Canada - International Document

There Ought To Be Clowns: Child Life Therapy Through the Medium of a Clown

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Ridd K

Year of Publication:

Canadian Association of Therapeutic Clowns

Publication Type:
Other Paper


Much has changed since Karen Ridd wrote her paper “There Ought to be Clowns” in 1987. Since then, the whole notion of having specially-trained clowns working in health care centres has been heartily embraced not only in Canada but also throughout much of the world.

As the professional therapeutic clown body in Canada, the Canadian Association of Therapeutic Clowns decided to acknowledge the influence of Karen’s work by officially publishing her paper, which documents her work and experiences as a therapeutic clown in Winnipeg Children’s Hospital, and the impact it had on children’s emotional well-being and psychological resilience during medical procedures and their overall hospital stay.

The paper also describes the video project in which Robo stars in a series of films focusing on children’s emotional reactions to various medical procedures and positive coping strategies. In addition, Ridd provides a review of related literature at the time on the psychological and physiological benefits of humour and laughter, and a brief history and philosophy of clowns and their role in health care.

Evidence Type: Qualitative Research

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Discussion / Debate

Context: Hospital

Participant Group: Children (0-15)

Art Forms: Drama

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Ridd, K. (2009). There Ought To Be Clowns: Child Life Therapy Through the Medium of a Clown. Canada:Canadian Association of Therapeutic Clowns.