AATH: Send In The Clowns

28 Mar


Send in the clowns!

AATH is The Association for Applied & Therapeutic Humor –

THE home for humor and laughter professionals.

Their 27th annual humor conference is April 3-6 in Vincennes, Indiana.








Everyone loves to laugh,

but did you know that therapeutic humor is a valuable tool to help yourself and others?

I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful. — Bob Hope

Think of those who battle cancer and chronic illness, nurse patients with spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injury, comfort the dying, care for a parent with Alzheimer’s, cope with the death of a son in a car accident, deal with the legacy of alcoholic parents, struggle with the aftermath of rape, miscarriages, suicide.

Unfortunately, “Pain and Suffering” is a reality show playing at a neighborhood near you.

Hard to believe, but I’m told some people stress out over traffic jams (not me!) or a a lost earring (nope!) or (God forbid!) a lousy internet connection.


Joel L. Schwartz, M.D. The Stress Less Shrink



Classic book by Allen Klein












The transformative power of humor is one of the best medicines.

I support AATH – YOU can, too!


Red Skeleton Museum of American Comedy

Giggle On * Laughter Therapy for Wellness & Success

Joel L. Schwartz, M.D. The Stress Less Shrink

Allen Klein Mr. Jollytologist 

Humor Quest

The Humor Academy




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14 Responses to “AATH: Send In The Clowns”

  1. Tammy March 28, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    Laughter IS the BEST medicine. When I was in the hospital on a 4 month bed-rest with my pregnancy many years ago, I quickly became terribly depressed. My doctor ordered up massive viewings of I Love Lucy, The Carol Burnett Show and The Andy Griffith Show. It was a constant feed in my room. It was a huge help to me. I knew then that humor was the way through and out of many of life’s less than awesome situations. I respect it and grateful for my point of view every day. Great post.

    • Barb Best March 28, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

      Thanks, Tammy. Love your story! Reminds me of Norman Cousins and his experiences in Anatomy of An illness. Humor is a lifesaver.

  2. Suzanne Lucas March 28, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    I recently came across AATH’s handle on Twitter and it peaked my interest. Unfortunately, Indiana’s a bit far away for me on short notice, but something I’m keeping in mind for next year.

    • Barb Best March 28, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

      Yes! We can find lots of humor and health contacts on Twitter @AATH_assoc and it’s sister feed @TheHumorAcademy are great resources. BTW… annual conference is in Philadelphia next year.

  3. Janie Emaus March 28, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I had no idea something like this existed.

    • Barb Best March 28, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

      It’s perfect for you, Janie!

  4. Cathy Chester March 28, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    I am not a humor writer but would love to attend just to be able to laugh!

    Over the years I’ve learned how to de-stress by popping in a tape (now DVD) of MASH, Mary Tyler Moore Show, etc to get my mind off my body misbehaving and center on the laughs. I know it works for me.

    My brother is a comedian on the side, and performs his schtick at temples where a lot of elderly people come to forget their troubles. His audience is grateful.

    Love this post.

    • Barb Best March 28, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

      Thanks, Cathy. I’m so glad it works for you. Such a valuable skill to hone 🙂 Love how your brother helps the elderly!

  5. Carol Cassara March 29, 2014 at 11:26 am #

    That Norman Cousins was on to something, way back then. It works!

    • Barb Best March 29, 2014 at 11:54 am #

      Thanks, Carol. True 🙂

  6. Joanne Jackal March 30, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    This a great organization doing really important work. I’m glad the conference will be on the east coat next year! Great links. Thanks Barb!

    • Barb Best March 30, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

      Thanks for dropping by, Joanne. Look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia next year!

  7. Haralee March 30, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    Never knew about this, very cool! When I went through breast cancer I had to really hone my humor skills otherwise I knew I would become depressed. I would try to look at the absurdity of the treatments and make fun of them. My relationship with my oncologist changed when he realized I was kidding him and he displayed a really dry sense of humor that I appreciated!

    • Barb Best March 30, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

      Haralee, I love your story. That is wonderful.

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