The Role of Humor in Psychotherapy - Live Online (3 CE)

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Humor in psychotherapy, if sensitively used, can be an effective diagnostic tool and intervention to help clients reach therapeutic goals. This course provides therapists with some perspectives on the use of humor. It provides information on the sensitive adjustment of humor to the client(s)' needs, and contraindications for the use of humor for certain clients. It provides ways to use humor can help clients re-frame their situation, provide relief from anxiety, and provide a distraction from strong emotion such that a perspective shift may occur. In addition to working with individual clients, the general dynamics of group therapy can be enriched with humor, and techniques for using humor to improve group cohesion and role modeling are described.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify how humor can be used as a diagnostic tool and intervention to improve cognitive and emotional functioning.
  2. Identify clients for whom humor would be ineffective or counterproductive.
  3. Assess for the “pathological” use of humor by clients; identify unhealthy targets of humor.
  4. Assess for therapist-based limitations of humor: e.g., unmanaged countertransference, using humor too soon, not client-centered.
  5. Know the benefits of humor as applied to special clients, such as groups, veterans, etc.
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