Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


A. Renee Staton


The premise of this paper is to examine the healing and therapeutic nature of humor in the counseling relationship. Discussion will focus on the cognitive, emotional, and physical benefits of humor, as well as the methods and techniques used to implement humor and laughter into therapeutic practice. The best practices, benefits, and recommendations for using humor in the therapeutic relationship are reviewed, emphasizing type of humor and assessing client for appropriate use. Application of humor in times of grief and loss is explored, offering insight to the resilience that can be found in the human spirit. Humor is studied as a promoter self-care, social connection, optimism, and new perspectives. Criticisms and concerns for the use of humor in therapy are considered, noting the continued need for research on the subject. The aim of this analysis is to revive the topic and use of humor in the mental health counseling field.

Included in

Psychology Commons