Improvisation for people who stammer

Course Dates: 02/02/23 - 06/04/23
Time: 18:00 - 20:00
Location: Keeley Street
Develop your spontaneous communication and expressiveness through Improvisation. Discover how to embrace more of your natural spontaneity and expressiveness, within a playful and supportive space. Discover more flow in communication with others and explore what helps you achieve this.
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Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £20.00

Course Code: XS315

Thu, eve, 02 Feb - 06 Apr '23

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

Communication is inherently unpredictable and in order to communicate well, we need to be able to respond resourcefully in the moment to whatever arises. In other words, we need to be ready for the unexpected. This is improvisation, although we may not think of it this way. Most of us have grown up associating improvisation with theatre or comedy, but actually each of us improvises on a continual basis as we adapt to situations and respond to whatever is coming up in the here and now.

What will we cover?

In this course, the therapeutic use of improvisation is used,

• To create a judgement-free, nurturing space where individuals can discover more about their own habits and patterns of thinking and communicating, and try out fresh and novel ways of responding in the moment.
• Students can develop more awareness and insight into their speaking, listening and wider communication patterns, to see what's working well and what's less useful for them.
• Through fun and playful experiences, participants can explore varied ways of responding to situations, opening up possibilities for growth and change in the process.
• Participants can gain greater insight into their own strengths, skills and resources as they learn to tolerate more uncertainty and respond with greater spontaneity, within a safe and supportive space.
• Essentially students will be discovering how to embrace more of their natural spontaneity and expressiveness, within a climate of emotional safety.

• Going at the pace of the students, the course will include learning key principles of Improvisation through experiential activities and reflecting on the insights which arise from these activities.
• The course will also involve using improvisation to observe conditioned habits of thinking and responding, which help or hinder individuals in expressing themselves.
• Improvisation will be used to explore key topics and issues that arise from group members and that matter to them.
• The individual’s experience of stammering and how it impacts on spontaneity and expressiveness will be explored.
• The facilitator will draw on a range of therapeutic approaches as needed, while working in an improvisational manner with the group.

The facilitator is trained as a Speech and Language Therapist, Therapeutic Coach and Improviser and has been using improvisation in her therapeutic work with people who stammer over the past six years.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

*Demonstrate an understanding of improvisation principles and be beginning to experiment with them in your life.
*Enjoy more moments of spontaneity and self-expression
*Tolerate more uncertainty in communication with others
*Observe more of what is going on dynamically within communication exchanges.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is for people who stammer who have already attended an intensive course or evening class (Stage 1 Stammering Therapy). It is also suitable for people who are new to the City Lit.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Students will learn through a variety of methods including presentation by tutor, large and small group work. There will be a particular emphasis on feedback and video will be used. Handouts will be given.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?


When I've finished, what course can I do next?

A variety of Stage 2 courses and workshops. Advice on other courses at the City Lit is available during drop-in advice times (see programme guide for details.).

Anita McKiernan

Anita McKiernan, BSc, MSc, Dip Coaching, Dip Counselling Skills, MRCSLT, HCPC registered. Anita is a highly specialist Speech and Language Therapist and joined CityLit as a part-time tutor in 2019. Her wider work includes children, young people & adults with Selective Mutism, Stammering and Voice Disorders. She spent several years working in the NHS in clinical & management roles. Anita is also a Visiting Lecturer & Clinical Tutor at City, University of London. She is the Chair of the National Clinical Excellence Network in Selective Mutism and is an adviser for the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists. She is also a member of the National and Regional Clinical Excellence Networks in Fluency. Anita has completed further qualifications in areas of Coaching & Counselling and uses a range of psychological approaches in her work. As a lover of the Arts and trained improviser, Anita reslishes the creative process of working with others. She draws on various art forms as appropriate, including art-making, music, movement, improvisation and poetry. She has written songs & melodies for therapeutic use and writes poetry when the impulse strikes!.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.