Group Therapy Using Improv

Join us for therapy and fun!

Join us for our Virtual Group Therapy Using Improv

REPEAL INHIBITION: Improv for Anxiety,
Managing the Unknown, and Embracing Play.

The current state of the world is uncertain, leaving many with feelings of anxiety and few options for an outlet to practice managing these emotions.

There is no script in improv.

Improv principles include: following fears, managing the unknown, supporting one another, allowing ourselves to receive support, learning to manage stress at the moment, embracing imperfection, and letting go of control.

Improv is...

  • Games and exercises that help teach us to function in uncertainty. The same techniques that help us get out of our comfort zone in improv can help us manage our anxiety about the world around us.
  • Play that is vital for happiness and often the first thing sacrificed in the name of anything else. Creating a time and space for play and creativity is an investment in our mental health.
  • A safe space that provides a low stakes environment to explore new ways of responding and letting go of old defense mechanisms
  • A fun way to practice Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.
  • Just like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in that participants learn to stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with their inner emotions and, instead, accept that these deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations that should not prevent them from moving forward in their lives.

Applying improvisation to real life situations is a quick way to improve our tolerance of accepting life on life’s terms. The exercises improve our confidence to interact in a world that has always been uncertain.

These are closed groups, requiring an eight week commitment. These are not a drop in group.

California Residents

SCHEDULE

8 week session $320

Groups will start late summer, early fall.

IMPROV THERAPIST

Jeri Wilson, LCSW

Jeri is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who earned her Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree from San Diego State University.  Jeri has also earned the esteemed “License to Amuse” from the Jacquie Lowell School of Comedy Improvisation. She utilizes Cognitive Behavioral, Solution Focused, Dialectical Behavioral, EMDR, and Positive Psychology in her clinical tool box as well as her own empathy, acceptance and interpersonal skills. She has 20 plus years of experience as a SIDS peer support, Presenter, and Event Organizer along with being an active member of the SIDS Advisory Council and Southern Regional SIDS Council in the state of California. She specializes in working with individuals struggling with trauma, loss, anxiety, depression and personal growth. She enjoys gardening, fluffy dogs, lip syncing and anything that makes her laugh.

IMPROV LEADER

Lisa Bany

Lisa Bany is Chief Improv Officer at Improv Therapy Group. Lisa is an instructor, director and coach at The Second City. She has authored numerous books, including On Stage: Theatre Games and Activities for Kids, which was awarded the Parent's Choice Approval Seal for Excellence in Education, has been translated into German and Korean, and is sold around the world. She started teaching at The Second City in the early nineties and has directed and taught throughout the Chicagoland area. Lisa was one of the first teachers in the Second City Wellness Program where she has taught Improv for Anxiety, Improv for Parkinson's Patients and their Caregivers, and Improv for the Autism Spectrum.

Florida Residents

SCHEDULE

8 week session $320

Groups will start late summer, early fall.

IMPROV THERAPIST

Margot Escott, MSW, LCSW

Margot graduated from the New York University School of Social Work in 1983 and has lived and practiced in Naples since 1984. She attended the Rutgers Summer School of Addiction Studies in 1987 and 1990 and has extensive post-graduate training in addiction studies and co-dependency.
For over thirty years she has presented workshops and seminars on “Therapeutic Value of Humor and Play” on a national level. She works with PTSD, anxiety disorders and depression using techniques such as Mindfulness Meditation and Visualization. She treats various medical issues, such as traumatic brain injuries, dialysis, and pain issues. Although many of our life issues are certainly not funny, by developing “humor strategies” we can confront and cope our difficult situations, dialysis, and pain issues.
Using Improvisational Theatre exercises combined with cognitive behavioral education, she assists people suffering anxiety disorders, Parkinson’s, MS, MSA, PSP & their care partners, and those in recovery from addictions.

IMPROV LEADER

Lisa Bany

Lisa Bany is Chief Improv Officer at Improv Therapy Group. Lisa is an instructor, director and coach at The Second City. She has authored numerous books, including On Stage: Theatre Games and Activities for Kids, which was awarded the Parent's Choice Approval Seal for Excellence in Education, has been translated into German and Korean, and is sold around the world. She started teaching at The Second City in the early nineties and has directed and taught throughout the Chicagoland area. Lisa was one of the first teachers in the Second City Wellness Program where she has taught Improv for Anxiety, Improv for Parkinson's Patients and their Caregivers, and Improv for the Autism Spectrum.

Illinois Residents

SCHEDULE

8 week session $320

Groups will start late summer, early fall.

IMPROV THERAPIST

Jackie Scandinaro, LPC

Jackie is a Licensed Practicing Counselor (LPC), who earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Adler University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Central Connecticut State University.  Jackie believes in the power of laughter and YES, AND while working with those who are looking for different ways to express themselves throughout their journey. As an individual and group psychotherapist, Jackie enjoys establishing a connection, building respect and trust and providing empathy towards the clients, allowing their time to be safe and productive. Common therapeutic approaches Jaclyn may use will be cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), solution-focused therapy, harm reduction techniques, and exposure and response prevention (ERP). She has experience working with a wide scope of clients, helping each manage inner battles with general anxiety, depression, career growth, communication, relationships, anxiety disorders/OCD or substance abuse/addiction. While Jaclyn’s experience has touched a number of populations, she strives to assist in self exploration and identify solutions to increase quality of life for each group and individual client.

IMPROV LEADER

Lisa Bany

Lisa Bany is Chief Improv Officer at Improv Therapy Group. Lisa is an instructor, director and coach at The Second City. She has authored numerous books, including On Stage: Theatre Games and Activities for Kids, which was awarded the Parent's Choice Approval Seal for Excellence in Education, has been translated into German and Korean, and is sold around the world. She started teaching at The Second City in the early nineties and has directed and taught throughout the Chicagoland area. Lisa was one of the first teachers in the Second City Wellness Program where she has taught Improv for Anxiety, Improv for Parkinson's Patients and their Caregivers, and Improv for the Autism Spectrum.

Michigan Residents

SCHEDULE

8 week session $320

Groups will start late summer, early fall.

IMPROV THERAPIST

Miriam L. Kirscht, LMSW

 

Miriam L. Kirscht, LMSW is a social worker, teacher, and theatre artist with over 20 years’ experience integrating improvisation and drama into her mental health practice.  She holds both a Masters of Social Work and a Masters in Theatre Arts.  Miriam has worked in a variety of settings, including substance abuse treatment, corrections, community mental health, and (currently) outpatient therapy.  While at Community Mental Health in Washtenaw County, Michigan, Miriam directed a theatre troupe of  adults with mental health issues, for the purpose of raising empathy and decreasing stigma.  Currently she is a member of the North American Drama Therapy Association.  Miriam has repeatedly witnessed how improvisation leads to greater freedom and healing, and diminished isolation.

 

IMPROV LEADER

Lisa Bany

Lisa Bany is Chief Improv Officer at Improv Therapy Group. Lisa is an instructor, director and coach at The Second City. She has authored numerous books, including On Stage: Theatre Games and Activities for Kids, which was awarded the Parent's Choice Approval Seal for Excellence in Education, has been translated into German and Korean, and is sold around the world. She started teaching at The Second City in the early nineties and has directed and taught throughout the Chicagoland area. Lisa was one of the first teachers in the Second City Wellness Program where she has taught Improv for Anxiety, Improv for Parkinson's Patients and their Caregivers, and Improv for the Autism Spectrum.

Fill out a short questionnaire and one of our therapists will reach out to answer questions and confirm participation.