Certification in Insight Improvisation

Introduction Certification Requirements Additional Guidelines

Revised: January 6, 2019

Introduction

Insight Improvisation is a drama therapy approach that explores the intersection of meditation, theater, and psychotherapy. It is used by psychotherapists as a set of techniques mainly in individual therapy. Individuals from any background—therapists, meditators, educators, artists, and others—can also use it as a form of self- or peer-practice. Insight Improv helps one explore life themes and challenges through spontaneous dramas that emerge from inner listening, authentic movement, inner imagery, roles, and stories, with the ultimate goal of greater insight as well as emotional expression.

Advanced training and certification in Insight Improvisation is offered for therapists and others who wish to gain a broader and deeper understanding of its underlying principles and to practice using the range of active techniques that comprise the approach.

There are three levels of certification in Insight Improvisation:

  1. Insight Improvisation Practitioner (IIP) for those using Insight Improvisation as an individual or peer practice.
  2. Certified Insight Improvisation Practitioner (CIIP) for therapists using Insight Improvisation as a drama therapy approach with clients.
  3. Certified Trainer (CIIP/CT) for drama therapists and psychodramatists teaching group programs in Insight Improvisation.

Joel Gluck, MEd, RDT/BCT, CIIP/CT, the originator of Insight Improvisation, offers training and certification in the US and internationally.

Certification Requirements

Please Note:

  • Certification at each level is at the discretion of the trainer, who must be a CIIP/CT (the word "trainer" below refers to a CIIP/CT).
  • Trainees whose primary language is not English must provide an English translation of all written materials.

I. Insight Improvisation Practitioner (IIP)

  1. Programs. Has completed Life Drama (B1 and B2) plus the first three advanced training programs (A1, A2, and A3).
  2. Individual sessions. Has completed 12 individual sessions with a trainer, as follows:
    1. Psychodrama. 3 sessions in the role of client, with the trainer using psychodrama
    2. Psolodrama. 3 sessions in the role of client, with the trainer using psolodrama
    3. Assisting. 4 sessions in the role of assistant (or translator): 2 assisting psychodramas (e.g. playing an auxiliary ego role when needed), 2 witnessing psolodramas, ideally with different people in the client role in all 4 sessions.
    4. Peer. 2 peer sessions with trainer (minumum 2 hours per session) practicing psolodrama as both psoloist and witness; trainer provides feedback on the candidate's witnessing and sharing as well as on their psolodrama.
  3. Peer practice. Engaged in a monthly peer practice using Insight Improvisation.
    1. Has documented a monthly independent peer practice using Insight Improvisation/psolodrama equivalent to one year (12 meetings) with colleagues, peers, or friends, participating in both psoloist and witness roles in each session.
    2. Has demonstrated an understanding of psoloist and witness roles through writing about their peer sessions, including transcripts of portions of several of their own improvisations, along with commentary. (Each case example and commentary should be about 1500 words; along with a discussion of witnessing, the full paper should be approximately 5000-6000 words.)
  4. In-depth study. In addition to the required Insight Improv programs, has studied and practiced meditation and authentic movement in depth.
    1. Meditation retreat. Has completed a personal or group meditation retreat, for a minimum of seven (7) days, of silent meditation, including sitting and walking meditation, samadhi, vipassana, and metta practices, supervised by a qualified teacher.
    2. Authentic movement. Has completed an authentic movement workshop or retreat, for a minimum of three (3) days, including pair and group authentic movement, and in-depth practice moving, witnessing, and sharing, supervised by a qualified teacher or experienced practitioner.

      Note: Meditation and authentic movement experience equivalent to the above may be accepted at the discretion of the trainer.

  5. Documentation. Has provided written documentation of all of the above requirements (including program, individual session, peer session, and retreat dates, locations, and names of teachers/therapists/etc as appropriate) for approval by their trainer.
  6. Required reading. Has read the following sections of the Insight Improv Book:
    1. Parts I & II: chapters on Meditation, Authentic Movement, Shared Vipassana, Role Stream and Scene Stream
    2. Part III: all chapters
    3. Plus, one or more of the following additional recommended reading:
      1. Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
      2. Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening by Joseph Goldstein
      3. Authentic Movement: Essays by Mary Starks Whitehouse, Janet Adler and Joan Chodorow edited by Patrizia Pallaro
      4. Acting In (3rd edition) by Adam Blatner
  7. Writing assignment. Has responded satisfactorily to reflective questions provided by their trainer.
  8. Exam. Has demonstrated an understanding of Insight Improvisation principles and practices by submitting satisfactory answers to a take-home exam.
  9. Embodiment. Exemplifies the qualities of an Insight Improvisation practitioner, practicing mindfulness, choicelessness, and lovingkindness in their interactions with others.

II. Certified Insight Improvisation Practitioner (CIIP)

Has fulfilled all of the requirements for the IIP, above, plus:

  1. Certified therapist. Holds an RDT (Registered Drama Therapist) or CP (Certified Practitioner of Psychodrama) or equivalent in a form of creative arts therapy, play therapy, or related form of therapy, and/or is a licensed mental health professional. Candidate must provide documentation of their certification/license for approval by a trainer.
  2. Programs. Has completed advanced training program A4: Working with Individuals.
  3. Supervision and case examples.
    1. Supervision. Has completed one year (a minimum of 6 bimonthly sessions lasting no less than one hour per session) of supervision with a trainer. (Supervision can take place in person or remotely by phone/video.)
    2. Case examples. Has presented for supervision video recordings of two different psychotherapy sessions in which they were the therapist and which feature their use of Insight Improv techniques, with at least one example of a client practicing psolodrama, including the sharing process afterward. Note: In situations where it is impossible to video record, a written transcript of a client session may be submitted.
  4. Documentation. Has provided written documentation of all of the above requirements (including program and supervision dates) for approval by their trainer.
  5. Required reading. Has read the following:
    1. Gluck, J. (2012), Mindfulness and drama therapy: Insight Improvisation and the transformation of anger. In L. Rappaport (Ed.), Mindfulness and the arts therapies. London: Jessica Kingsley.
    2. Gluck, J. (2018), Insight Improvisation: Integrating mindfulness and meditation with drama therapy. In D.R. Johnson and R. Emunah (Eds.), Current approaches in drama therapy, third edition. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas. Manuscript submitted for publication.
    3. The Insight Improv Book chapter entitled Working with Individuals.
    4. Plus, one or more of the following additional recommended reading:
      1. A Clinician's Guide to Psychodrama by Eva Leveton
      2. Current Approaches in Drama Therapy (latest edition) by David Johnson and Renee Emunah
  6. Writing assignment. Has responded satisfactorily to reflective questions provided by their trainer.
  7. Exam. Has demonstrated an understanding of the application of Insight Improvisation ideas and techniques in individual therapy by submitting satisfactory answers to a take-home exam.
  8. Embodiment. Exemplifies the qualities of an Insight Improvisation therapist, practicing mindfulness, choicelessness, and lovingkindness in their interactions with others.

III. Certified Trainer (CIIP/CT)

Please note: Becoming a trainer of Insight Improvisation is by invitation only; in order to begin the education and certification process toward becoming a trainer, one must first receive a written invitation from Joel Gluck or the team of certified trainers.

Has fulfilled all of the requirements for CIIP, above, plus:

  1. Certified drama therapist, psychodramatist, or equivalent. Holds an RDT (Registered Drama Therapist) or CP (Certified Practitioner of Psychodrama) certification from the NADTA or ASGPP (or the equivalent in those countries having their own drama therapy or psychodrama certification). Note: Exceptions for therapists trained in related forms of therapy having an extensive background in practicing drama therapy—including directing psychodrama with large groups—may be granted by a trainer at their discretion.
  2. Programs. Has completed all train-the-trainer programs (T level), and has been “passed” by the instructor of each of those programs.
  3. Assisting/co-teaching. Has assisted/co-taught in at least two Life Drama programs (B1 and B2, twice) plus assisted/co-taught at each program in the Advanced curriculum (A1-A4) at least once.
  4. Teaching. Has led a full-length (four day) independent Life Drama program (B1 and B2), as follows:
    1. Has organized the training themselves, with a minimum attendance of eight participants throughout the four days.
    2. Has been observed by their trainer throughout their teaching of the program.
    3. Has gathered participant evaluations/written feedback and submitted it to their trainer.
    4. Has received feedback and been "passed" by their trainer (based on a list of standards for that program).
  5. Documentation. Has provided documentation of the fulfillment of all of these requirements (including all program dates and signatures of instructors and observers) for approval by a trainer.
  6. Required reading. Has read the following:
    1. The Insight Improv Book chapter entitled Facilitating Workshops.
    2. All remaining chapters in the Insight Improv Book not yet assigned.
    3. All additional recommended reading appearing above.
  7. Writing assignment. Has responded satisfactorily to reflective questions provided by their trainer.
  8. Exam. Has demonstrated an understanding of Insight Improvisation curricula, exercises, techniques, and concepts for use in group programs by submitting satisfactory answers to a take-home exam.
  9. Embodiment. Exemplifies the qualities of an Insight Improvisation trainer, practicing mindfulness, choicelessness, and lovingkindness in their interactions with others.

Additional Guidelines for Certification

  • Subject to change. These certification requirements are subject to change; we will be evolving and refining them over time. Although we will do our best to inform trainees when this page is updated, trainees are expected to revisit this page to make sure they are conforming to the latest requirements before submitting materials or documentation. We will maintain a revision date at the top of this page for reference purposes.
  • Specific requirements. This page attempts to provide a complete but high-level guide to the certification process. Certain specific requirements—such as writing assignments and tests—will be communicated to trainees individually in person or by email.
  • Additional work may be required. In some cases, a trainer may require additional work or documentation from a trainee in order to certify them. In these cases, the trainer's additional requirements supercede the minimum set of requirements described on this page.
  • Expiration and recertification. Certification is for a fixed period of time, and expires three (3) years from the date it is granted. Our commitment is to make recertification as painless (and inexpensive) as possible, but in some cases it may require additional reading, writing, training, or individual work. Please check in with your trainer (or the team of certified trainers) no later than 6 months prior to your certification expiration for information about how to recertify.

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