The approach of the psychiatrist/anti-psychiatrist R.D. Laing predated Provocative Therapy but is similar to it in many ways.
There is little doubt that laughter is good for you. However when you are provoked to laugh at your 'Inner Joke', the funny side of how you are preventing yourself from being fulfilled in life, you get more than just the physiological benefits of laughter. You are nudged into changing your behavioural patterns for the better. This is the essence of Provocative Therapy the cutting edge in the use of contrarianism (reverse psychology) and humour in therapy.
In the hit movie, The King's Speech, the speech therapist, Lionel Logue, uses many of the tactics of Provocative Therapy to help King George VI deal with a speech impediment. Interestingly George VI was also treated by his homeopathic physician, Sir George Weir, who was knighted by his father, George V.
The attack on NHS homeopathy in this author's opinion is an assault on liberty and democracy. I have made a small cartoon in order to make this point, illustrating the difference between science and scientism. The main point is that while medicine does need to be informed by science, it does not need to be fulfil the personal needs and beliefs of scientists.
A major article in The New Yorker profiles the life and work of 'The Laughing Guru' Madan Kataria. There is little doubt that laughter is good for our health but is there more to it than 'laughing for no reason'. In Provocative Therapy, patients may indeed laugh at the absurd remarks of the therapist, but they are also provoked into coming up with their own solutions to their problems.
One of the central tenets of Provocative Therapy is that people don’t like being told what to do. This is probably due to the fact that we often perceive advice (even when well meant) to be patronising and condescending. Thus Provocative Therapists utilise a variety of specially designed tools that [...]