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Arlin Cuncic

Socially Anxious? Try Improv Training at Second City

By April 15, 2012

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If you live in the Chicago area you might be interested in taking part in a unique form of treatment known as "improv boot camp". Counsellor Mark Pfeffer uses Second City Improv training as one part of a three-part treatment program for anxiety disorders including social anxiety disorder (SAD).

The improv program involves 8 weekly sessions at Second City training in improvisation as well as 8 weekly treatment support group sessions. Although the price tag is a little hefty at $515, participation in the program does also grant you some perks as a member of the Second City Comedy Club.

How well could improv training work in treatment SAD? Have a look at the story of one graduate of the program and see what you think. It seems like success could be in large part due to the confidence building aspect of the improv training.

We do know that many actors and comedians who were shy as children were put in acting classes by their parents. Many of them credit acting with helping them to overcome shyness to some degree.

In addition to the improv classes, Pfeffer offers individual therapy as well as a recovery program; he stresses making written plans for change and the importance of a group setting.

What do you think? Would you have the courage to take improv training? Do you think it would help your social anxiety?

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