Humor: A therapeutic intervention for child counseling

Rachelle G. Berg, Gerald Parr, Loretta J. Bradley, Jeremy J. Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Counselors utilize many strategies, techniques, and tools when building a therapeutic alliance or addressing children's issues. Due to the serious nature of discussing problems or perhaps because of the fear of seeming insensitive, counselors often overlook humor as a means to enhance therapy. Whether deliberate or spontaneous, humor can add creativity and insight to counseling sessions. Humor is a valuable therapeutic adjunct in making assessments, forming a therapeutic bond, helping children develop social skills, encouraging catharsis, addressing resistance, reframing maladaptive beliefs, and replacing rigid, self-absorbed perspectives. This article discusses several types and examples of humor and uses case studies to illustrate interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-236
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Creativity in Mental Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Counseling
  • Creativity
  • Humor
  • Techniques


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