Session 7: Mindful Improvisation: A Relational Form of Meditation
The term “meditation” refers to a variety of practices that concentrate sustained attention on an object, such as the breath, a mantra, or sounds in the natural environment. The form of meditation that has garnered attention recently among researchers and the public is mindfulness, which involves sitting quietly while non-judgmentally directing attention to the breath and the ongoing flow of mental experience. This workshop will explore meditative aspects of behavioral improvisation, a form of spontaneous social interaction pioneered by Second City founding director Paul Sills. Like mindfulness, behavioral improvisation employs nonjudgmental present-centered awareness to transcend the thinking mind. Rather than focusing on the breath, behavioral improvisation focuses on what existential theorists call the mitwelt, or interpersonal world. Participants will explore simple improvisational exercises to augment sustained non-conceptual awareness. After an overview of research and theory on meditation and mindfulness, the bulk of the week is devoted to engaging in these exercises in a safe, highly supportive atmosphere. Brief mindfulness practice will be included.
Monday Overview and definitions; Spiritual vs. secular practices; Mindfulness vs. meditation; Research on phenomenological, behavioral, and neuropsychological effects; Meditation for anxiety, depression, and PTSD; Principles of behavioral improvisation; Warm-up exercises
Tuesday Behavioral Improvisation I
Wednesday Behavioral Improvisation II
Thursday Behavioral Improvisation III
Friday Summary and conclusions; Wrap-up exercises
This advanced seminar is geared to mental health and health professionals.
(1) Describe types of meditation and how it is applied in major spiritual traditions
(2) Compare the difference between mindfulness and concentrative meditation
(3) Critique research suggesting positive behavioral and neurophysiological effects of meditation
(4) Identify overlaps between behavioral improvisation and meditation
Frederick Heide, PhD, is Associate Professor at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, where he has won both the Master Teacher and Teacher of the Year Awards. Dr. Heide received the Outstanding Research Contribution Award from the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy for his work on relaxation-induced anxiety. Dr. Heide is also co-founder of and performer with Door County’s Northern Sky Theater, which was the 2012 recipient of the WI Governor’s Award for Arts, Culture, and Heritage. He studied acting and created several shows with Paul Sills, founding director of Chicago’s Second City Theater.
Lee Becker began improvising 30 years ago with ComedySportz while attending UW Madison. He helped found ComedySportz NYC, and also worked with the group in Milwaukee, running workshops in all three locations. He is a core member of Northern Sky Theater where he is a performer, musician, and playwright. Lee was a founding member of Door Shakespeare and has also performed and written for First Stage Children’s Theater in Milwaukee.
All persons in control of content have NO relevant financial relationships to disclose.
ACCME Accreditation Statement:
The Medical College of Wisconsin is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
AMA Credit Designation Statement:
The Medical College of Wisconsin designates this for a maximum of 15 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ . Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Hours of Participation for Allied Health Care Professionals:
The Medical College of Wisconsin designates this activity for up to 15 hours of participation for continuing education for allied health professionals.
APA Credit for Psychololgists:
The Medical College of Wisconsin is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. MCW maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
Attendance at all sessions is required, partial credit will not be awarded.
This activity contains content or processes that may be potentially stressful.
The Medical College of Wisconsin is registered with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation as a Continuing Education Sponsor for social workers (license number 159-000664).
Application for CME credit has been filed with the American Academy of Family Physicians. Determination of credit is pending.
- 15.00 AAFPAAFP credit.
- 15.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
- 15.00 APAAPA credit.
- 15.00 Hours of ParticipationHours of Participation credit.
Registration prior to May 18, 2018 = $560 after May 18, 2018 = $610.00
Purchase an additional 5 DAY session and receive a $100.00 discount. Use coupon code: +DCSI
Please note: A $15.00 non-refundable processing fee is assessed on registrations.