Therapeutic humor has a place in managing a chronic disease like diabetes. When used carefully, it helps to lift the spirit and shift focus away from the many self-care tasks at hand. Think of it as mental recess. There is nothing funny about having diabetes, yet developing a mindset of finding humor in every day life helps to ease stress.
Theresa is a trailblazer in using humor as a tool for diabetes self-management. She has reviewed a lot of humor research and lectured nationally about it. Therapeutic humor is a skill. It is helpful, not hurtful. She is happy to share these findings and approaches with your group. She created the icons to accompany the AADE7 Self-Care Behaviors as a friendly way to visually recognize the topic at hand. These symbols are an integral part of her book, Your First Year with Diabetes. You will see these same icons on the Resources & Solutions page as a way to sort through all the content.
Cartoons are what put Theresa on the diabetes map; many have been published in several countries and languages.
Custom illustrations add value to communication. Most of the cartoons she draws are inspired by the humorous experiences shared by those she encounters. In the above examples, you get an idea how effective an image can add value, engage the reader and break up copy space. Many diabetes articles and publications are literally in black and white with a very serious tone. We already know diabetes is serious and scare tactics don’t inspire. Emphasizing a positive light can add to motivation.
Art theft? Did you know that right clicking and saving an image is considered stealing intellectual property? It’s true! As flattering as it is for her work to turn up in a host of lectures without consent, please get approval beforehand. It is the right and legal thing to do! Simply providing a citation does not suffice. Email Theresa for more info.
Comedy is something Theresa still enjoys. She maintains contact with the professional humor scholars and still dabbles in stand-up comedy. She once beat Bob Mankoff, editor of The New Yorker in a stand-up competition at the International Society for Humor Studies conference, mainly because his plans to use PowerPoint in a pub flopped! She was overjoyed to vindicate herself from having received the pile of poorly photocopied cartoon submission rejection slips from him over the years. There is a way to do stand-up and a way to use therapeutic humor. None involve PowerPoint!