I see a humorous distinction between laughter therapy and therapeutic laughter.
Well, it’s funny to me, anyway.
Maybe it’s easier to get the idea if you think about horticulture.
Some Activity & Recreation Therapists help people by having them plant something:
a flower, a vegetable. Tend it and watch it grow.
Usually, it’s something that grows quickly so that the results can be experienced
in a matter weeks rather than years.
Many emotional expressions, adjustments and “corrections” can be enabled during this process.
Is is horticulture therapy or therapeutic horticulture?
It seems to me that, technically, horticulture therapy would be
some kind of treatment for a sickly plant.
That fern looks limp and discolored? It isn’t doing well? It needs therapy.
Therapeutic horticulture would be the use of horticultural activities
to achieve any number of emotional & mental health goals for human beings:
discharge emotional tension, strengthen expression of emotions, build self-confidence,
awaken creativity, teach patience and perseverance, take responsibility and credit for success.
Similarly, laughter therapy is where one would take one’s laughter for a tune up.
This laugh sounds too loud, too giggly, too quiet, intermittent, or whatever.
Let’s get it running smoothly.
Conversely, therapeutic laughter uses more or less systematic exposure to true mirthful laughter
to achieve any number of desirable goals:
re-frame perspective, strengthen social & communication skills,
restore playfulness that was missed during childhood, discharge tension, lift spirits,
promote healing, support primary treatments. embrace a physically & mentally healthy lifestyle.
If your laughter isn’t as authentic, genuine, and true as it should be,
then get yourself some laughter therapy.
For example, practicing laughter meditation can lead you to your ‘primal laugh’.
It sounds great to you, and you feel great doing it.
It’s an unrehearsed, spontaneous, un-self-conscious, soul-satisfying sound
that erupts from within you, the way it did the very first time you laughed;
before you gave in to society’s inclination to shush you, telling you to
shut your laughter up in a box.
If you have put your laughter in a box and can’t get the lid off of it,
if you are not as authentic, genuine, or true, as you would like to be;
if you have lost your laughter; if you have lost your balance;
if life has thrown too many curve balls,
then go someplace where you can get therapeutic laughter under
the guidance of someone who’s qualified.
Most often I see laughter therapy and therapeutic laughter happen at the same time.
Here are a couple of my websites where you can find delicious combinations
of these positive outcomes.
Classes in Therapeutic Laughter & activites of laughter therapy
Encouragement of your particular sense of humor