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Improv for Anxiety

A partnership between Improv-LA and Licensed Clinical Psychologist Dr. Goodman

This class teaches participants how to use the principles of improv to better manage anxiety. Anxiety is all about control. It keeps us stuck in our head (not in the present moment). It keeps us further away from the things we value in our lives. It amplifies self-judgment self-criticism. Improv can teach us how to break out of these patterns. 

We'll use fun, interactive improv games to strengthen present-moment awareness, self-compassion, and courage in a supportive environment*. It integrates behavioral science principles such as mindfulness, resiliency, and growth mindset. Through this class participants will learn to: 

  • Sharpen present-moment attention.

  • Tolerate uncertainty (important for managing anxiety) by stepping into the “unknown.”

  • Cultivate greater courage by taking risks in a safe and supportive atmosphere.

  • Strengthen self-compassion by working with the inner critic.

  • Develop a “growth” mindset.

  • Adapt to unexpected challenges and more.

No prior improv or acting experience necessary. Come as you are! : )

Class take place in-person in Hollywood.

(*Note: This is not group therapy and does not constitute a therapeutic relationship. This class should not be used as a replacement for mental health or medical treatment.)

​(Also note: we'll be skipping 11/21 for Thanksgiving week)

"May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease and joy. May you be free of suffering."

Nothing to book right now. Check back soon.
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Matthew Goodman, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY32423) and Founder/CEO of The Middle Way. In addition to specializing in mindfulness-based interventions as a clinician, he has taught mindfulness, self-compassion, and other stress-reduction practices to healthcare providers, teachers, parents, and lay audiences. He has published several articles and book chapters on mindfulness and mind-body health and is the author of Simple Stress-Reduction: Easy and Effective Practices for Kids, Teens, and Adults. Dr. Goodman serves as Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California, where he supervises and teaches psychiatry residents. He has been training and performing improv comedy for 5+ years, including being a student at The Groundlings in Los Angeles.


Jenna Bryce Shaw studied theater at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and was thrilled to be in their company after graduating. For over ten years, she has studied and performed improv and sketch at the Groundlings, UCB, Second City, iO West, TAPNY, and various other theaters. Since she was a kid, Jenna has lived with a super awesome, really fun, amazingly rad anxiety disorder and in 2013 she found a wonderful Dialectical Behavioral Therapist. DBT completely changed her relationship with her anxiety and she is beyond grateful. She believes many tools from improv relate to many of the skills she learned from DBT and is excited to share her improv knowledge with other humans. She lives with her 12-year-old pug named Arlene and her favorite Beatle is George Harrison.