Conclusion

I have led adolescent groups in schools, clinics, and my private practice for over a decade and I continue to be enriched by the fun and playfulness that accompanies working with youth.

As Tennyson wrote, "Ever with a frolic welcome took the thunder and the rain," when a group leader adopts a stance of good humor he models how to approach life's challenges with ease and lightness

"What's So Funny? " The Group Leader's Use of Humor in Adolescent Groups 91

(Tennyson, 1986). As group members internalize these qualities they become better equipped to handle anxiety and resolve conflicts.

Too many young people are surrounded by chronically stressed out adults for whom life seems a fundamentally unhappy enterprise, something to be endured rather than enjoyed. With humor we model a very different approach to living, one that teenagers can readily embrace: if life is a roller coaster, why not enjoy the ride?

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