How Does Improv Help Clinicians Think on Their Feet?

medical simulation improv

Considering that simulation so often takes advantage of the acting talents of standardized patients around the world, I found Beth Boynton’s recent series of interviews with Jude Tereder-Wolff on Emotional Intelligence, Improv Acting, and Healthcare Professionals to be very informative. Part V covers How Improv Can Help Clinicians Think on Their Feet. Because there are so many unknowns in professional healthcare patient care and there is a serious need for changing healthcare communication practices (as outlined in my recent book review of Suzanne Gordon’s Beyond The Checklist: What Else Healthcare Can Learn From Aviation), experimenting with the acting resources of an improvisational class makes perfect sense.

Jude Treder-Wolff, author of the downloadable book, Possible Futures: Creative Thinking For The Speed of Life is a performer, trainer and creative arts psychotherapist Jude saying something in performancewho is doing some exciting work bridging expertise in  improvisation and emotional intelligence.

In the article Beth asks Jude “Can you share more about how your upcoming workshop will help clinicians etc to think on their feet?”


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The workshop we are doing on Sept. 21 will feature improv games designed to reduce the sense of threat and self-consciousness so many people feel when they are not in control and don’t know what is going to happen next and then discuss with the group the value of this mind set in approaching the classroom or consulting room. We think we know what is going to happen next in life – we look at our schedules and it seems like we should know what the day will be like – but things may go in a very different way then we plan or expect. Theater games help to reduce the sense of threat posed by recognizing that uncertainty is just how things are, and to look at uncertainty as a necessary dimension to the creative process. We accept and embrace uncertainty so that we can create – a creative space is empathic, aware, building on what is given, and expansive.
Read more of Part V of this article here and check out the other posts covering:

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