How Can Family Humor help You with Mental Illness

David Granirer, counselor, discusses How Can Family Humor help You with Mental Illness.

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David Granirer, counselor, discusses How Can Family Humor help You with Mental Illness.
Video transcript

Featuring David Granirer, Counselor
How Can Family Humor help You with Mental Illness
Duration: 2 minutes, 2 seconds

In family situations, humor is a great way to diffuse conflict, to diffuse stress, it just needs to be used at the right time.

When people are upset, there’s a process they’re body goes through. It’s called the anger arousal cycle. As they get more upset, they lose their ability to judge, communicate and reason.

So if they’re upset to a certain point, they’re not able to understand your words. All they understand is your body language and your voice tone. So if they are very angry and you react in a humorous way, they see that as an assault and that will trigger them, and make them more and more angry.

So it’s important to let them have a chance to go through that biological process whereby they dispel some of their anger. Then, after the anger is dispelled, that’s a good time to use humor to smooth out the situation, not while they’re super angry.

A parent’s job is to bring humor into the family and a big of doing that for parents is to be self-deprecating. That makes it safe for the kids to use humor and to use humor at the parent’s expense, because the parent is the one with the power. That helps to help even the playing field and even the power balance. It also teaches the kids how to go out and use it in the world.

In an unhealthy family, kids will be afraid to use that kind of humor that makes fun of the parent. There will be none of that, and that’s a good indicator that there’s something wrong in the family, when the kids are afraid to say anything that might set dad off, because dad has such a temper or such a high level of volatility.

Families can find help with this kinda thing through counseling, through psychologists, psychiatrists, helping professionals that can help them to open up those channels, so that healthy sense of humor can develop.

Presenter: Mr. David Granirer, Counselor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Counselor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.