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Annual Meeting
Alliance Lunch to Feature Stand-Up Psychiatrist
Psychiatric News
Volume 36 Number 6 page 16-17
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Geriatric psychiatrist and stand-up comic Liane Colsky, M.D., will address the APA Alliance at its luncheon on Tuesday, May 8. All APA and Alliance members and their guests are invited to attend. 

Life has a lot of surprises, and no one knows that better than Liane Colsky, M.D., a Woodland Hills, Calif., psychiatrist. If someone had told Colsky back in 1982, when she graduated from medical school, that her future held some careers far-flung from medicine, she probably would have said, Not very likely!

Indeed, after completing medical school at the University of Miami, residencies at the University of Miami and Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, and a geriatric psychiatry fellowship at the University of California at Los Angeles Neuropsychiatric Institute, she set up shop in the Los Angeles area as a geriatric psychiatrist.

The turning point came in 1989. As she recalled it: "I was going through a very tough period, and I thought to myself, ‘What is the most outrageous thing that I could possibly do?,’ since we tend to repeat the same things we always do, and I thought, ‘Well, I’ve got to make a change—I have to do something completely different.’ So I took a class in stand-up comedy. And I was hooked!"

She started performing in various clubs amateur stand-up comedy routines that she had written herself. Then she found out, she said, "that if you say you are a speaker instead of a comedian, you can wear nicer clothes and get higher fees. And the audience doesn’t get up to go to the bathroom because they have had too much beer to drink, you know?" So she took the comedy that she was doing and put it into speeches and became a professional speaker.

At this point, she told Psychiatric News, she is actually doing more professional speaking than psychiatry. But she certainly draws on her years as a geriatric psychiatrist in her speaking engagements, she said. For instance, she does a lot of speaking at senior centers, discussing topics of special interest to older persons, such as memory.

At the APA Alliance luncheon in New Orleans, which is being held on Tuesday, May 8, at 11 a.m. at Antoine’s, she will be addressing a subject especially close to her heart—laughter.

The thrust of her luncheon presentation, Colsky said, will be "to remind people about the importance of having and maintaining a sense of humor, and how to get one if they don’t have one already. Using a sense of humor is a terrific way to handle stress. There is scientific research done that proves that laughter has true health benefits. In addition, humor is an antiaging weapon."

When asked whether she has ever used laughter as a specific therapeutic tool in her psychiatric practice, Colsky replied that she has not. However, she pointed out, she does use laughter as her own medicine. For instance, when she gets up in front of an audience and talks about being a psychiatrist in a humorous way, that helps her deal with her own stresses.

As APA Alliance President Gail Fuller, R.N., pointed out: "In the spirit of Laissez les bons temps rouler!—Let the good times roll!—Liane Colsky fits right in."

All APA members, APA Alliance members, and friends are invited to attend the APA Alliance Annual Luncheon. Tickets are $60 each. Tickets may be obtained by completing and mailing the form on the facing page with payment to the address indicated. More information is available by contacting Fuller by phone at (605) 526-6390 or by e-mail at gfuller@dakota.net.

Anchor for JumpAnchor for Jump

Geriatric psychiatrist and stand-up comic Liane Colsky, M.D., will address the APA Alliance at its luncheon on Tuesday, May 8. All APA and Alliance members and their guests are invited to attend. 

Life has a lot of surprises, and no one knows that better than Liane Colsky, M.D., a Woodland Hills, Calif., psychiatrist. If someone had told Colsky back in 1982, when she graduated from medical school, that her future held some careers far-flung from medicine, she probably would have said, Not very likely!

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