Humor in therapy: The case for training therapists in its uses and risks

Authors
Citation
Lr. Franzini, Humor in therapy: The case for training therapists in its uses and risks, J GEN PSYCH, 128(2), 2001, pp. 170-193
Citations number
116
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Psycology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0022-1309 → ACNP
Volume
128
Issue
2
Year of publication
2001
Pages
170 - 193
Database
ISI
SICI code
0022-1309(200104)128:2<170:HITTCF>2.0.ZU;2-O
Abstract
Formal humor training for therapists is proposed as an elective part of the ir academic curriculum. The paucity of rigorous empirical research on the e ffectiveness of this historically controversial form of clinical interventi on is exceeded only by the absence of any training for those practitioners interested in applying humor techniques. A representative sample of its man y advocates' recommendations to incorporate humor in the practice of psycho logical therapies is reviewed. Therapeutic humor is defined, the role of th erapists' personal qualities is discussed, and possible reasons for the pro fession's past resistance to promoting humor in therapy are described. Rese arch perspectives for the evaluation of humor training are presented with i llustrative examples of important empirical questions. In addition to its p otential salubrious effects on clients, therapeutic humor might haven the p ositive side effect of preventing or minimizing professional burnout in the rapists. This potentially major psychotherapeutic resource, highly praised by some, remains insufficiently evaluated and essentially untapped.