The Importance Of A Safe Group Space For Healing
Being social is a big part of being human. Throughout time, people around the world have seemed to inherently understand the importance of belonging to a community. Long ago, community was necessary for safety and survival, however now in modern society, community is more important for emotional survival. Research is showing that meaningful social interaction can improve health, just like attending individual therapy, eating a good diet, or exercising. Research has also shown that improv can be therapeutic; and since improv takes place in a safe group setting, it’s a perfect combination of positive social interaction and healing.
Main Benefits of a Group Setting
There are many reasons that improv has emerged as a complimentary tool to traditional therapy. A few main guidelines of improv are to always say “Yes, and…”, always help your scene partner, and try not to take yourself too seriously. Improv can be wonderfully healing as it facilitates a safe way to process emotions, improves self-confidence, and helps cultivate mindfulness. Practicing in a group means you get all these great individual benefits – plus extra healing benefits.
The group helps you realize you’re not alone:
A lot of people walk through life feeling alone in some sense. Especially if we’re dealing with intense emotions, trauma, or mental health worries, the experience can be very isolating. Finding a safe space to share your experiences with other people can alleviate that sense of being alone and replace it with a sense of “we’re all in this together”. Group therapy and improv therapy are both places where participants realize they’re not alone in their experiences.
The group provides a safety net:
In addition to feeling less alone, a safe group setting will help participants take turns supporting each other. One of the best ways to make yourself feel better is to help someone else feel better. If everyone in the group acts by this philosophy, people are completely safe to be themselves and express or process whatever they need to – unlike in the real world where you maybe can’t be sure everyone is looking out for you. The group is intentionally looking out for each other.
The group helps you find your voice:
The beauty of a safe setting, where you’re not alone and the group is your safety net, is that you can finally be free to act and talk without judgment. One of the most important parts of healing is expressing and processing emotions, trauma, or unconscious thoughts that are being pushed down. A safe, therapeutic group setting like improv can be a great place to explore what you’re thinking and feeling, gain awareness and mindfulness, and practice authentically speaking up for yourself.
A safe group setting can do wonders for the individual healing process, and is a great addition to other steps on a healing journey. Improv provides a fun and safe medium to get all those therapeutic benefits and enjoy the benefits of a like-minded community.
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 . . .
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- Look Who Gets It (10)
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- Storytelling (3)
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- Yes, and (13)