Taylor Glenn: “Helping Others” Via “Reverse PsyComedy”

Comedic performer¬†Taylor Glenn hails from the U.S. but is now based in London. She calls the United Kingdom “a place where some would rather publicly admit to having a sexually transmitted illness than having seen a psychotherapist.”

Currently Glenn is doing a show entitled “Reverse Psycomedy”—about her former life as a therapist— at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.

When she posted¬†months ago about the preparation behind this show, she noted that the humor she mines about therapy is not particularly based on the issues she saw in her clients but on the role of being a therapist: “…(T)he real funny comes from the strange role I was in, and the realisations stemming from the very personal, intimate connections with others in their darkest and most vulnerable moments. And sometimes, in my own.”

More recently, in advance of her Fringe show, Taylor Glenn talked in an interview with Mark Smith about feeling that “she can finally take on the taboo subject of what being a therapist is like.” (Click here for the article.)

‘I learned to yawn through my nose, for example, which is the kind of thing they never taught you at university,’ she says. ‘They don’t tell you if you have to yawn don’t let your patients see that because they’ll be devastated so you learn to yawn and look really interested.’

Being honest about therapy in this way has been hard for Glenn because she was a conscientious psychotherapist; she took it very seriously. ‘I would never break my ethical code or anything like that but I have to be honest about what it was like on the other side of that chair. And I think it’s refreshing for an audience to see that therapists are just normal people who swear and have weird thoughts and have a sense of humour.’

What Glenn certainly isn’t saying is that therapists should be sitting in sessions cracking jokes but she is saying they should lighten up a little. ‘You need reverence because I don’t think people want to risk going to a clinician if they think they’re not going to be taken seriously but we’ve taken that way too far to the point where we’re not human any more and I think that’s working against us. We’re being too serious. We’re not being human enough. You don’t have to be stand-ups but lighten up a little bit.’

Below Glenn offers bits of help and advice—“Fringe Therapy”— to fellow comedians:

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