Updated: May 12, 2021
Insight Improvisation programs are divided into four categories: (B)asic, (A)dvanced, (T)rain-the-trainer, and (S)pecial, plus (OL) Online Programs.
During the pandemic, we have introduced online programs to bring mindful, healing, expressive, and growth-oriented techniques to those in need around the world.
These are active workshops: rather than just looking at a screen, we are meditating, moving, improvising, working with partners, and diving deep into our imaginations, bodies, and emotions. Each program is an opportunity to connect with inner stillness as well as to express from that place of stillness, authentically. We find that doing so can be profoundly healing and freeing, and helps to address some of the daily challenges and limitations of life under COVID.
Registration for all online programs is on a “pay what you feel is right basis”—and is free of charge for those under financial stress.
All online programs (unless otherwise indicated) are 2.5 hours long, followed by an optional 30 minute discussion for Q&A and sharing.
See below for preparation suggestions and etiquette for online programs.
- OL-N1: An Introduction to Insight Improvisation, Online. Designed for those new to Insight Improvisation—including therapists and other mental health professionals, coaches, educators, performing artists, meditators, and anyone interested in self-exploration—this online introduction has two main purposes: (1) To offer a basic introduction to Insight Improv, including some of its underlying concepts and techniques, and (2) to provide an opportunity for healing, self-exploration, and self-expression, through a series of experiential exercises, including various forms of meditation and improvisation, as well as pair and group discussion.
- OL-N2: Going Deeper with Insight Improvisation, Online. (Multi-session program. Prerequisite: OL-N1 or B2, or the equivalent.) This ongoing program picks up where the Introduction to Insight Improvisation leaves off, expanding on a range of techniques including meditation, authentic movement, the entryway practices, psychodrama, and psolodrama. For experienced students, this program offers an opportunity to engage in practices they have already learned, to further their understanding as well as explore more deeply with partners and as a group.
- OL-C1: Insight Improv Online Program for Couples. Especially during times of stress, it’s important for couples to cultivate a strong, healthy, and compassionate relationship, both for their own happiness and for the well-being of others who depend on them. This program brings together inspiring practices from the worlds of meditation and mindfulness, theater and improvisation, as well as creative arts therapy and coaching, to provide a unique opportunity for couples to encounter one another in new ways, to see each other with fresh eyes. (For this online program, please note that couples should be in the same location, using the same camera—not on two different devices or in two different rooms.)
- OL-E1: Insight Improv Online Program for Experienced Students. (Prerequisite: B2 or the equivalent.) This program is for those who have attended the 4-day Life Drama Program, or a previous psolodrama training program. It is a chance to reconnect with the deepest parts of ourselves, which during times of crisis, stress, or simply busyness can be hidden even from ourselves. We will refresh our understanding of the basic concepts of Insight Improv—the 3 types of awareness (mindfulness, choicelessness, and lovingkindness) as well as Performance Mind and Being Mind—through meditating, moving, and improvising. We’ll also provide an opportunity to revisit the entryway to psolodrama and psolodrama itself, working with a partner.
- OL-LSG: LSG Special Online Workshop. (Prerequisite: B2 or the equivalent.) Designed for members of the Learning Support Group who wish to revive and deepen their Insight Improv practice, this is an opportunity to reconnect with friends in a safe context for sharing and exploring. We will be including all of the usual elements of an LSG session, including warm-up and meditation, a pair check-in, an opening circle with group sharing, and psolodrama with a partner. Former LSG members are welcome to attend!
- OL-A3: Insight Improvisation: Psolodrama in Depth. (Online version: 4 days, 4 hours per day; prerequisite: B2 or the equivalent.) This program fulfills the IIP certification requirement to attend advanced program A3. This program provides advanced training in psolodrama, a core practice in Insight Improvisation combining authentic movement and psychodrama, and containing elements of meditation, theatrical improvisation, and self-revelatory solo performance. This program includes training and practice in psoloist and witness roles, the four entryway practices leading to psolodrama, giving and receiving coaching during psolodrama, traditional psychodrama and the five psychodramatic roles, the three forms of awareness underlying psolodrama, creative variations on psolodrama, as well as information on how psolodrama is best used alone and in peer practice. (Due to the greater than is typical session length, there will be embedded breaks throughout the program.)
- OL-AM1: Authentic Movement Online Retreat. (4 days, 3 hours per day; prerequisite: B2 or the equivalent.) This program fulfills the IIP In-Depth Study requirement to attend a 2-day Authentic Movement workshop or retreat. This program provides an opportunity to learn more about authentic movement, mainly through experiential practice in pairs and as a group, and also through conceptual instruction and Q&A. We will explore the roles of mover and witness, the sharing process, the inner witness, our ability to listen deeply to the body, and our ability to truly let go and allow the body to lead.
How to Prepare for Online Programs
Before each program, we recommend reviewing the following steps to make sure you’re ready:
- Update Zoom and test. Please update Zoom to the latest version on your device or computer in advance, and test to make sure it’s working. In Zoom, under “Preferences” or “Settings,” click on “Video” and “Audio” to test your camera, lighting, microphone level, and speaker volume.
- Please use the latest version of Zoom, on a computer (ideally not a phone or tablet), and log in to Zoom from only one device.
- This means your computer must have a working camera and microphone.
- Please use the downloaded application, not the web version, of Zoom.
- Space and quiet. Please be in a private, quiet space where you can move, improvise, and make sound without being disturbed or disturbing others. We recommend clearing the floor to allow plenty of room to move. If you are sharing a home with others, we recommend placing a source of white noise outside your doorway, such as a white noise generator, a fan, or a radio tuned in to static, to help preserve privacy, and ask others in the home for their cooperation.
- Camera location. Part of the workshop will involve witnessing and being witnessed by others while you move and improvise. We recommend placing your computer or device on a low bench or chair: during group discussions or when witnessing this should allow you to sit on the floor or a cushion and have the camera roughly at eye level; when you are moving, this camera position should help you be seen whether you are standing, sitting, or lying down. (Exception: for the Couples program, participants will not be witnessed while moving with their partner, and can turn the camera off during partner exercises.)
- Dress. Please dress to move, in loose, comfortable clothes—t-shirts, sweatpants, and barefoot is best.
- Arrive early. Please log in to our Zoom meeting at least 5 minutes early so we can all start on time together. Note that the Zoom session will be locked (closed to latecomers) after the first 5 minutes.
- Optional items. A bottle of water; a journal and pen.
Zoom Etiquette for Online Programs
- Video on. Please make sure your video camera is turned on throughout the session (unless the instructor gives an option to turn off video during certain exercises).
- Muting. For everyone’s benefit, please keep your microphone muted when you are not speaking, especially if you are in an environment that is not perfectly quiet.
- Rename yourself. Please rename yourself in Zoom so that the name you like to be called appears first. You can add your location in parentheses if you like, e.g. "Joel (Boston)".
- No virtual backgrounds or filters. Please do not use virtual backgrounds or video filters as these can cause distraction.
- Chat. Please only use the Chat feature when asked to by the instructor, e.g. to answer questions posed by the instructor. Please do not communicate with other participants publicly or privately via Chat unless instructed to, as this can cause distraction. Thank you.
Basic Program: Life Drama
The Life Drama 4-day program is designed to introduce participants to drama therapy, psychodrama, and Insight Improvisation, and is appropriate for therapists and other mental health professionals, educators, coaches, performing artists, as well as those interested in their own self-development and personal growth. It is the basic, introductory program to Insight Improvisation and is a prerequisite for most advanced programs.
Life Drama consists of two parts:
- B1: An Introduction to Drama Therapy and Psychodrama (2 days) In this introductory workshop, we introduce fundamental techniques in drama therapy and psychodrama, using our own personal experiences as a basis for the drama. Exercises will range from fun introductory sharing and improvisational games, to deeper exercises that invite self-expression, emotional sharing, and the opportunity to explore present challenges and heal old wounds.
- B2: An Introduction to Insight Improvisation and Psolodrama (2 days. Prerequisite: B1*.) In this workshop we build on the learnings from the first part by introducing Insight Improvisation, a drama therapy approach that can be used in individual therapy, peer counseling, and with groups. Insight Improvisation combines mindfulness meditation with theater and psychotherapy. Through a mixture of theory as well as experiential techniques, we will learn to access inner imagery and inner roles, creating spontaneous dramas that evoke personal insight and emotional catharsis.
*Certified drama therapists (RDTs) and psychodramatists (CPs) are exempt from this prerequisite, as are those with extensive experience using psychodrama.
The advanced curriculum in Insight Improvisation is for those interested in a more thorough understanding of and practice in applying its concepts and methods, and particularly for those interested in certification as a therapist using Insight Improvisation or as a trainer of the approach.
- A1: Insight Improvisation: Exploring Authentic Impulse (2 days. Prerequisite: B2 or equivalent.) How can one listen to oneself more deeply, quiet the mind, and understand and follow one's intuition? This program takes a deeper dive into the concepts and exercises in Part I of the Insight Improvisation Book, helping to develop one's capacity for inner listening and the ability to follow authentic impulse. We will explore the mover and witness roles in authentic movement in greater depth, as well as introduce new mindfulness-based, creative and expressive exercises and alternative approaches to meditation. This program is appropriate for meditators, mental health professionals, educators, performing artists, and others seeking an opportunity for greater self-awareness, understanding, and ability to apply mindfulness in daily life.
- A2: Insight Improvisation: Freedom in Performance (2 days. No prerequisites.). Exploring the intersection of theater and meditation (the focus of Part II of the Insight Improv book), this program is designed for anyone who would like a different view of what acting and improvisation are, and to improve their skills. Non-actors can also benefit, increasing their flexibility, spontaneity, and ability to relax and feel grounded in front of an audience. A fun workshop filled with spontaneity, creativity, and physical/vocal self-expression, key concepts include advanced exploration of Performance Mind and Being Mind; how to let go of "good ideas" and return to the present moment; and how to "enter empty," and come from one's own authentic center.
- A3: Insight Improvisation: Psolodrama in Depth (2.5* days. Prerequisite: B2 or equivalent.) This program provides advanced training in psolodrama, a core practice in Insight Improvisation combining authentic movement and psychodrama, and containing elements of meditation, theatrical improvisation, and self-revelatory solo performance. This program includes training and practice in psoloist and witness roles, the four entryway practices leading to psolodrama, giving and receiving coaching during psolodrama, traditional psychodrama and the five psychodramatic roles, the three forms of awareness underlying psolodrama, creative variations on psolodrama, as well as information on how psolodrama is best used alone and in peer practice. *Extra half day is an optional evening session of individual coaching with group support.
- A4: Insight Improvisation: Working with Individuals (2.5* days. Prerequisite: B2 or equivalent.) This program is for psychotherapists, therapists in training, and other helping professionals (such as coaches and counselors), interested in applying Insight Improvisation with their clients. Insight Improvisation is a unique approach to individual therapy that combines meditation, theater, and psychotherapy. This program includes training and practice in applying meditation and mindfulness with clients; simple ways to introduce drama therapy and psychodrama early in the therapy process; how to use the four entryway practices over a series of sessions with a client; how to introduce psolodrama to a client and how to actively support them as they are learning the form; elements of talk therapy and life coaching that support the Insight Improv therapy process; and hands-on practice experiencing therapy sessions in both client and therapist roles. *Extra half day is an optional evening session of individual coaching with group support.
Please note: Becoming a trainer of Insight Improvisation is by invitation only. In order to register for these TTT programs or begin the certification process toward becoming a trainer, one must first receive a written invitation from Joel Gluck or the team of certified trainers.
T-level programs are for drama therapists and psychodramatists who have been invited to begin the process of becoming a trainer of Insight Improvisation; successfully completing these programs is a requirement for becoming a Certified Trainer (CIIP/CT).
- T1: Facilitating Insight Improv Workshops Part I (6 days. Prerequisites: CIIP certification and approval by the trainer.) An introduction to the principles and programs for teaching Insight Improvisation. Includes a walk-through of all six Basic and Advanced programs, experiential exercises, and essential training in the nuances of teaching the work.
- T2: Facilitating Insight Improv Workshops Part II (6 days. Prerequisites: T1 and approval by the trainer.) Practice teaching the six Basic and Advanced programs, with instructor and group feedback and coaching. (Following the program, the trainer determines whether further practice/coaching is needed in order to demonstrate mastery of the curriculum and training techniques.)
In addition to the standard curriculum, above, other programs are occasionally offered that are designed for particular populations or the general public.
- S1: Insight Improvisation for Couples (2 days. No prerequisites.) This program is designed for those wishing to break free from habitual patterns and renew the sense of love, affection, adventure, and mutual support in their relationship. The stresses of modern life—including the pervasive use of technology, the expansion of work beyond the workday, and the demands of parenting—can contribute to a couple's losing their sense of passionate connection with one another. Relationships can become transactional; neither partner is fully present nor expressing their authentic emotional truth. This program brings together inspiring practices from the worlds of meditation and mindfulness, theater and improvisation, as well as creative arts therapy and coaching, to provide a unique opportunity for couples to encounter one another in new ways, to see each other with fresh eyes. Exercises include partner meditation, authentic movement, moving in contact, mindful massage, and mindful dialogue—practicing speaking from the heart and listening to one another with awareness, empathy, and caring. (Please note that this is not a performance workshop; couples who register together do each activity together one-to-one.)
Those interested in registering for an Insight Improv program are asked to observe the following guidelines:
- Each program, although therapeutic in nature, is not a psychotherapy group. Participants must have the ability to hold and support their own emotional process.
- In order to help create a safe therapeutic container, participants are asked to register only if they can be present for the entire program.
- The programs are appropriate for ages 21 and older.
- For programs where we will not have a translator, fluency in English is required. Please check with the program organizer if you have concerns regarding translation.