In this episode, Laurie and Ann talk with Hope England, a brilliant and funny psychotherapist and comedian who founded Humor for Hope, an organization that prevents and heals trauma by using comedy and improvisation. Hope and her team formed an alternative inpatient therapy for trauma survivors and chronically and terminally ill children and patients. Hope holds a degree in writing and producing for television and sitcoms, has studied education and theater, and is a graduate and former employee of The Second City and The Second City Training Center. She is a practicing psychotherapist who works in trauma and crisis intervention with an emphasis on grief, loss, death, and dying.
We discovered Hope after we delved more into The Witness Institute and talking with founder Ariel Burger (Season 3, Episode 6). In addition to her work with Humor for Hope, she is a Fellow at The Witness Institute.
Here, we talk about the intersection of laughter and trauma and how her own melding of the two brought her through some very dark days this past Fall when she contracted Covid-19, which led her to develop Guillain-Barré syndrome, leaving her paralyzed from the neck down for a period. Hope shares how she discovered comedy and when she realized it could be used to heal the wounds of others. We also talk about her adventures, dark retreats, and laughter as "carbonated holiness" (Anne Lamott).
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Humor for Hope can be found here: humorforhope.com, and on Instagram here.
You can watch this and other episodes of the podcast on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuVDFP8jEcv5bdhr8VLzXjA.
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