The new school year has begun in Israel, and as my third-grader and two sixth-graders headed back to their classrooms, I, too, returned to studies.
They wore T-shirts emblazoned with their school symbols; I decked out in my “uniform” of striped socks, polka dotted shirt and neon suspenders.
I’m continuing my clowning studies.
In June, I completed an introductory course to medical clowning at the Kibbutzim College in Tel Aviv. Medical clowning is an officially-recognized paraprofessional medical profession in many countries.
This year, I’m taking part in a year-long workshop/volunteering course that mixes therapeutic clowning with educational clowning, medical clown care and mental health clowning.
Throughout the year, I’ll be volunteering at a boarding school for teens from dysfunctional family situations; a mental health center; and at medical clinics.
While usually the one writing articles, in August, I was one of a group of clowns interviewed by the Israeli health fund Clalit on our visit to a clinic in Ashkelon. In short, I explained that our main goal is to relax a stressed situation.
The power of therapeutic clowning is incalculable. I’m grateful to have this opportunity to make a difference where I can.