Bringing happiness to the nation
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Introduction
Workshop Overview
Workshop Session Plan
Key Learning Outcomes


Introduction

The Humour, Positivity and Healing workshop was designed for hospitals and health environments. The first workshop was conducted at Chulalongkorn Hospital in Bangkok. Dr. Patcharin Sughondhabirom describes:

The first clowning workshop in Thailand by Susan Carew, on 28th of March 2008, took place at Bhumiphol
Building 18th floor, Chulalongkorn hospital in the middle of Bangkok city. And later we organized another
workshop for Susan on 17th of April 2008, for medical staff in the Children hospital, again in Bangkok…most participants are nurse practitioners who care for patients with chronic diseases, from adult and children’s wards. The rest are doctors, social workers and psychologists. Susan let the participants learn the theoretical based and scientific based information first. Then everybody got to learn “fun to do” clowning skills before we got out and clowned at the out-patient departments and the in-patient departments. “It is a very very good feeling” someone said to me …Most participants feel empowered and promised to bring humour into their workplaces. Some of them also changed their attitudes towards work and the feeling of overwhelmed by the loads of work. To me, the more important is that almost all participants felt free when they clowned. It is fascinating for what we call “freedom” is usually hard to find, but unexpectedly can be found right there behind those clown masks.”

The workshops were very successful in Thailand and is extremely important for health and healing environments. Often health professionals become so overloaded with work, time constraints that they lose that sense of connectedness to each other and patients. This workshop is powerful in reminding and reconnecting staff to empathy and also releasing stress through clowning around and having fun.

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Workshop Overview

The Humour, Positivity and Healing Workshop is designed for health, healing and student training environments. The workshop is a half day workshop. It is part theory and part practical. It develops emotional intelligence and the use of humour and a positive attitude in highly stressed environments. The workshop discusses Dr. Patch Adams work as a clown doctor and the importance of treating the ‘whole person’. The workshop introduces the idea of humour in healing environments and references Dr. Shayne Yates and Patricia Cameron Hill’s work, as former health professionals, who advocate for humour at work and its importance to wellness and staff morale. The workshop introduces staff to the importance of how they are feeling whilst they are doing and the impact our emotions have on others. Participants then experience a laughter session, explore issues of happiness and clowning techniques as they are prepared to do some clowning around their place. This is a very important exercise for assisting people to de-mask, step out of roles and learn to play with others. It is excellent for team building and exploring the health environment with a fun hat on. Clowing around enables staff to connect with patients, other staff and families. It is a wonderful experience, de-stressing and liberating.

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Workshop Session Plan

  • Introduction
  • What is Laughter?
  • Clowning in hospitals and wellbeing
  • Humour and healing – Patch Adams, Patricia Cameron Hill and Shayne Yates
  • You are what you think – emotions
  • Laughter session for stress release and positivity
  • Approaches to happiness
  • Clowning techniques
  • Creating Happy Healing Places

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Learning Outcomes

  • To understand what is laughter and why it is important to wellbeing
  • To learn about clowning in hospitals and the philosophy behind it
  • To be inspired to contribute to creating positive environments
  • To learn about the power of emotions
  • To experience a laughter session and release stress
  • To learn skills of feeling Happiness and developing positivity
  • To learn about clowning techniques and finding your clown
  • To generate ideas for creating Happy Healing Places.