Jude Treder-Wolff Q&A With Erin Rodgers at Story Stars Show and Blog:
Q: What separates a good story from a great story?
A: A good story is engaging, emotionally compelling, and entertaining. A great story is illuminating and transformative. A great story reshapes the way we see ourselves or other people or the world and it sticks. We cannot unsee what a great story shows us about life.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to try storytelling for the first time?
A: Trust that your life experiences are interesting and rich. Know that your life stories are important and worth sharing with the world. And also know that the creative process of crafting a lived experience into a stage-worthy story is a creative process that develops a powerful skill set for having impact in the world.
Often first-time storytellers think they will have more confidence if they share about their successes in life, but I encourage them to look at another way. What makes our successes interesting to other people is all the reasons that success was unlikely, the obstacles that had to be overcome in order to realize it. The best stories are about struggle. Often people think their life is not interesting enough for them to tell stories about it, and that a great story has to have crazy coincidences or wild characters. But the most compelling stories are about how a person is impacted by life. Almost everyone has gone through things like a friend's sudden rejection, a co-worker taking credit for work that we did, the moments when we realize life is not fair and we have to choose how we will deal with that reality. But everyone has their own take on those experiences, details specific to their own life and world, and giving words to our own unique take can produce wonderful stories. Even very private, internal struggles can be fantastic stories. An authentic struggle - even if it was a simple thing like leaving KMart, realizing you walked out of the store without paying for something and how you made a decision whether or not to go back in and pay for it - can be fascinating to listen to if we do the creative work. READ ENTIRE INTERVIEW ON STORYSTARS BLOG
Jude Treder-Wolff was interviewed about Transformative Storytelling on the internet radio show "Morning Moments With Maia" on December 18, 2016. Listen here
Thinking on Your Feet Takes Improvisation--and Practice
Originally written and published by Newsday and picked up the the LA Times
"Improv? Yes, it's one of the hottest training methods in today's workplace--learning the skills used in improvisational theater. See the parallel? Improv actors have to laser-focus so they can create and perform at just about the same instant. Does that sound anything like the demands being put on you in a work world that keeps changing and never shuts down?
What's more, improv actors have tremendous respect for one another's concepts and are willing to take someone else's thread and run with it to see where it goes. And wouldn't that be nice at work--if colleagues really listened and supported our ideas and gave them a shot, instead of steadfastly proceeding down the same old path?
Improv is all about collaboration, communication and connectedness, says Jude Treder-Wolff, a cabaret artist and president of Lifestage, a workplace training company in Smithtown, N.Y. "It teaches you to be more generous and not to be so worried about yourself. . . . Improv calls upon a person's ability to go beyond the need to be right, look good, play it safe."
It helps flex our "imaginative and creative muscles," says Treder-Wolff, whose company designs and conducts experiential, interactive theater programs to help with on-the-job team building, problem solving, stress and diversity." READ ARTICLE ON LA TIMES
How Does Improv Help Clinicians Think On Their Feet? An interview series with Jude Treder-Wolff published on Beth Boyton's Confident Voices and picked up on the website Healthy Simulations.
"We think we know what is going to happen next in life - we look at our schedules and it seems like we should know what the day will be like - but things may go in a very different way then we plan or expect. Theater games help to reduce the sense of threat posed by recognizing that uncertainty is just how things are, and to look at uncertainty as a necessary dimension to the creative process. We accept and embrace uncertainty so that we can create - a creative space is empathic, aware, building on what is given, and expansive." http://healthysimulation.com/4538/how-does-improv-help-clinicians-think-on-their-feet/
World Health Day: Keeping Mind and Body Fit At Any Age
Mental health in particular can be impacted when people age, and it's necessary to always make mental health a priority because of its effects on overall health and lifespan. Experts have some advice on how to improve mental health while aging and some insight into what mental health issues people might deal with more often as they get older.
Jude Treder-Wolff, a licensed clinical social worker and the author of Possible Futures: Creative Thinking for The Speed of Life, said in an email that older adults tend to deal with more loss. "To cope with changes over which we have no control that are part of getting older and to create change that allows us to continue to live a satisfying life, we need the skills associated with good mental health: the ability to communicate our thoughts and feelings to others; a social network that has some degree of intimacy and allows for self-expression; resourcefulness; the belief that we have something to contribute to the world, and activity that expresses our contribution," Treder-Wolff said.
It's not too late to have a healthy mind, and she suggests working on positive mental health starting now. "We will grow older the same way we live now, so if we want to grow older with creativity and a sense of possibility - which are directly related to positive mental health and important tools for dealing with physical health challenges as well - the best thing is to cultivate those qualities starting now, "Treder-Wolff said. This means doing activities like going to museums, art shows, and concerts, as well as meeting new types of people, forming trusting relationships, and learning new skills, she added. READ ARTICLE ON GOODTHERAPY.ORG