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Re:Topic 2 DQ 1

The following is an excerpt from an academic journal discussing the use of humor while counselling children. The conclusions are based on a case study.

One initial reason to use humor during therapy is to develop rapport between the child and the counselor. The therapist/client relationship involves a power differential, especially when the client is a child. The initial stages of counseling can be stressful for a child, and humor can be a familiar and productive way of alleviating stress. One way to make the child feel more comfortable with the situation is for the therapist to use humor to reveal himself or herself as real, approachable, and human (Berg, Bradley, Berry, Parr, 2009).

Humor is a valuable tool for therapists. Incorporating humor within child therapy sessions helps the therapist begin to establish a relationship with the child, as it reduces the child’s anxiety. Meeting a therapist for the first time can be very intimidating, and for a child in particular. This may be true for subsequent visits as well, given the power of the therapist’s position. Humor enables the child to view the therapist as someone they can relate to and connect with comfortably, which is essential for effective therapy.

Berg, R.G., Bradley, L.J., Berry, J.J., & Parr, G. (2009). Humor: a therapeutic intervention for child counseling. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 4(3), 225-236. doi:10.1080/15401380903192705

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