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ACA 2018 Conference & Expo Sessions

324 - Humor, Health and Healing: When and How to Use Levity in Counseling

Apr 28, 2018 4:00pm ‐ Apr 28, 2018 5:00pm


The use of humor is like other counseling techniques: it can hurt or it can heal. This session will examine when and how humor can be used in counseling across the lifespan, considering multicultural factors and other variables, such as age, sexuality, and ability. The focus will be on how humor can help clients in multiple circumstances broaden their perspectives, become more positive and lighthearted and find meaningfulness, balance, and levity in their lives. The evidence-based research will be discussed as well as case studies.

This presentation will address a difficult subject for many counselors: when and how to use humor ... if ever. There is research on the health effects of humor on individuals lives and there is evidence from Myers and Sweeney's "Wheel of Wellness" that humor is a pertinent factor in overall health.

Learning Objectives:

  • Professional counselors will see through case examples how humor can help change the perspective of clients and thus make problems and difficulties more manageable and/or solvable.
  • Professional counselors will hear and see illustrations of how levity as a tool in counseling can keep clinical sessions from becoming unhealthy, depressing, or predominantly negative.
  • Professional counselors will learn how to assist clients in finding brighter and lighter moments in their lives and that of society, especially when they face difficulties. Part of this strategy is through teaching clients how to humor themselves in situations where they might otherwise give up or give in to circumstance they face.


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