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Musical Theatre Comedy and PTSD: Healing Through Our Stories

“Laugh Your Way to Resilience: Humor, Health, Healing” was most recently presented at the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor Conference in Sunny Orlando Florida. View the highlights here. 

Charlie Chaplin once said, “To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it.”

Humor makes a challenging subject like fundraising easier to learn and embrace. A big group laugh can break a tense moment or add a burst of energy just when you need it.  But that’s not all.  You’ll discover practical, playful tools to incorporating humor into your own life for health, happiness and gratitude throughout life’s detours. You’ll learn the various “types” of humor, and learn why humor…

  • Diminishes the importance of situations and problems
  • Creates a safe container that protects you against anything (wait until you participate in this exercise!)
  • Is an instant tension-release mechanism
  • Helps you cope with with stress through a playful outlook on life (
  • Learn why humor is healthy in the most surprising ways.  Hey, did you know that Freud referred to humor as one of the most mature and positive defense mechanisms?
  • Humor connects us locally, globally, and is the best antidote to trauma, adversity, and uncertainty

This presentation is ideal for corporate functions, team-building seminars, your friends, schools, healthcare professionals, nursing students, kids…well, who doesn’t need humor?

mental health america

This was most recently presented at the Mental Health America Conference on June 8th, 2016

How does music heal when words can’t?  Why does sharing our story have the power to transform our experience?  How can we use creative expression to share our truth in a way that breeds compassion?  And what’s so funny about PTSD? 

After surviving sexual abuse, a coma, 27 surgeries and PTSD at 18 years old, Amy discovered storytelling as a way to gain control over uncertain times, and ultimately to transform  obstacles into opportunities.  Unable to eat or drink a drop of water for six of the past ten years, Amy struggled with mental health issues while her digestive system was miraculously reconstructed.   Piecing life together after trauma, Amy discovered that the power of the human spirit relied on storytelling, humor and creativity.

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Sharing her near death experience with humor and heart, Amy shows the transformative power of words  on a musical journey of hope and determination. Although language, entertainment and messages in our culture can often contribute to stigma, Amy shows how the power of messages and media can be transformed for good, to tell our stories and emphasize universal truths  of our experiences, creating a compassionate world of storytellers and listeners.  A celebration of life through drama, comedic flair and the lessons learned from a “beautiful detour”, Amy shares what trauma teaches us, bringing out the stories that unite us all, and shows through creative expression, we can not only change the conversation, but devise a creative, expressive dynamic conversation full of humor, empathy, awareness, empowerment and advocacy.

The Power of Our Stories and the Stories of Others:  Participants will learn how storytelling as well as hearing the stories of other can transform our own experience and the experiences of others, building resiliency, self-confidence and identity.

Humor/Creativity as a way Beyond/Through:  Participants will learn how they can use creative mechanisms like theatre, writing, art and most importantly, humor, to replace stigma with understanding, and fear with advocacy and empowerment.

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