Improvising dramatically, creatively, therapeutically - life lessons in the rehearsal room
We are very excited to be able to invite you to our next Pluralogue CPD event, ‘Improvising – dramatically, creatively and therapeutically – Impro life lessons learnt in the rehearsal room’.
With: Meghan Fulton and Darren Cheek
About the topic
“Imagination is as effortless as perception, unless we think it might be wrong, which is what our education encourages us to believe” - Keith Johnstone
Meghan Fulton is a psychotherapist and loves improvisation. She is deeply inspired by how improvisation (‘improv’) and therapy work can support each other in their many common aims.
Improvisation was originally intended as a rehearsal tool for actors when working on a play to perform and became an art form in its own right. Improv is really performing without preparation. It is responding to the stimulus in the immediate environment and to our feelings. We are all improvisers, and we have to improvise every day, especially in the therapy room! We may be creating a formulation or setting an agenda with a client, or we may want to take a family history, and so on, but it is impossible to map out everything you want to or will say or ask in any client session.
In this Pluralogue, Meghan Fulton, along with Darren Cheek, will be branching off from Darren’s ‘What acting can teach us about truth…’ Coffeelogue in January, in which he brought the themes of working in the here and now, being authentic, living in the moment, self-awareness, breath/body, and honest emotional communication.
Meghan and Darren will facilitate a practical and experiential afternoon of exercises and games – in a safe, supportive, fun and creative environment. Although on the one hand these exercises may seem silly and disconnected from the serious work of psychotherapy, the underlying wish of these games is to free ourselves up so that we may bring more playfulness, spontaneity, creativity and compassion into working with new and varied choices in the therapy room – and not only getting out of our own sensible, self-editing minds but encouraging our clients to do so too. This can be helpful in how we listen and how we choose to respond to each other. Playing with improv can be a useful way to work with a whole host of issues, including anxiety, low moods, ‘stuckness’, or resistance.
Meghan and Darren are passionately interested in how improv can aid therapeutic work, and vice-versa, in terms of how we respond to each other, listening, spontaneity, committing to impulse, what choices we have and what we do with them, taking risks, being playful, and working with stuckness.
Drawing on parallels between therapy and improvisation, this Pluralogue will explore the following questions and themes through a series of fun and silly practical improv exercises and games, including:
What is improvisation? (‘improv’)
- How can we use improv to help us be more playful, spontaneous bold, creative and curious in the therapy room?
- Building trust and safety – improv is more fun when we feel safe and can take a risk in our choices.
- Honouring our ‘inner knowing’ – stepping out of our sensible, self-editing minds.
- How can we let go of pre-empting, and allow ourselves to be ‘in the moment’?
- Being comfortable with uncertainty and making mistakes.
- Working on a tendency to want to fix or change something/s.
- Choices of responses and accepting ‘gifts’.
- Being impacted by the other can be healing.
- What the exercise: ‘Yes and…’ can offer to resistance and ‘stuckness’ in the therapy room.
- How might improv help us listen more deeply?
- Focusing on details that can produce a breakthrough, whether in improv or in therapy.
- Working playfully with our highly protected, repudiated parts.
About Meghan Fulton
Meghan fell in love with the theatre at the age of seven when she went to see a production of the West Side Story in London. She studied drama at university and worked in film and television production in Los Angeles for four years, where she cycled 600 miles along the pacific coast in seven days and arranged 20 female singer-songwriters one night to perform and raise money for HIV in California. She also appeared briefly as a cop in a movie with rapper, Coolio!
She returned to the UK to train in Core Process Psychotherapy at the only residential psychotherapy training in the UK, the Karuna Institute on wild Dartmoor in Devon, where much of the emphasis is on the experiential element of psychotherapy.
Since she started attending improv classes and performances in 2015, she has become deeply inspired by how improvisation (‘improv’) and therapy work can support each other in their many common aims.
Meghan has attended two international improv festivals – one in Athens in 2017 and one in Edinburgh earlier this year - has enjoyed several Edinburgh Fringe Festival visits, and has enjoyed countless workshops led by improvisers from the international group, The Maydays at the Nursery Theatre and Hoopla Impro, both in London. She has been most inspired by the naturalistic style of Colleen Doyle and Jason Shotts from Los Angeles in their duo show ‘Dummy’, the work of Patti Styles and Joe Bill, and Decibel – a French improv trio whose brilliant speechless show uses only body language and sound effects. She looks up to the very wise and experienced Keith Johnstone and John Cremer.
About Darren Cheek
Darren regularly works as an actor, writer and director, as well as an actor-roleplayer, communication trainer and facilitator. He has been actively involved in the writing and development of many new plays since 1997 – as a director, actor, teacher, writer, and dramaturg.
With a passionate interest in both classical and contemporary text, Darren specialises in directing new writing for theatre production and to date he has directed over 40 productions, often developing the play with the playwright through dramaturgy, workshops and rehearsed readings.
Artistic Director of Damn Cheek Productions, Darren also works internationally as an integrative humanistic psychotherapist and counsellor – with adults, children, young people, and families. As well as maintaining a busy private practice, Darren works regularly alongside businesses and schools, and has been a tutor/trainer within the NHS for over 20 years.
A core/guest tutor, presenter, and trainer, on various courses throughout the UK, Darren also continues to be invited regularly to present and lecture abroad.
About the Pluralogue
For those new to this event, the Pluralogue is a space where we get together to both learn and socialise, meet some new colleagues and find out what others are up to, as well as enjoy some food and drink whilst digesting new ideas.
The term ‘Pluralogue’ was coined by Doron many years ago, to depict moving beyond monologue to dialogue: to pluralogue (the conversation of many). We hope to learn together and from each other in the form of a learning community in a friendly atmosphere with the added fun of dining together.
The added bonus is that we structure it as a CPD event so you will be able to count it as CPD hours (a CPD certificate will be provided as well).
3pm–3.30pm: Tea break
Places cost £35.
To confirm your booking please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reply with details of how to pay.
Please use your name + PL25 as a reference.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Darren, Dianne, Doron and Cressy
07848 013 328
About Relational Spaces
This event is hosted by Relational Spaces with Meg Fulton and Darren Cheek. Relational Spaces is a supportive and vibrant therapeutic community, working across our 12 beautiful Central London rooms: https://rooms.relationalspaces.co.uk / https://www.gjmpsychotherapy.com
tel 07848 013328