Thursday, March 27, 2014
9:00 am – 5:00 pm (includes lunch)
CE or CME: 7 credits
Chicago Marriott Downtown
Learn the fundamentals of improvisation and how to combine it with cognitive-behavioral therapy as a viable therapeutic tool for people with social anxiety disorder. Improv can also help clinicians think outside of the box, take risks, and become more comfortable with the uncertainties of nontraditional treatment methods. This may be the only workshop that requires you to be unprepared.
Through February 28
Members: $100 (with conference registration); $150 Institute only
Nonmembers: $150* (with conference registration); $195* Institute only
After March 1
Members: $110 (with conference registration); $175 Institute only
Nonmembers: $195* (with conference registration); $205* Institute only
* Nonmembers pay additional $55 for CE or CME
Registration for the Anxiety and Depression Conference 2014, March 27–30, is not required to attend this preconference, full-day workshop "Improv for Anxiety."
1. Download the registration form to your computer. 
2. Type in all the highlighted fields, including typing your name in the “Authorizing signature” and “Print name clearly” fields.
3. Save, rename with your name, andmembership [at] adaa [dot] org ( e-mail as an attachment. )
Improvisation, or active storytelling, is an ancient mind-body therapeutic resource. Performance art creates a readiness to accept and embrace uncertainty. The process itself is the product, providing a direct connection to the moment and a newfound desire to venture out of an avoidant lifestyle. The power of the ensemble helps manage anxiety, minimize self-stigma, and maintain participation during the challenging moments of treatment.
Participants will learn how to incorporate the principles and skills of improv into individual and group-treatment strategies, as well as how to develop partnerships with performance art organizations.
The morning session features the basic principles and strategies of improv in an experiential demonstration. The afternoon session demonstrates the process of a CBT-inspired treatment group. Lunch includes a brief presentation and a Q&A with program graduates. Throughout the day, participants engage in improv and CBT-related activities in small ensembles.
The presenters, a team of veteran improvisers and mental health professionals, will describe a clinical rationale for use of improv in treatment for social anxiety disorder. They will present its principles and activities that complement CBT treatment, as well as the skills and abilities that psychotherapists have in common with professional improvisers.
The program partnership between the Panic Anxiety Recovery Center (PARC) and The Second City Chicago addresses the need for a multimodal intensive experience for adults with moderate social anxiety disorder. It has served approximately 200 adults since 2011.
Mark Pfeffer, LMFT
Panic Anxiety Recovery Center
Mark Pfeffer is the director of the Panic/Anxiety Recovery Center (PARC) in Chicago, Illinois. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Illinois and California, where he served as the Commissioner of Social Services for the City of Santa Monica. An ADAA member, Mr. Pfeffer is a graduate of The Second City A-E Improvisation Training program, where he cofounded the Improv for Anxiety program in 2011.
Mr. Pfeffer has appeared on a number of national television networks, as well as national and local news outlets and magazines. He received the 2002 Golden Bell award from the Mental Health Association of Illinois.
Becca Barish, LSW
Panic Anxiety Recovery Center
As program coordinator with the Panic and Anxiety Recovery Center, Becca Barish employs her passion for teaching improv as an art form and an effective therapeutic intervention. She also cofacilitates “Improv for Anxiety” support groups and works with individual clients who are struggling with panic and anxiety.
Ms. Barish is also a student at The Second City Conservatory, and she performs throughout Chicago, in addition to having appeared on national cable networks. She studied improv at io and The Annoyance theaters in Chicago and People’s Improv Theater in New York City. In 2010 she founded Off Book Enterprises to impart improv techniques and exercises to students, educators, and business professionals to improve communication.
Second City Training Center: Chicago
The Second City Training Center