What is AATH?

The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH) is non-profit, member driven, international community of humor and laughter professionals and enthusiasts. Formed in 1987 by Registered Nurse, Alison L. Crane, AATH provides its members the education, cutting-edge resources, and supportive community they need to excel in the practice and promotion of healthy humor.

What is Therapeutic Humor?

Therapeutic humor is any intervention that promotes health and wellness by stimulating a playful discovery, expression or appreciation of the absurdity or incongruity of life's situations. This intervention may enhance health or be used as a complementary treatment of illness to facilitate healing or coping, whether physical, emotional, cognitive, social or spiritual. Officially adopted by the AATH Board of Directors on June 1, 2000.

Who belongs to AATH?

AATH welcomes anyone who is interested in learning more about the application and benefits of therapeutic humor. Members include scholars, psychologists, counselors, allied healthcare practitioners, nurses, social workers, physicians, funeral directors, business executives, human resource managers, educators, clergy, hospital clowns, speakers, trainers, and many others who incorporate humor in their life and work.

Meet Our Members

Pat Shea

Pat Shea started in comedy 16 years ago. After taking a comedy course at a local club and performing in front of a live audience at her graduation ceremony, Pat was approached by people wanting her to perform at their local churches and PTA meetings. Soon she branched out to regularly performing for local venues and “Samantha’s Lil Bit of Heaven Ministries.”

Pat has made herself at home at Lil Bit of Heaven. Samantha Tetro, head of the ministry, likes to call Pat the “Minister of Comedy.” Pat prefers clean comedy, and she likes to call upon stories in her life as the inspiration for her brand of humor.

Pat works with many of the comedians in the New York/Tri-State area who want to perform at the ministry’s monthly “Squeaky Clean Comedy Night.”

“Unfortunately, too many comedians believe they have to use profanity to be funny,” Pat has reflected. “I work with them and help them with their material so they can play not just clean, but ‘Squeaky Clean.’”

Pat has been featured on KLOVE’s Single Mother’s Celebration for two consecutive years, was a finalist for Nickelodeon’s Funniest Mom on Long Island, and has performed for numerous women’s events, teas, nursing homes, veteran’s hospitals and more. Recently, Pat put on an original show called “And Now A Word From Our Sponsor,” a comedy salute to TV from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

“My goal is to perform comedy for those who are suffering,” Pat stated, commenting on what drives her. “Whether it’s through illness, stress, loneliness, death, depression, finances – whatever causes their heart to be heavy. That is one of the reasons I joined AATH. I wanted to take the Humor Academy courses so I can use my comedy to further help those in need. I have been blessed to bring the medical properties of laughter to a lot of folks, and my plan is to keep going until I drop like a stone.”

Find out more about Pat Shea on her website, and check out more of our members in our member catalogue.


Click to view Archived Member Profiles

Humor Academy

Humor Academy LogoThe Humor Academy Program offers Graduate Course Work and Certificate Options in Humor Studies by serving as a dynamic resource for the AATH community interested in the theory and scientific research that define Therapeutic Humor and its applications in occupationally diverse fields.

2017 Level II AATH Humor Academy Projects


Save the Date!

Annual Conference - April 12-15, 2018
Holiday Inn San Diego - Bayside