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Title: The therapeutic double act & comic 3rd in counselling & psychotherapy : an investigation into the effects of humour in individual therapy with experienced therapists practising from an integrative perspective
Author: Scott, Pamela
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 0961
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2009
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Therapists and theorists have documented the advantages and disadvantages that humour can have on the therapeutic process, but there has been a paucity of empirical research. Most research has been anecdotal, has come from America, and has focused on clients in psychiatric settings, groups or families. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of humour in individual therapy. I had a particular interest in intersubjective views of humour as 'heightened affective moments', which have the potential to create transformation (Beebe & Lachmann 1994). Semi-structured interviews were conducted separately with eight experienced therapists practising from an integrative perspective, to explore their thoughts and feelings about humour in therapy from their experiences as therapists with clients, and as clients themselves. A grounded theory method was implemented to create theoretical categories, which included density of patterns, and variations to explain the processes and effects of humour in therapy. Findings indicated that therapists performed an assessment process regarding the appropriateness of using or responding to humour, and identified a number of different ways in which humour could enhance or hinder the therapeutic process. In terms of enhancing the therapeutic process participants reported that when humour was used or responded to appropriately it facilitated trust and bonding, changing perspective, self forgiveness, naming the unspoken relationship, expressing disavowed thoughts and feelings, appreciation and joy. In terms of hindering the therapeutic process participants
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available