IMPROV FOR THERAPISTS - Thursdays from 1:00pm to 2:15pm

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IMPROV FOR THERAPISTS - Thursdays from 1:00pm to 2:15pm
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From Thu 2 April 2020 to Thu 21 May 2020
From Thursday 2 April 2020 to Thursday 21 May 2020
11:45 AM - 1:00 PM


Lisa Bany is chief Improv Officer at the 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. A graduate of Columbia College, Lisa has taught improv with The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, The National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Arlyn School for teens with Anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Did you know Improv Started In Social Work!

Improv as we know it began in Chicago in the 1920’s and 1930’s at the Hull House where Viola Spolin, a social worker, used theatre games to help immigrants acculturate into society.

Her son co-founded Second City.

What do therapists and improv teachers both say?

  • “Stop trying to be perfect.”
  • “Stay present in the moment.”
  • “Don’t be afraid to fail.”
  • “Don’t be afraid to make a mistake.”
  • “It’s ok to not know what you’re doing.”
  • “It’s ok to be wrong.”
  • “Get out of your own head."
  • “Stop trying to control everything.”

Improv is an interactive way to achieve neuroplasticity (changing the brain).

Neural pathways in the brain are like footprints in snow. When we walk the same path in the snow, we deepen and solidify the path. When humans do the same action repeatedly we create a neural pathway in the brain, and the more we do that action, the more we deepen our neural pathways. Taking the same path every time gets easier and easier. Starting a new path is harder; in the snow and in our brains.

When it comes to someone with social anxiety, for example, there is path in the brain for social situations that has the body responding with symptoms of anxiety. It is the same way with addictions; pathways in the brain seek a substance over and over again.

Neuroplasticity is changing those paths, and improv is a fun way to create new neural pathways in a safe environment.

Improv is NOT about practicing or giving attention to the addiction, mood disorder, or trauma. It is about playfully training our brains to use the same skills found in healthy coping mechanisms.

Just by doing something new, that in itself changes the brain. We get to experience emotions, stay in the moment, and embrace imperfection all while playing. All of these skills are necessary in recovery.

What are you doing for your own mental health? Try improv for therapists.

Join us for laughter, self-care, and play with fellow therapists. We welcome all clinicians (interns included)!

We will leave time to process how the communication techniques learned in these games and exercises have been applied to Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Group Therapy, Couples Therapy and Individual Therapy.

Our IMPROV FOR THERAPISTS class teaches how to add improv games, exercises and practices into Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Group Therapy or Individual Therapy sessions.

We welcome all levels of clinicians. The class is great for therapists who want to learn how improv can be further engaged in their work as therapist for movement, drama, recovery, groups and even individuals.

Clinicians will enjoy an hour of laughter and self care with people who get it.



For Clinicians Only

8 weeks

Thursdays from 1:00pm to 2:15pm

April 2nd to May 21st, 2020


Classes will be held at:


8311 Roosevelt Rd

Forest Park, IL 60130


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roosevelt rd 8311
riveredge hospital, orest park, 60130, il, us
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