Cathy Gatlin

Event Speaker

Cathy Gatlin


Cathy Gatlin is the instructor for Improv4Health. Over the last 22 years she has taken classes at Second City, Bad Dog Theatre (formerly Theatresports) and most recently at the Kate Ashby Academy.  For several years she was in the improv troupe “Born a Swirly,” which performed throughout the city of Toronto.  She runs improv classes for neurodiverse kids as well as classes for counsellors and therapists.


Panel discussion: Caring for Ourselves so We Can Care Better for Others

Speakers: Cathy Gatlin, Raechel Pefanis, and Tifrah Warner

Let’s engage in conversation! We’ll address the need for mental health professionals to re-energize and re-connect so that we can safely and effectively help our clients in the aftermath of COVID 19.

Improv for Mental Health Care Practitioners: You don’t have to be funny to have fun!

Speaker: Cathy Gatlin, Instructor for Improv4Health

In this improv class, students start to learn the skills needed to create strong improvised “games in a scene.” Some of these skills include creating sounds with emotion, giving, and taking focus, and most importantly work on the concept of accepting any “offer” or idea given to you by your scene partner.

Learning outcomes

Specific positive mental health outcomes: Once we can tap into our silly selves, we are able to develop more confidence, feel connected to those around us and see our lives through a lens of openness and non-judgement. Improv also helps you connect with others in a strong online community.

First hour of the workshop: The goal of the first hour is to understand the foundations of Improv.

Second hour is character work: Every student will create a character (name, occupation, age, one like and dislike etc.)

Third hour is ensemble work: How to work as a team, how to take care of your scene partner.


  • First hand subjective improv experience for therapists
  • Therapeutic use of self through authentic storylines
  • Examine group creativity through warm up improv games and short scenes
  • Implement play to breakup linear thinking
  • Strengthen uncertainty tolerance through collaborative games.
  • Self- Care/Preventing burnout through self-compassion
  • Stepping into non-judgmental flow