Date of Paper

5-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Collin Hollidge

Abstract

With the introduction of laughter groups and laughter yoga to such distinguished medical facilities as the Mayo Clinic and Cancer Treatment Centers, the use of humor as a therapeutic tool is beginning to emerge. This study aims to gain an understanding of what motivates therapist’s to use humor while working with grieving clients through a qualitative approach. Four licensed therapists were interviewed on the topics of theoretical orientation, intentional use of humor with grieving clients, the clinical risks and benefits of using humor and the therapist’s personal preferences of humor. The major themes found in this study were the role that humor plays in creating alliances, measuring safety, assessing the client and self care. This study concluded that humor could play a very significant role in the grief process by improving the therapeutic alliance, assessing the client’s recovery and acting as a tool for self‐care on the part of the therapist.

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