It takes two to know one.
— Gregory Bateson, quoted by Stephen Nachmanovich, Free Play- Improvisation in Life and Art, 1990

Transformative Learning Center- T.L.C.

Grow. Learn. Be.

Improvising insights...

Improvising insights...

Transformative learning places an importance on a holistic approach in which the “whole person” engages in the learning process integrating knowledge, experience emotions, values, intuition, and strengths through critical reflection and hands-on practice. The emphasis is on the development and application of new and re-formed insights that lead to shifts in mindset, behaviors, habits and patterns.

We provide a wide array of transformative learning options that range from short workshops and group coaching to an in-depth professional certificate program.

All learning options are interactive, context-rich and grounded in current adult learning theories with an emphasis on relational learning.

Our Approach

Our approach is founded on our belief that adult learning is optimized when:

  • Linked to self-identified learning goals;
  • Opportunities for experiential learning are integrated with current theory and practical models;
  • Self-reflection and peer learning are woven together;
  • Faculty serve as both coaches and exemplars; and
  • Ongoing practice and support are incorporated into an overall learning plan.

We integrate a variety of social learning methods including applied improvisation, coaching, and dialogue.

Applied Improvisation

The shortest distance between two people, is a laugh." Victor Borge

Learning in relationship is a key component for developing the capacity to engage effectively and authentically. This is the foundation for inspired leadership, conflict engagement, and interprofessional team membership. We incorporate theories and practices from the world of improvisation to build skills, shift mindsets, and stretch comfort zones- all with the goal of creating connection and developing insights that can be applied to real-world interactions.

Using nearly 20 years of improv experience, we carefully select interactive exercises that reinforce the ability to be present, listen, recognize offers, engage resistance, heighten ideas, and neutralize that internal voice that derails authentic engagement. Translation: We make learning fun!

We are a member of the international Applied Improvisation Network. We often collaborate with Lifeplays- a brilliant group of professional improvisors who always make us laugh out loud.



Through a multitude of projects and presentations, Ms. Gerardi has provided our organization with an exceptional resource for conflict education, training and research. Her knowledge of evidence-based practices along with a remarkable ability to understand her audience’s needs is unparalleled. As a speaker and trainer, our organization’s members overwhelmingly rate her among the top presenters at our annual conferences and have truly benefited from her comprehensive knowledge base of conflict in the workplace.
— Wylecia Wiggs Harris, MBA, CAE, Chief of Staff/Special Projects Officer, American Nurses Association and Former Executive Director, Center for American Nurses
For the past twelve years, Debra has offered many exciting new programs for the Center for Education and Professional Development at Stanford Hospital and Clinics, consistently receiving rave reviews on her program evaluations. In addition to teaching, she develops custom programs to meet the goals and learning needs of our institution and nursing community. Debra’s depth of knowledge, variety of past working experiences, exceptional communication skills and humor bring a unique approach to her teaching style.
— Suzanne Taylor RN, MS Manager, Center for Education and Professional Development Stanford Hospital and Clinics