Improv comedy workshops at UCLA to help military families deal with effects of war

The UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center and the nonprofit Rx Laughter are teaming up with the legendary Second City Training Center to offer an innovative, humor-based project that uses improvisational comedy techniques to help military families deal with the traumatic effects of war.

In the free two-hour workshops, the first of which will be held at UCLA for military parents and their children on April 22, participants will learn the basic principles of improvisation to enhance family communication, reduce stress and promote family togetherness. Through the use of humor, families will be given the opportunity to not only laugh as a family but to take home valuable skills for family fun nights. Additional workshops are scheduled for May and June.

"When Sherry Hilber of Rx Laughter contacted us with the idea to use improvisational comedy to help our military families, I was immediately intrigued," said Catherine Mogil, an assistant clinical professor at the Nathanson Center, which is part of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. "Humor is so important for emotional healing for military families who can get worn down by years of our country being at war. We hope this afternoon of fun and laughter will offer them a chance to reconnect as a family."

"There is a great need for our military families to have a place where they can feel free to express their emotions in an emotionally safe environment, learning how to use humor to see the positive side of a situation to help reduce conflict and stress," said Sherry Hilber, founder and president of Rx Laughter and a veteran primetime network comedy executive. "We hope this workshop is the first of many more uplifting sessions for military families in need."

For information on upcoming dates and to sign up, please Julie D’Amico at the UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center by phone at 310-267-0622 or by email at jdamico [a] mednet.ucla (p) edu.

Rx Laughter is a humor research, therapeutic and educational nonprofit charity that creates and implements projects that advance the emotional and physical health of children and adults who are battling serious illnesses and trauma.

The Second City Training Center founded over 50 years ago, is the world’s premier school of improvisational training for children and adults.

The UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center promotes family resilience through service programs, provider training and research.

 
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