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Title: The best medicine? : psychotherapists' experience of the impact of humour on the process of psychotherapy
Author: Gibson, Neil Francis
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 0518
Awarding Body: Middlesex University/New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2014
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The significance of humour to the process of psychotherapy has been largely eclipsed by literature focusing on the tragic aspects of a person’s life. There has been much debate about whether humour is a negative or positive phenomenon in psychotherapy. The majority of authors have drawn attention to the dangers inherent in the use of humour in what is usually a very serious enterprise. Humour as an inevitable and central existential expression has been ignored in the field of psychotherapy and is afforded very little, if any, attention in formal psychotherapy training. The study is an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) of interviews conducted with six qualified psychotherapists on their clinical and personal experience of the impact of humour on the process of psychotherapy. It was found that humour is a necessary and fundamental relational phenomenon, inevitably present in psychotherapy and has both positive and negative clinical implications. It can reveal, challenge and shift a patient’s existential attitude in all dimensions. Used judiciously in psychotherapy, humour can bring about an existential maturity, a tragi-comic position where a creative acceptance of limitations and paradox is possible.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available