All Kinds of News for August 09, 2017
At Moonridge Academy, the Academic Director is consistently looking for unique and interesting ways to merge the academic components of the program to the clinical aspects. Recently, Moonridge Academy introduced a new class to our academic schedule—Improvisation Comedy.
Improvisation (or improv) is a form of live theatre in which the plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment. Professional improv actors TJ Penrod and Rev McLean, who perform regularly at OTC Comedy in Cedar City, UT, have spent the summer teaching the students at Moonridge Academy how to develop characters and scene plots literally “off the cuff”. Some of the students have taken to the challenge easily, while others have had to stretch their comfort level to do so. In this process, students learned that not only is improv fun, it is also very therapeutic. One of the students shared, “At first, doing Improv was hard for me because it made me very anxious. I was anxious about looking weird or not doing it right. TJ and Rev didn’t put any pressure on me to participate and at first, I just watched. As I watched the other students, I saw that it wasn’t as scary as I thought. I learned that I could do something or say something and it was OK for it not to be perfect. The other class members just acted off of what I had said or done. I now love going to class!”
The skills of managing both the process of improv and the process of therapy are quite similar. In both improv and in therapy there needs to be a teamwork approach with each participant’s interactions determining how a process will conclude. There needs to be cooperation in both improv and in a therapeutic environment, as unexpected twists and turns provide points that each person must adapt to. The capability to share and understand another person’s emotions and feelings are at the core of both therapy and improv.
Improv has also taught students how to communicate with their peers verbally and nonverbally. Body language provides insights into a person’s attitude and state of mind while doing improv. Improv has taught the students to be better listeners as well as how to more effectively express their needs. Another student said, “Improv helped me to understand my friends better. I got to see them be funny and I learned that sometimes you learn what another person is thinking by what they are doing and not by what they are saying”.
About Moonridge Academy
Moonridge Academy is a CERTS Program in beautiful Southern Utah with 16 beds, and is specifically designed for younger girls, ages 11-15. Younger girls need a younger environment, without the influence of older girls' more sophisticated or advanced issues. Moonridge takes a young approach to therapy and intervention, even our DBT program is taught and delivered at this specific age range level. Moonridge is intensive residential treatment for girls with issues of trauma, emotional regulation, depression, family conflict, and beginning stages of self-harm or substance experimentation. Traditional schooling is provided and Moonridge uses play and laughter to connect, a warm family environment to protect, and deep therapy to inspire and create change.