to @Margot-Escott)

WHO: Improv for Wellness is about playing games and having fun. It’s not about being funny or memorizing scripts. The improv games and laughter we share in this multi-week class, have tremendous therapeutic benefits. Come play in a space that is free of judgment or fear of failure, making it an ideal environment for people who struggle with anxiety or physical impairment. A great way for all ages and abilities to let go, laugh and meet fun friends.

About Margot Escott: Margot has been teaching improv online and in-person for over 10 years. As a student, Margot studied improv greats like Jay Sukow, Gary Schwartz, Aretha Sills &David Razowski?


Cameron Algie – Improv for Anxiety

Cameron Algie first attended The Second City Training Centre to deal with his deep-seated fear of crowds, strangers and going out in public at the suggestion of his therapist. Cameron has gone from barely being able to walk to the subway without having a panic attack to becoming one of the most respected improvisers in the country. Cameron was the 5th person I interviewed for my podcast series and has been an inspiration in my using improv to help clients with their anxiety.


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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