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Funny, right? How do trainee and qualified therapists experience laughter in their practice with clients?

Elizabeth, Briggs and OWEN, Alison (2022) Funny, right? How do trainee and qualified therapists experience laughter in their practice with clients? Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. ISSN 1473-3145

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Abstract or description

Based on a substantial amount of evidence suggesting that humour can have a great amount of therapeutic benefit, three trainee and three qualified counsellors took part in semi-structured interviews to discuss their experiences of humour within their work with their clients, and a variety of experiences were disclosed. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis was utilised to generate themes that reflect participants’ experiences. The findings suggest: humour can be a natural part of the therapeutic relationship; there are key moments of humour that can shape the counselling process such as moments of real catharsis, and client use of defensive humour; clients can use humour in creative ways; and there are important risk factors that counsellors must be mindful of when humour is present in the therapy room, including the need to be aware of clients using gallows humour. Implications for training and practice are discussed, and potential areas for further research are suggested. A common suggestion put forward by participants was that therapeutic humour can be effectively and appropriately utilised even early in a counsellor’s career, but that this is never mentioned in training courses, which they felt should be rectified.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited."
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology and Counselling
Depositing User: Alison OWEN
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2022 16:12
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 14:03
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