Spontaneity Training for Therapists

Spontaneity Training includes:

  1. Therapeutic uses of theatre improvisation
  2. Principles of improvisation as story telling/going on an adventure/co-creating a new reality
  3. Warm-ups and Learning the Basics of Improv: Demonstration of Games and Exercises

1. Therapeutic uses of theater improvisation:

  • For personal growth/ enjoyment of the therapist
  • As action methods in Individual, Group, Marital and Family therapies
  • In training therapists
  • To enhance relationship skills for non-client populations

2. Principles of improvisation as storytelling/going on an adventure/co- creating a new reality by:

  • letting imagination work freely
  • paying attention to others
  • accepting offers
  • advancing the action
  • using reincorporation
  • utilizing status shifts
  • making others look good
  • giving up over-control

3. Warm-ups and Learning the Basics of Improv: Demonstration of Games and Exercises

(Note that participation is voluntary and that players should respect physical limitations of themselves and of others):

  • Mirror Exercise– Two players, A and B, stand facing each other, maintaining eye contact and moving simultaneously as mirror images. First A leads, then B; finally the couple moves mutually without leadership.
  • Tug of War– Two or more players create the struggle of tug-of-war using an imaginary rope.
  • Presents– Two players face each other; one holds out his/her hands in a gesture of offering a present from open palms. It is important that the giver have no preconceived notion of what the present is, but simply offers in a neutral way. The receiver allows a present to appear in the imagination and plays with (mimes) it to make the giver look good.
  • Yes, But– Player A makes a statement (e.g., “Let’s go out for Chinese food.”). Player B says “Yes, but…” and goes on to “block” A’s statement (e.g., “Yes, but I’m not hungry.”). A then says “Yes, but…” blocking B’s statement, etc. Can also be played in a group with Player C blocking B, D blocking C, etc. around the group circle.
  • Yes, And– The same as Yes, But, except that A and B begin their statements with “Yes, and…” accepting (validating) each other’s offer and advancing the action (adding to the idea(s) offered by the other player). As with Yes, But, this game can be played in a group circle.
  • Giving Character– A player makes her partner an offer that endows him with some emotional, physical, or occupational trait. The partner accepts the offer by enacting a character with that trait.