1st Edition

Humour in Psychoanalysis and Coaching Supervision From Life to Interventions

By Ingela Camba Ludlow Copyright 2023
    146 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    146 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Drawing from psychoanalytic principles, Ingela Camba Ludlow uniquely explores and endorses humour as a serious and essential practical tool in coaching, coaching supervision and psychotherapy, showing how, when successfully integrated, it can help clients navigate the most difficult professional and personal challenges.

    Often misunderstood and not accepted in the academic arena, chapters in Part 1 begin by looking at the history and evolution of humour from the Ancient Greeks to the modern age, distinguishing different types of humour from each other, such as wit, sarcasm and pantomime. Freud believed humour to be the highest mechanism of the human psyche and the book continues to examine his relationship and use of humour in psychotherapy, looking at his personal correspondence and patient testimonials as well as how his contemporaries, such as Bion, applied humour in their practice. Moving from theory to practice, chapters in Part 2 show practitioners through case studies, exercises and examples how they can use humour in sessions with clients. Specifically addressing how to use humour ethically, how to remain neutral as the coach and how to use humour to address anxiety, express anger and offer alternative rationalisations, this book provides coaches the practical tools to expand their coaching practice.

    This interdisciplinary book will be essential reading for coaches, psychotherapists and counsellors looking to broaden their coaching supervision skill set, as well as those who are interested in how humour can promote personal and professional development through a psychoanalytic lens.

    Introduction; 1. Man and the history of humour; 2. What is humour?; 3. The awakening of humour; 4. Humour during sessions; 5. Humour in coaching and coaching supervision; 6. Tools and pragmatic use of humour; Conclusions


    Ingela Camba Ludlow is a PCC ICF Coach, an EMCC credentialed coach, coach supervisor and psychoanalyst. She has 20 years of business experience and 15 years working in human development, training and coaching. Based in Mexico, she has partnered with clients in various countries in Latin America, the United States, Canada and Singapore.

    "I think it’s the best encapsulation of humour in coaching that I have seen (and one of the best overviews of the science of humour).

    Coaching is a creative process and as such is enhanced by playfulness. The more we understand about effective coaching, the clearer it becomes that coaching is improv for learning. This book provides a invaluable resource for professionals to bring laughter into the core of their practice".
    David Clutterbuck, Special Ambassador European Mentoring & Coaching Council; visiting professor Henley Business School

    "I have been in psychotherapy several times in my life and I cannot think of a single occasion when my therapist told a joke or used humour with me. On the other hand I did on many occasions try to make my therapist laugh. I guess there were many reasons for this, both conscious and unconscious, but when I did – I was occasionally successful – I felt a sense of connection. Of course I may have been trying to manipulate them away from painful material, as Camba Ludlow suggests, and no doubt that was sometimes the case as, but the feeling of joining in on the joke was one that felt human and satisfying.

    These experiences, along with a slight feeling of guilt when laughing with of my own clients, made me very curious to read this book. It doesn’t disappoint in its in-depth exploration of the history, meaning and structure of humour, as well as its use in psychoanalysis and coaching. Camba Ludlow shows us that humour can be used in many different ways, and can illicit many different responses.

    Amongst other effects, it can subvert rigidity in thinking and burst the balloon of narcissism and pomposity, so has a useful role to play in coaching and psychoanalysis (including other forms of psychotherapy), as it brings us up short and helps us to face uncomfortable truths as well as encouraging us to experience the way we are all part of the flawed and vulnerable human race."
    Judy Ryde, PhD, psychotherapist and supervisor