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A Window To Laughter and Certification

Since when did laughter become a billable therapy? There are a few locations where you can actually get certified as a Laugh Therapist or a Doctor of Mirth.

While I love the idea – the idea of using humor (laughing) to deal with stress and many other issues that come up in life, it’s not a new thing. Laughter can help in the healing process of Depression, Bipolar Disorder and many other mental health issues. What strikes me as NOT funny is the price tag of some of these classes or programs have to get “certified.” It makes me laugh – mostly cause I can’t afford any of them!

This is a situation I’ve come across a few times in my life. For example; I cleaned windows for 25 years. I remember the window cleaning industry getting all up in arms about “certification” for window cleaners. On one popular forum in the late 90’s, I remember one member saying something to the effect “OH PLEASE, maybe when robots clean windows!” That became a running joke.

Who would be doing the certification? Who would enforce the violations and on and on? Back in 80’s and 90’s it seemed like a joke. Thirty years later, there are many certifications for the “professional” window cleaner. They are designed to educate window cleaners. Here are a few:

  • Route  or Residential Specialists
  • Ground Commercial Window Cleaner
  • Suspended Operations RDS Rope Descent Systems
  • Suspended Operations SS Suspended Scaffolding
  • High Rise Specialist

Does that mean you have to be certified to clean a window?  NO. Does that mean being certified will help you  clean a window better? NO!  It does show prospective customers that you are certified to use the equipment in a safe manner. That you care enough to pay to be a involved in an organization so that you can claim to be certified.  And frankly, I would more likely hire a certified window cleaner than someone with a squeegee in a bucket.  So, there are some valuable benefits of certification now in the window cleaning industry…But is there a need to be certified to laugh?

Un-Certified Laughter Leaders

2012 Mental Health Humor -certificate of certification that says I met  - by Chato Stewart

Robert:  I’ve got a certificate of certification that says I met the required 5,000 hours needed to adequately communicate my self-absorbed opinion with the masses.

Friend: Um, okay, but isn’t that a print out of your facebook page?!?

Caption: Self-CERTIFIED Certification

With certification in the window cleaning industry, many window cleaners were able to charge top dollar for their services because they were “certified.”  More and more today I see classes for certified laughter leaders or certified Laugh-ologists.  It is now becoming a big business to laugh and to use humor in the workplace. The motivational speaker industry has gone through the roof. You can find a motivational speaker on motivation speaking. And if you’re making a business out of it, then certainly getting any type of certification, whether it just holds weight and/or is just wastepaper…still looks great on the resume.

I am not against getting certified as a lab leader, I just can’t afford $400-$1000 to get a certification to make someone laugh. Why I would really love to be part of one of these classes is because most of the participants are professionals of one sort or another who are adding on a new service. I looked into the scholarships, but I don’t qualify and the ones that I might qualify for would still only cover a portion of the workshop or class fee. I would still have to pay for transportation and lodging, making it even more difficult.

I have an “un-certification” in a number of things: I am an uncertified therapist, I am an uncertified deep water diver, I am an uncertified Father…Yep, that’s right…no certification to be a Father.  I think there should be. We need all the help we can get as Fathers… Make a class about certification to be a Father and I’ll be there.

Certification In a Hard-Knock Life

What I do have certification in is Bipolar Disorder and the hard knocks life that living with a mental illness can bring you. Another term for this type of certification and qualification would be “on-the-job training or OJT.”  I have put in many hours of OJT for Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, and a number of other different labels.

So why do I want to be a laugh leader when I have such awesome accreditation?  Mostly because of my peers. I want to be able to lift the spirits of the downtrodden peers that are fighting with every last drop of strength to maintain their mental health recovery! I want to introduce them to the power of laughing as a coping technique that can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression and even physical ailments!

Now until I get certified in mirth, I will continue to be an uncertified leader by drawing cartoons about living with mental health issues. If you want to certify me, all you need to do is read my blog and share the cartoons with your peers.  That is all the silly certification I need…


Friend me on Facebook @chato B Stewart.



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Originally Posted on YOU need permission use ©2011

Mental Health Humor Cartoons

2012 Mental Health Humor - ICSI Indian Crime Scene Investigation - by Chato Stewart  in Gary Larson Style cartoon  100 2012 Mental Health Humor - Do not Confuse Overconfidence with Courage - by Chato Stewart 150

Can Chato Stewart do a cartwheel Mental Health humor cartoonist image1Chato and the bottle of Slender GR 150

Check out who made the list of top 10….I’m number 4!

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2012). UN-CERTIFIED LAUGHTER LEADER. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 21, 2020, from


Last updated: 29 Apr 2012
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.