Rehearsals! for Growth ™(RfG) is a novel method of psychotherapy and education which uses techniques from theater improvisation to achieve individual and interpersonal growth. RfG, a distinctive Drama Therapy of relationships, facilitates change by playfully exploring alternative roles through dramatic enactment. RfG provides vivid, immediate experiences and reaches all populations, including those who do not respond well to talk-only methods.
RfG is at once a useful and playful application of improvisation, an activity which people often think of as involving EITHER great artistic skill OR sloppy, unplanned, even desperate activity. Actually, much of living is at least partially improvisational—ordinary conversation, for example.
Although an oversimplification, it is helpful to think of humans as having two distinct mental modes—SURVIVAL MIND and ADVENTURE MIND. Survival mind focuses our attention purposefully toward the future in order to get desired results, scan for dangers, and promote the feeling of being in control of that future. By contrast, Adventure mind activity is present-centered and absorbed in living fully for the moment. As adults, we experience Survival mind as the properly dominant mode and view Adventure mind as an infrequent (and risky) lapse into childishness.
Improvisation has the power to re-acquaint adults with the joy and absorption of Adventure mind that they often left behind in childhood. RfG utilizes improvisation to reclaim the power, vividness and enjoyment of “child’s mind” thereby exploring alternatives to the sensible, functional and routine patterns that keep us stuck as adults.
RfG extends the use of theater games to enrich the behaviors of all people as a method of education and interpersonal growth. It also is one of a number of action approaches used in psychotherapy to reach those who do not respond well to talk-only therapy.
Please enjoy exploring the web site. The RfG web site exists to further the use of this specific action approach by making available information, products, and services to both mental health professionals and lay persons. The web site is also intended to serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas that promote the greater and more skillful use of action methods in psychotherapy.
A weekend conference, “Theatre Improvisation for Clients and Therapists,” was held in Hartford, CT Oct. 19-20, 2019. 19 participants, an equal mix of Mental Health students and licensed professionals, took part in 9 experiential workshops from 6 presenters on a variety of improv applications to therapy. In addition to experiencing personally the challenges and opportunities of improv enactment, participants learned several techniques useful to their clinical practice!
Recent Blog Posts
Therapeutic Coaching of Clients During Improv Enactments Daniel J. Wiener, PhD, RDT-BCT Clinical effectiveness in RfG does not require executing protocols faithfully or flawlessly. For this reason, RfG training does not make use of drills or insist on memorization to improve the fidelity or completeness of giving directions/instructions. RfG therapy is effective when the therapist: […]
Improv as a Tool for Discovery Daniel J. Wiener, PhD, RDT-BCT “Truth can be discovered or predicted; discovery comes through improvisation. …There lies the great value of improvisation; to expose the fact that we often predict actions that we never take. We tell ourselves things that we would, but never do. The object of an […]
“Pure” and “Impure” Improv Daniel J. Wiener, PhD, RDT-BCT In RfG, we recognize that the dominant mode of adult mental functioning is “Survival Mind,” which focuses our attention purposefully toward the future in order to get desired results, scan for dangers, and promote the feeling of being in control of achieving success in that future. […]
Improv IN vs. AS therapy: Further Thoughts Daniel J. Wiener, PhD, RDT-BCT In this blog I attempt to look more closely at some issues raised in my previous blog, “Improv IN therapy vs. Improv AS therapy.” To review, in the applications of theater improvisation (improv) today, many people claim a number of personal benefits […]