“Trust the Process.”  I was frustrated when Lisa said that to me.  We were leading an improv group in a treatment setting and I was annoyed that people were not following the rules of the game.  I leaned over to Lisa and whispered, “That is not what you told them to do. They are not doing it right.”  

Lisa gave me a sweet dimpled smile and said, “Trust the process.”  This is not the first time Lisa gave me improv advice that doubled as timely life advice.  She pretty much diagnosed my perfectionism with director’s notes after I kept asking for do-overs when she taught my level B class at Second City.  So now I can also attribute the baby steps I have taken towards letting go of control issues to Lisa and improv. Baby steps sound fast. The more accurate metaphor may be learning to crawl.  

The group we were teaching was playing this particular game for the first time in their lives.  Lisa has taught improv for over 20 years. She was not annoyed or frustrated. She was supportive and patient.  She celebrated their progress. I realized that not only was this the first time they played this game, we were in the middle of the first round of this game.   The problem was not with the class neglecting the rules or failing to follow directions. It was new to them, and they were figuring it out.  My frustration was about my response to the situation. By the third round of the game the group had it mastered. The process worked.  

Lisa and I got in the car to drive home and she said to me, “Different people have different abilities and learn at a different pace.  So even if they are “doing it wrong” they are learning something and making progress. I don’t expect them to come in and play it perfectly.”  I remembered how safe I felt when she was my teacher and I was playing these games for the first time.  

A safe environment to practice life skills is a primary reason why Lisa and I wanted to share improv with the recovery community.  It is why Improv Therapy Group was created.  

Fast forward to group the following week.  We were playing a new game and someone was struggling.  One of their peers offered comfort to their struggling friend and said “there are no wrong answers.” Apparently I was not the only one that learned to trust the process the week before.  


Improv Therapy Group offers an applied improv approach to team building, communication, creativity and learning emotional intelligence.

A few example modules include:

  • Magic Words: Communication and “Yes, And”
  • On the Spot: Public Speaking and Performance Anxiety/Stage Fright
  • Heal Thyself: Humor and Self Care
  • Let Go: Stress Reduction Through Improv
  • Us is More: Group Mind and Team-Building
  • Feelin’ It: Emotional Intelligence and Empathy
  • and many more . . .