Sunday, January 20, 2013

Patch Adams: Clown Care

Clown Care is a program in hospitals and medical centers involving visits from specially trained clowns. They are sometimes called "Clown Doctors" which is a trademarked name in several countries. These visits to hospitals have been shown to help healing patients with the positive power of hope and humor. There is also an associated positive benefit to the staff and families of patients. (Wikipedia)

 I. Work in pairs: Here are some techniques and facts clown therapies make use of. Decide why they are important and how do you think it helps with the therapy.

1. Clown Doctors attend specifically to the psycho-social needs of the hospitalised child but in some hospitals they also visit adults. They parody the hospital routine to help children adapt to their surroundings, they also distract from and demystify painful or frightening procedures.

2. Clown Doctors use techniques such as magic, music, storytelling and other clowning skills to empower children with doses of fun.

3. The human body has immediate reaction to healing when humor is involved.

4. Clown Doctors use parody to help demystify and simplify complicated medical procedures by performing their own "highly technical" clown medicine that includes red-nose transplants, kitty cat scans, chocolate milk transfusions, plate spinning platelet tests, and prescriptions of laughter.


 1. The atmosphere of fun and laughter can help children forget about the illness and the stress for a moment.

 2. That helps them deal with the range of emotions they may experience while in hospital: fear, anxiety, loneliness, boredom.

3. The healing power of humor and laughter combats stress, reduces pain by releasing endorphins (the body's natural painkiller), boosts the immune system by increasing the level of T Cells& lowering serum cortisol levels, helps promote a positive outlook, helps people to cope with difficult situations and helps to create bonds and therefore support between people, all of which aids the healing process.

4. It is easier to associate medical procedures while having fun and laughing.

 II. Watch the 1st segment from the movie Patch Adams and discuss the questions:


1. Describe the scene.

 2. What were some of the techniques you saw in Exercise 1 that he used in the movie scene?

3. How did the doctor react? What about the children?

 4. What kind of treatment are these children going through, in your opinion?

5. How can this doctor's approach make a difference in these children's lives?

 III. Watch the 2nd segment from the movie Patch Adams and discuss the questions.


1. Describe the scene.

 2. What are his plans for the fun hospital?

3. What is his partner's reaction to his idea? Why do you think she reacted like that?

4. Should the government invest in such kinds of hospitals? Why (not)




  1. Hey Claudio ... Thank you so much for this class, the way you prepare these classes are awesome, thank you loads, Charlie.

  2. Great stuff! Thanks! what's the link to the second video?

  3. I have added the link for the segment download at the end of the post. See you.