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

Olubunmi DialaOlubunmi Diala - I have been practicing medicine for 13 years, with the last 6 years as a Family Medicine Resident…..and I did not come across humor as an effective therapeutic tool until I connected with AATH two years ago. My first contact with AATH was by chance. I was on a quest for an inexpensive, easy-to-use complimentary modality that will be beneficial in the diverse clinical scenarios encountered in Family Medicine in my region. Therapeutic humor met the criteria and I have since found myself a principal beneficiary of its utility. I cannot begin to talk about how much it has impacted my life and practice.

I served as the Chief Resident in my department last year and humor came in handy as a tool for influencing people positively, dousing tension and strengthening interpersonal relationships. Today, as I interact with and educate my patients, teach students and junior colleagues, I find no subject more intriguing than “the health benefits of humor”. In my clinical encounters, humor has proven to be particularly instrumental in establishing and maintaining rapport, it gives room for more efficient health promotion and disease prevention counselling. I have plans to administer therapeutic humor in structured research with different patient groups. Health workers are particularly at risk of stress, burnout syndrome and depression, I hope to help them find succor and develop resilience with humor.

I believe that the absence of “the use of humor in medical practice” in mainstream medical curriculum is a huge omission. When/if given the opportunity to influence curriculum content, it will be my first addition.

CTCA’s commitment to offer scholarship over the years, promoting the mission of AATH is meritorious. I am greatly honored to be a 2018 recipient of CTCA’s scholarship award in the “medical classroom” category. 

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!

2019 Annual Conference
April • Chicago, Illinois

2018 Conference Memories

Click to watch highlights from our 2018 conference in San Diego, CA

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