Some considerations on clown-therapy
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This excerpt will try to define the difference between therapy and entertainment. In the last years the term “clown- therapy” has been used to indicate the benefits of the clown’s intervention in hospitals, overall with the children. Some researchers investigated to evaluate the impact of clown doctors as a not pharmacological treatment in managing the pain and distress associated with tests and therapies (Schwekbe & Gryski, 2003; Golan et al. 2009; Vagnoli et al. 2005, 2010). Even though some children report about low distress levels during entertainment and playful actions at start and end of the medical procedure, we may not label clowns as “therapist”. First: the term therapy has often been used and abused. We cannot extend the meaning of therapy to all that produces a temporary beneficial effect. The concept of therapy involve a well-structured conceptual framework; an understanding of disease and changing produced by alleged therapeutic factors. Second: a therapist (psychologist, physician, etc…) must have an approved training, with accurately defined characteristics. In the world of volunteering, however there are many different opportunities to become a clown. From a scientific point of view, first, the clown is foremost considered as an artist who needs a long training to learn nonverbal expressiveness; secondly, the artistic preparation must be associated by an equal psychological preparation. In fact we strongly believe that goodwill and deep conviction is not enough to make an activity good and positive. These aspects become more important if people are working in an environment of suffering and death.