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The role of playful humor in art therapy

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The role of playful humor in art therapy

Adams, Elizabeth A (2002) The role of playful humor in art therapy. Other thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

A pilot study was conducted to explore the role of playful humor as an adjunct to art therapy with children from families with dysfunctional relationships in crisis. The combination of play and art therapy is recognized as effective with children; however, the role of humor in this setting has not been reported. Six children (3 male, 3 female) from ages 9-15 years were studied for a 3 to 7 month period. Each child engaged in non-directive art therapy with humor introduced in the form of jokes and playful interchange throughout the therapy. Detailed records were kept of the humorous interplay including reflexive notations by the therapist/investigator. It was observed that humor facilitated a rapid formation of a therapeutic alliance, establishment of the play space and creation of a playful atmosphere. This playful atmosphere facilitated the expression of feelings and advanced the working through of problems. As therapy progressed, the children developed a greater receptiveness to humor, as they expressed their feelings and tackled their problems through playful art expressions. This enabled them to gain a degree of mastery over their problems. The therapy contributed to the children's development of a healthy humorous outlook toward the self and to life in general. While a larger sample population needs to be studied, this pilot study demonstrated a beneficial role for humor in conjunction with art therapy and play with children in family crisis.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art Education
Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Creative Arts Therapies
Item Type:Thesis (Other)
Authors:Adams, Elizabeth A
Series Name:Research Paper
Pagination:vii, 154 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Research papers (M.A.)
Program:Art Education and Creative Arts Therapies
Date:2002
Thesis Supervisor(s):Anthony, Elizabeth
ID Code:1852
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:22
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:23
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