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Humor and laughter in mental health & psychotherapy Dr. Xiao Dong YUE Dept. of Applied Social Studies City Univ. of Hong Kong Hong Kong China
What We Will Cover Today • What is humor? • What are the benefits of humor? • What are good humor and bad humor? • What is laughter? • What are benefits of laughter? • What are laughter yoga and exercises • What are historical records of therapeutic humor in Chinese history?
Welcomes you to attend the 22nd International Society for Humor Studies June 24-27, 2010 Local Host: Dr. Xiaodong Yue Department of Applied Social Studies
Humor is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement . Humor refers to a playful frame of mind that gives individual a feeling of wellbeing, better thinking skills, and relieve of pain feeling (Henmen, 2001). Definition of Humor
What is good for humour? James Thurber:Humor is a serious thing. I like to think of it as one of our greatest earliest natural resources, which must be preserved at all cost. Joel Goodman:Humor is a universal language. Mark Twain:The secret source of humor itself is not joy, but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.
The Major Benefits of Humor & laughter A good hearty laugh can help: • reduce stress • lower blood pressure • elevate mood • boost immune system • improve brain functioning • protect the heart • connect you to others • foster instant relaxation • Make you feel good.
A good hearty laugh • Magic poker • Silly suicide • Super piano play
Benefit of Humor A “healthy” sense of humor would involve a generally cheerful temperament characterized by happiness, joy, optimism, and a playful approach to life. ---- W. Ruch Ruch, W. (1993) . Exhilaration and humor. In Lewis, Michael, and Jeanette M. Haviland (eds). Handbook of Emotions. New York: Guilford Press, 41-51.
Humor Styles Affiliative humor : use of humor to amuse others and facilitate relationships; Self-enhancing humor: use of humor to cope with stress and maintain a humorous outlook during times of difficulty; Aggressive humor: use of sarcastic, manipulative, put-down, or disparaging humor; Self-defeating humor: use of humor for excessive self-disparagement, ingratiation, or defensive denial. (Martin, et al., 2003)
Humor Styles Positive Self enhancing humorAffiliative humor ___________________________________ To self To others Self defeating humor Aggressive humor Negative
幽默的分类 加拿大幽默研究学者Martin根据个人使用幽默的不同方式将幽默划分为: 自强性幽默（self enhancing humor） 亲和性幽默（affiliative humor） 敌对性幽默（hostile humor） 自贬性幽默（self-defeating humor）
自强性幽默 美国发明大王爱廸生多年致力于白炽灯泡的发明不果。一天，有人取笑他说︰”先生，您已经失败1200次了！” “不！”爱廸生坚定地回答：“我现在已经发现了1200种材料不适合做灯丝。”
女友问男友：“你喜欢我的温柔可爱呢，还是我的聪明美丽？” 男友回答：“我就是喜欢你的这种幽默感！” 亲和性幽默 女友说：“刚认识时，你总是给我叫出租车，而现在却叫我乘公共汽车。” 男友回答说：“因为我现在感到自豪，在出租汽车里只有司机一个人能看见你，而在公共汽车里却有成百的人可以看到你。”
嘲讽性幽默 马克．吐温一次在酒席说：“美国国会中的某些议员是狗娘养的。”这番话被公诸于报后，有些议员大为愤慨，要求他道歉，否则要诉诸法律。马克．吐温数天后在《纽约时报》登载了他的“道歉启事”： “日前鄙人在酒席上说有些国会议员是‘狗娘养的’，我再三考虑，觉得此言不妥，故特登报声明，把我的话修改如下，“美国国会中的某些议员不是狗婊子养的。”
At the opening of a new play, George Bernard Shaw sent two tickets to Winston Churchill. Shaw wrote on the letter, “Here is a ticket for you and your friend—if you have one.” Churchill sent back the tickets with a message for Shaw. “I can’t attend on the opening night, but I would love to go to the second performance—if you have one.” 敌对性幽默
Cautions about using humor • Beware of sarcasm and abusive humor • Avoid racist and sexist humor • Be aware of your own feelings and your • reactions to clients, patients and colleagues • Note your own uneasiness about material • Becautious about the person feeling that • she or he is not being taken seriously • Humor must always be used to facilitate, • not interrupt the purpose of the interaction
What Creates Humor • Ambiguity含糊性 • Exaggeration夸张性 • Understatement缩小性 • Incongruity or Irony不协调性 • Situation-Insight情景化的领悟 • Sudden Insight突发的领悟 • Superiority优越性 • Surprise or Shock惊奇性 • A Trick or Twist曲折性 • Word Play文字游戏
Incongruity and Surprise • A good man dies and goes to heaven. When St. Peter asks him if there’s anything he can do for him, the man explains that he would love to talk to Mary, the mother of Jesus. St. Peter is happy to set up such a meeting. After a few polite formalities, the man tells Mary the purpose of his request. He has always wanted to ask her something. • When she encourages him to go ahead, he says, “I’ve wondered why in all your pictures you look so sad. Please tell me what it is.” Mary sighs and then with a little wistful smile confesses, “I always wanted a daughter.”
Situation & Surprise • During the 1960s, some people wanted to nominate Senator Margaret Chase Smith for President of the United States. One reporter stuck a microphone in her face and asked, “Mrs. Smith, what would you do if you should wake up some morning and find yourself in the White House?” • she responded, “I would go to the president’s wife, apologize, and leave immediately.”
Word Play & Surprise • A four-year-old was brought to the emergency room of a hospital with a bad cough. The child kept up a non-stop conversation while the nurse was trying to assess her lung sounds. • Finally, the nurse said, “Shhh, I have to see if Barney is in there.” The child looked at her and calmly stated, “I have Jesus in my heart. Barney is on my underwear.”
Cats look serious. Dogs look depressed.
Foxes look stupid. Pigs look smart. And many more
What Is Therapeutic Humor? • Therapeutic humor includes the intentional and spontaneous use of humor techniques by therapists and other health care professionals, which can lead to improvements in the self-understanding and behavior of clients or patients. ---- Franzini 岳晓东制作
Humorfor Healing • Humor and laughter are currently being employed by psychotherapists and other care givers as tools to promote and maintain health. • Laughter has many clinical benefits, promoting beneficial physiological changes and even has long-term effects that strengthen the effectiveness of the immune system. • In healthcare, humor therapy can help relieve stress associated with disease and illness. It serves as a tool for disorders such as depression, and a coping mechanism. • Humor and laughter are currently being employed as tools to promote and maintain health everywhere, from the classroom to the boardroom.
HUMOR AS A COPING MECHANISM • Humor can help them express negative emotions in a positive light. • Humor therapy in this context is generated by the patient, not the therapist. It is important to distinguish between laughing with a patient and laughing at a patient. • Humor can provide ammunition to deal with stress and the emotions surrounding it: anger and fear.
Almost every major hospital in the United States now uses clowns, pets, clergy, and humor intervention as a regular part of their care systems. • Sometimes the tone gets too heavy in meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, so humor is often used to transcend the moment and attain a broader perspective. 25
Norman CousinsMaking Miracle! • Over 25 years ago, Dr. Norman Cousins in his book “Anatomy of an Illness” described how watching Marx Brother movies helped him recover from a life-threatening tissue disease. • "Is it possible," he wondered, "that love, hope, faith, laughter, confidence, and the will to live have therapeutic value?" Cousins made it a point to enjoy a hearty belly laugh several times a day. A few minutes of laughter gave him an hour or more of pain-free sleep.
NORMAN COUSINS • Cousins had developed a serious collagen disease that affected the connective tissue of his spine and joints. • The disease was life-threatening, his pain was intense, and the doctors gave him little hope for a full recovery. • Cousins was frustrated by the hospital routines and his slow progress, so he checked himself out of the hospital and into a nearby hotel. • Here he used “humor-intervention therapy.” He read humorous books, watched funny movies, and watched tapes of “Candid Camera.” • He found that the more he laughed, the longer his body was without pain. 25
PATTY WOOTEN • Patty Wooten has been president of the American Association for Therapeutic Humor. • Dressed as a clown named Nancy Nurse, Wooten makes fun of doctors, nurses, hospital administrators and even patients. 25