I have experienced the bonding effects of shared humor and the therapeutic role it plays in a couples’ relationship.
Often, in the course of the therapy, one of the healthiest signs that the marriage is still viable and can become strong again is the shared humor about family matters, each person’s shortcomings, children, and relatives.
My willingness to laugh at my own shortcomings, a characteristic way in which I think and work, can encourage others to do the same.
This attitude can be a relief to individuals who mistakenly feel that they must be perfect, and are averse to admitting their failings to their partners for fear that it gives the partner an upper hand. Humor is curative, great bonding material and a leveling tool.
Humor as a Therapy
Psychotherapy is a serious business and gives permission to give serious thought to our feelings and our relationships – which is essential to the work. But there is also the possibility of humor as a healing and bonding tool. Humor doesn’t undercut the seriousness of the work. Instead, where appropriate, seeing some humor in mistakes, flaws and eccentricities provides the distance needed to observe oneself and make changes. Humor is the salve to the harsh judgements that humans, unlike any other species, are inclined to make about themselves and others. Whenever possible, I encourage humor, use humor because I love it and see it as another pathway to growth. In couples work, humor shared is like a vein of gold that just appeared in a dark mine shaft of hardened stone.