Clifford Kuhn, M.D.
Clifford Kuhn, M.D.

The many health benefits of humor are the focus of the “Building Hope” public lecture on Thursday, Feb. 15.

Clifford Kuhn, MD, known as the Laugh Doctor, will present “New Perspectives on Humor and Healing” at 7 p.m. at Second Presbyterian Church, 3701 Old Brownsboro Road. The event is part of the “Building Hope” lecture series sponsored by the University of Louisville Depression Center.

Attendees will learn how to share humor when laughter is not appropriate or welcome and create a reliable mindset for experiencing humor more frequently.

Even without laughter, humor can significantly reduce stress, boost the immune response, relieve pain, decrease anxiety, enhance communication skills and sustain resilience, which are factors in improved health and healing, Kuhn said.

“Humor causes us to experience a pleasant form of surrender, which gets us out of our own way and makes room for natural healing processes, such as regeneration and growth,” said Kuhn, clinical professor in the UofL School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

A psychiatrist who has researched humor’s physiological and psychological power, Kuhn has been a School of Medicine faculty member since 1974 and is a professional speaker, trainer, personal coach and author. His book, “It All Starts With A Smile: Seven Steps to Being Happier Right Now,” is a guide on the use of humor to overcome stress and fear, survive grief and setbacks and heal the body and mind.

The presentation is supported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.