Improvisational Comedy Heals patients at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

Jenny Debevec, the proprietor of the idea of improvisational comedy, supposes that children who are left alone, are nervous or incapacitated by persistent illnesses turn out to be joyous when they participate in improvisational comedy. According to her, this is not a gag, as in the five years she has engaged in the art at a hospital directed by the Palo Alto school, she has experienced a lot of changes.
Debevec has assisted many of her students to be automatically creative through questions that take turns to be answered by the students, and any response is said to be correct as it is all about fantasy, imagining and above all, having fun. The advantages and applications of improvisational comedy are real and practical, she says. For example, a girl in her teens annoyingly threatened to fight a doctor and security personnel only for her to cool down when she interacted with Debevec by the use of a mere puppet. This idea, however, is neither used by many nor by people who can take credit for it.

Debevec did theater and has gone a notch higher to acquire a Master's Degree in counseling at the San Fransisco State University. This would make her understand better; the impact improvisational comedy has on the welfare of humans under emotional and medical problems. Her main aim is to prove that actually, improvisational comedy is a cure to the emotional challenges. She also wants more people to start embracing and implementing it.
The task she has is to gauge the level of positive impact it has had to human. She came up with five distinct ways to evaluate her performance and these included; ability to make the patients laugh, make them more joyous, elevate their levels of hope, and improve on their moods and enable them to be socially active. "Improvisational comedy increases the number of one's friends and improves the willingness to share," confesses Keenan who underwent a kidney transplant at two years. He operates with no kidney as one was done away with due to cancer and the other as a result of rejection. He is now fighting an infection at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital before returning to his native home in Hawaii.
A lot of nurses have seen the benefits that this practice has done to the patients, noting that they had linked a child who laughed or made other kids laugh to being a healthy child. According to an associate professor at San Francisco State, Patricia Van Velsor, the acts of improvisational comedy have no research but rather are based on just observation. Children have been observed to come out and express themselves, something that was not the case prior.
Source: http://www.sfchronicle.com/education/article/Improvisational-comedy-prog...


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