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Kindler, R.C. Gray, A.A. (2010). Theater and Therapy: How Improvisation Informs the Analytic Hour. Psychoanal. Inq., 30(3):254-266.

(2010). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 30(3):254-266

Theater and Therapy: How Improvisation Informs the Analytic Hour

Rosalind Chaplin Kindler, M.F.A. and Arthur A. Gray, Ph.D.

There are compelling parallels between the creative and spontaneous moments that occur in the therapeutic encounter and in a two-person dramatic improvisation found in theater training. Both involve the imaginative and creative collaboration of the participants and both involve the mutual responsiveness of storyteller and listener. This view establishes a place within the analytic frame for the improvisational nature of the psychoanalytic experience as described by Stern et al. (1998).

An understanding of the process of theatrical improvisation will further inform psychoanalytic practice by enhancing the analyst's repertoire of responsiveness. This contention, already established in the developmental and psychoanalytic literature, is supported further by the work of the distinguished theater director and acting teacher, Sanford Meisner (personal communication, 1966).

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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