Playing By the Rules: When Mediation is Like Improv

Mediation may not be a laughing matter, but it shares some similarities with improv comedy. This comparison came to me when I read a recent New York Times article commemorating the 50th anniversary of the renowned Chicago improv comedy troupe, Second City. Around the same time, a friend called to tell me about performing improv at a workshop. She described the experience as a lesson in self-discovery. “The whole point of the exercise,“ she explained, “was for the group to practice the rules of improv to see which ones were hardest to follow. Each one of us butted heads against at least one of the rules. It became a mini-therapy session. Our rule-breaking during our performances pointed us to our underlying issues.” Say more! Tell me everything. I love Rorschach type tests, and this sounded like a good one.

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