'Love in action' - improvising boldly in therapy
We are very excited to be able to invite you to our Pluralogue CPD event 'love in action' - improvising boldly in therapy.
With Meghan Fulton and Darren Cheek.
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.
“I have come to the conclusion that improv is, essentially, love in action.
I believe improv has the power to help us re-imagine and re-engineer situations and systems that have brought us to where we are - whether right now in a scene on stage, or in a therapy session, or in a relationship, in our current state of climate crisis, fossil fuel crisis, food production crisis, refugee crisis, or political crisis. We need to take risks. Let’s make the future different from the past, even the immediate past. Let’s laugh at mistakes and keep moving along. Improv shines a bright light on how.
I believe any improv - whether dramatic or comedic scenes with dialogue or mime, or walking, improvised movement or dance (five rhythms, movement medicine or Argentine tango for example) - can help us experience and alchemise our emotions. More than ever, we need community and solidarity, we need non-violent communication (NVC), we need to reconcile, to love bigger and better. It’s my belief that this work, which you could say is work of the heart, helps us free up our energy and live with more emotional fluidity and resilience. This can help us as therapists in our own lives, and I believe can have direct or indirect beneficial consequences for our clients in the therapy room” - Meghan Fulton
Building on the first improv workshop led in June, Meghan and Darren will slow things down, remaining spontaneous and playful, yet basking more in the sweet light of each moment, resplendent with choice and the dizzying blissfulness of laughter! So please come and join in!
“Here we are together even though, by definition, we are different” - Olafur Elliasson, Tate Modern - 11 July 2019 - 5 Jan 2020
All too often, it’s easy to miss each other’s cues, cries, gestures, gifts, laughter, demands, gratitude, and holding. It's easy to remain stuck, to remain in denial, to avoid grief and loss, or to miss out on joy. It is hard to stay with helplessness or to be with mourning (in relation to personal circumstances - or even climate change, for example), but there is value in this when we co-create safe spaces to share. Improv prods us to show up, become robust, face ourselves and each other and take self-responsibility.
Self-responsibility helps diffuse societal stress. We can do this by increasing our personal coherence. In improv, we can become more conscious of the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes that we are feeding the global field each day. We have a choice in every moment. Improv invites us to a playground in which to explore these things. Improv does not let rumination or anxiety have a look in. There’s no time or place for it. There’s already an abundance of love, compassion, and laughter requiring our immediate attention. The beauty of improv is this exchange can happen quite naturally and spontaneously, without force.
Our hope is that the exercises, games, and discussion in this improv pluralogue will prompt and provide the following;
- Instead of 'doom and gloom' - why not 'doom and bloom'? - how to say 'Yes and...' things. Accept and build on your scene partner's offer (while still holding boundaries for yourself and the other).
- How to offer gifts - not catch your partner out.
- How to inspire your stage partner by being generous in the gift offering - being aware of potential tendencies by any of us to overly focus inwards. There is much value in focusing attention on your scene partner - it can help to connect you both/all more deeply, watching, observing, and listening actively.
- How to celebrate mistakes and what they teach us.
- Lose the argument and stop the panic, regardless of any potential conflict arising within a scene - resist the tendency to want to fight about an object or criticise, blame, judge, or make the other person/character wrong on stage. Under each criticism, blame or judgement is a genuine wish or desire. Let’s tap into that instead. Let’s see if we can find a way to ask for what we want or prefer, instead of focusing on and complaining about what feels 'wrong'. No matter how difficult things can become, there are spaces, however narrow, in which we can create new realities and possibilities.
- How to model vulnerability and openness and hold each other accountable without shaming and blaming.
- How to allow a scene to unfold slowly, enjoying and expanding on the current moment. Ease into a scene and play with the dynamic - who are we? What are we to each other?
- Action and talking simultaneously - how to discuss anything other than the action, as you’re doing the action. Can we remain in our bodies as we stay in relationship with one another?
- How to establish and identify a fun thing and then run with it.
- How to lean into the community and let the wider field carry you. We have each other’s backs.
- Radical candor - how to drop the agenda, stop planning ahead, get out of future mind and just be with what is right now. Be honest. Be direct. What was just said? What just happened? Allow that to resonate and respond to that. Keep it easy, keep it simple.
- How to be available for the story to arrive!
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 women 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 - and 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
£35 for Relational Spaces members; £45 for non-members.
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 + PL27 as 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 Meghan 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.drlauramonk.com
tel 07848 013328