Gelotophobia in practice and the implications of ignoring it

Tracey Platt, René T. Proyer, Jennifer Hofmann, W. Larry Ventis


Over 85 empirical articles investigating the fear of being laughed at have been published. Still, the question “why bother with another inter-individual differences variable?” arises. This quantitative paper based on 240 people, aims to show why gelotophobia has been widely neglected in therapeutic settings and why therapists may not have come across gelotophobes in their practice. Second, examples of extreme case studies involving gelotophobe’s perspective on treatment, exploring the practice and challenges arising in treatments will be given. Finally, an argument why there is a need for the inclusion of gelotophobia awareness for schools and for bullying interventions is proposed. Conclusions are drawn suggesting the importance of inclusion of this phenomenon.



fear of being laughed at, psychoanalysis, counselling, bullying, laughter, humour

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