"No Laughing Matter: The Therapeutic Use of Humor with Clients"

  • Sat, September 22, 2018
  • 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
  • Women's City Club of Pasadena: 160 N Oakland Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101


  • You are a licensed health/mental health professional AND a member of San Gabriel Valley CAMFT.
  • You are a student, intern, or associate in the field of mental health care AND a member of San Gabriel Valley CAMFT.
  • You are a licensed mental health care professioinal, but not currently a member of San Gabriel Valley CAMFT, nor any neighboring chapter (IE, LA, OC, SFV).
  • You are a student, intern, or associate in the field of mental health care, but not currently a member of San Gabriel Valley CAMFT, nor any neighboring chapter (IE, LA, OC, SFV).
  • You are a licensed health/mental health professional AND a member of a surrounding local Chapters (IE, OC, LA, SFV).
  • You are a student, intern, or associate in the field of mental health care AND a member of a neighboring local chapter (IE, LA, OC or SFV).

Registration is closed

"No Laughing Matter:
The Therapeutic Use of Humor with Clients

Offered by the SGV-CAMFT CHAPTER 

and presented by:

Enrico Gnaulati Ph.D. 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

8:30 am - 10:30 am

Includes a Full Breakfast Buffet


We at SGV-CAMFT are excited and honored to have Enrico Gnaulati, Ph.D. present this evocative and unique topic to our chapter. This is the second of our Sunrise Presentations, and we look forward to you joining us. Our intention is to provide you with a stimulating and thought-provoking experience with Dr. Gnaulati, and we believe you will come away with that, and much more.

Course Description  

This presentation will outline and elaborate upon how the use of humor with clients can serve multiple beneficial therapeutic purposes and bolster the therapeutic alliance, which is a key ingredient of evidenced-based practice. Humor can be an effective tool in addressing such cognitive distortions as overgeneralizing, personalizing, and catastrophizing with clients. The more clients are able to not take themselves so seriously and laugh at and laugh off their tendencies to overgeneralize, over-personalize, and catastrophize, the greater likelihood that their anxiety and depression will be lessened. A well-timed, sensitively uttered humorous comment can pleasantly catch clients off guard, by-passing their resistances and defenses, to take in feedback that they would otherwise brush off. Acquiring a sense of humor can be one route to clients building acceptance for the unavoidable unpleasant aspects of life. Therapists are typically good at honing a sense of the tragic to enable them to empathize with clients' psychological suffering and may underestimate and undervalue how a sense of the comedic can be an importance compliment to this, enabling clients (when it is appropriate and fitting) to see the absurdity and irony in life tragedies--sometimes key to their acceptance and resolution. This presentation will address these topics in highly practical ways and use abundant clinical examples to ground participants' understanding and help them differentiate between effective and sensitive use of humor with clients, so as to avoid potential ruptures to the therapeutic relationship caused by inappropriate use of humor.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:
  1. Describe and practice how appropriate use of humor strengthens the therapeutic alliance with clients.
  2. Demonstrate a clear understanding of how humor can be used to counteract clients' tendencies to overgeneralize, over-personalize, and catastrophize.
  3. Describe and practice how humor can be used to by-pass clients' resistances and defenses to enable them to take in important feedback and insights.
  4. Demonstrate an appreciation for the difference between humor that strengthens the therapeutic alliance and has beneficial psychological effects, and that which can create ruptures in the therapeutic alliance and potentially harm clients.

Thank You to Our Sponsor:


About the Speaker

Enrico Gnaulati Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist based in Pasadena, California. He has published numerous journal and magazine articles and his work has been featured on Al Jazeera America, China Global Television Network, KPCC Los Angeles, KPFA Berkeley, WBUR Boston, and online at the Atlantic and Salon, as well as reviewed in Psychology Today, Maclean's, the Huffington Post, The Australian and the New Yorker. He is a nationally recognized reformer of mental health practice and policy and the author of Back to Normal: Why Ordinary Childhood Behavior is Mistaken for ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (Beacon Press, 2013) and Saving Talk Therapy: How Health Insurers, Big Pharma, and Slanted Science are Ruining Good Mental Health Care (Beacon Press, 2018).

Please visit his website for more information about his publications, interviews, and speaking appearances: http://gnaulati.net/.

Registration is available online, only. There will be no on-site registration for this event because we are limiting attendance. Payment MUST be made at the time of registration.

For Chapter information and other events, please visit: 



Access for Disabled Persons

The Women's City Club of Pasadena is ADA compliant, and the meeting and dining hall where the presentation will be held has a ramp leading to the entrance.


Registration is not complete until full payment has been received. Full payment of the registration guarantees you a seat/place at the event. Partial or incomplete payment does not guarantee you a seat/place unless it is paid for in full within 24 hours in advance of the scheduled event.


  • Forty-eight hours prior to the event:   100% refund
  • Twenty-four hours prior to the event:   50% refund
  • Day of event or no-show:                         0% refund

*if you have a medical, personal, family emergency, or other extenuating circumstances that prevent you from attending, and you have already registered (partially or fully), you may either request a refund, or apply your payment/deposit toward the next event.

You may initiate your cancellation request, or make a refund or credit request, by sending an email to sgvcamft@ureach.com.


You must send in your request no later than five days within the end of the event.

You will receive your credit or refund within fourteen business days following the approval of your request.

Note that circumstances beyond the control of the event organizers may necessitate substitutions, alterations, or cancellations of the speakers and/or topics. Therefore, SGV-CAMFT reserves the right to alter or modify the advertised speaker and/or topics if necessary. Any changes will be updated on the SGV-CAMFT website, and every effort will be made to notify you via email of any changes so that you may have the option to cancel or transfer your registration fee.

San Gabriel Valley CAMFT
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software