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J Holist Nurs. 2003 Dec;21(4):398-414.

Humor. An antidote for terrorism.

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  • 1Adelphi University, USA.


It has been more than 2 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, and the emotional fallout is still being felt. Nurses need to understand the crisis presented by terrorism and explore ways of dealing with it. The purpose of this article is to discuss humor as a means of facilitating coping with terrorism. Terrorism is a humanly caused disaster that threatens the physical, psychosocial, and spiritual aspects of one's personhood. The effects of humor strengthen these dimensions of self. In trying to deal with a terrorist event, people pass through several phases of emotional adjustment. Humor is a holistic, noninvasive strategy that may facilitate that adjustment and may be used effectively to heal both survivor-clients and disaster personnel who are working with them. Awareness of the phases of emotional adjustment, associated humor styles, and ways to incorporate therapeutic humor into crisis management approaches are essential for effectively using humor as an antidote for terrorism.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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