#OTalk 31st January – The Therapeutic use of humour

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of “The therapeutic use of humour” and will be hosted by Alice Hortop (@LaughingOT).

My name is Alice Hortop and I am a Senior Occupational Therapy Lecture at The University of the West of England. I’ve been studying humour, laughter and smiling with their therapeutic applications for nearly two decades both in theory and practice. I won an award for the 6 week laughter workshop I developed for initially use in adult mental health services, however since then it has been widely adapted. I am a proud laughter anorak and addict! Further I do occasional stand up, publish/present a fair bit and initiated the ‘Humour4OT’ group within the OT4OT face book suite of specialist sub groups. In the session I will be happy to go in the direction of the people engaging in the tweets as I am happy to talk about the evidence base, my experience, potential applications, cautions and the use of theory to generate great occupational therapy interventions e.g. occupational therapy models.

People often quote Mary Poppins when they begin to talk about the therapeutic use of humour, “just a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down”. For me though I prefer Willy Wonker and the Chocolate Factory, (careful googling this), the Gene Wilder version, obviously! It goes:

“Hold your breath, make a wish, count to three…

Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination,

Take a look and you’ll see into your imagination…

We’ll begin with a spin, travelling in the world of my creation,

what we’ll see will defy explanation…

If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it, anything you want to, do it.

Wanta change the world? There’s nothing to it!

There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination,

living there you’ll be free if you truly wish to be…”

Humour therapy isn’t as simple as covering something unpleasant in glucose and hoping it’ll stick and that everyone has the same sweet tooth. It requires deep thought on the complexities of the use of humour, careful consideration of its application using creativity and imagination with a fair amount of courage in your conviction.

I really look forward to meeting you in the twittersphere, I am a tweeting novice so please go easy on me!

Keep smiling, Alice.

Post Chat

Online Transcript

The Numbers

1,630,952 Impressions
608 Tweets
62 Participants
486 Avg Tweets/Hour
10 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants




#OTalk 24th January – Attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities

This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities” and is being hosted by Allison Sullivan (@allisulliOTprof)

Here are some questions to consider:

1: Do you feel that your education prepared you adequately for treating medically complex patients, particularly when those clients have significant cognitive deficits?

2: Have you ever been frightened when initially encountering a patient w behavioral health issues such as intermittent explosive disorder, sexually aggressive behavior, and/or psychosis? Do you feel you are adequately prepared to address these issues in rehab & other non-psychiatric settings?

3: Do you believe your university or employer has an obligation to train/educate you regarding addressing these issue in non-psychiatric settings?

4: Have you ever assessed your own attitudes toward people with intellectual disability using a standardized assessment tool?


online transcript

The Numbers

5,099,004 Impressions
2,064 Tweets
322 Participants
Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

#OTalk 17th January – Groups at the forefront of occupational therapy practice; myth or reality?

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of group work within occupational therapy and will be hosted by Elinor Jordan (@Elinor_OT).

Groups at the forefront of occupational therapy practice; myth or reality?

Literature suggests working within groups can provide emotional support, social skills, motivation, self-confidence and a sense of camaraderie (Yeates et al., 2015; Moyer, 2014).

Experience shows that providing an array of groups tailored around leisure based activities but with a focus upon physical, cognitive and psychosocial domains some barriers to engagement can be overcome alongside providing optimal opportunities for practice of newly learned skills. Experience has shown that a strong individual therapy programme must be complimented with an enriching group programme to promote and facilitate our rehabilitative ethos with the neuro rehabilitation setting that I work within, however does this also transpire into other occupational therapy settings?

Within the slow stream neuro rehabilitation setting that I work within since re visiting and developing the service we offer, our input now involves a strong group programme across the whole Unit providing clear and enhanced opportunities for achievement of personal therapeutic goals alongside social interaction and emotional wellbeing through a range of transdisciplinary groups.

This chat aims to explore varying viewpoints and experiences on integrating groups into a range of settings. Questions and discussion points include:

  1. Are there specific “traditional” groups that people focused upon or do individuals break down “traditional”?
  2. What have been the barriers to developing groups into practice?
  3. How beneficial have collaborative groups been and can we tap further into this avenue?
  4. Can groups provide opportunities to enhance patient contact time?
  5. How can groups be evaluated to demonstrate positive impact upon interventions?


Moyer, E. A., O’Brien, J. C., & Solomon, J. W. (2014). O ccupational therapy (OT) practitioners often work with adults in groups for a wide variety of purposes. Occupational Analysis and Group Process, 106.

Tomchek, S., Koenig, K. P., Arbesman, M., & Lieberman, D. (2017). Occupational Therapy Interventions for Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder. American Journal of Occupational Therapy71(1), 7101395010p1-7101395010p3.

Whisner, S. M., Stelter, L. D., & Schultz, S. (2014). Influence of Three Interventions on Group Participation in an Acute Psychiatric Facility. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health30(1), 26-42.

Yeates, G., Murphy, M., Baldwin, J., Wilkes, J., & Mahadevan, M. (2015). A pilot study of a yoga group for survivors of acquired brain injury in a community setting. Clinical Psychology267, 46.

Post chat

Online transcript

The Numbers

1,293,806 Impressions
542 Tweets
47 Participants
434 Avg Tweets/Hour
12 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants