INTERACTIVE THEATRE WORKSHOPS
Learning is discovery by experience. Interactive Theatre has been used to train professionals in medicine, mental health, police work, education, and business because it combines the most powerful learning process with opportunities to try out applications of the new information in a structured, supportive setting. In the Interactive Theatre workshop, group members engage with actors prepared to deal with the specific issues and problems important to the group. Together, the participants, actors, and trainer develop a scene by making choices and examining their outcomes.
This process is multi-purpose:
- To provide opportunities for role training, in which participants try out and explore roles in action.
- To engage the creativity of all group members and the collective creativity of the group.
- To expand awareness of existing problems and the possibilities for resolving them.
- To maximize each participant's strengths as it contributes to the group
- These workshops have been utilized to:
- Train physician's assistants to discuss difficult and threatening health concerns with a diverse population of patients,
- teachers to enhance their ability to engage students' imagination as well as their intellect,
Interactive Theatre can be adapted to the concerns of any workplace environment or group situation to advance the goals of:
- preparing workers for new roles,
- maximizing development of skills to perform new roles,
- educating staff about issues or concepts,
- helping groups work together better and support its highest potential.
TRAINERS; Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, RMT, CGP, Debbie Zelizer, LCSW & Nicolas Wolff, LCSW, BCD, TEP
"It's more important than ever to learn as many anti-stress techniques as possible, as young as possible," stated psychologist Robert Epstein, director of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and researcher in the Psychology Today article "Stress: Its Worse Than You Think." "If you wait until you're feeling stressed before you employ some technique for managing stress, it's already too late. You need to have a bag of tricks that you can deploy proactively. Turning to them throughout the day changes your threshold of stress tolerance."
Harvard University's Mind/Body Institute is one of the cutting edge institutions confirming a definite link between the way we think and feel and what is happening to our health. Research shows that between 60 and 90% of doctor's visits are for stress-related illness, tying everyday stress to such common health complaints like stomach problems, headaches, and fatigue, and showing a direct link between stress and heart disease, stroke, cancer and other life-changing illnesses. The biochemical response to stress is cued up by random, upsetting events in the environment but also by persistent negativity in our social environment or in thinking - our own or the people around us. External pressures such as the fast pace and increasing demands of modern life and mental habits like perfectionism or procrastination also result in psychological stress that exhaust the body's resources over time. The good news is that there are skills and habits of mind which are beneficial to our health and reduce the negative effects of stress that cause physical illness. The development of these skills is the core of stress-resilience training which focuses on ways to take control of our attitudes and engage our own healing power to reduce stress, set boundaries, change negative behaviors and thoughts, and thus maintain or regain a greater degree of health and well-being.
MATERIAL COVERED IN THIS TRAINING INCLUDES:
Bio-chemistry of stress: information about the hormones and chemicals released by the body in response to stress and their long-term effects; the role of nutrition, sleep, and leisure activities to stress and health; ways of thinking that heighten the stress reaction; ways of thinking that reduce the negative effects of stress. Guided imagery for relaxation and mindfulness training.
Coping Skills for Stress-Resilience: Explore the importance of social support, friendship, skills in asking for help, setting boundaries, detachment from negative, draining situations; The relationship of meaning and purpose to physical health; Information about effects of social isolation, loss, loneliness, and relationship strain on health.
Creative Problem-Solving: Information about and experience of meditation and relaxation response training for mental clarity, increased energy and ability to remain centered in stressful circumstances. Explore diverse perspectives and approaches to problems and situations participants are facing in every day life.
Healthy pleasures:Scientific evidence demonstrating the positive health effects of pleasure, e.g. humor/comedy, pets, connection with nature, music, good scents, good flavors, optimism, naps, having fun. Facilitate discussion of creative ways participants can increase their experience of these and other health-enhancing activities, linking them to concepts discussed in previous sessions.