Tough gig? Try therapy

Club employs psychologist for comics

A comedy club is employing in-house clinical psychologists to help stand-ups deal with their emotional problems.

Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada says therapists will be on hand in his Los Angeles club four nights to offer free sessions –  on a Couch that used to belong to Groucho Marx.

Psychologist Ildiko Tabori, who will be one of two psychologists ‘in residence’ for an indefinite stretch said: ‘Comedians are especially vulnerable. It's the only profession where you get heckled. You're being criticised right in front of your face.

‘Research shows that there is a higher degree of depression and bipolar disorder in comedians. Laughter is a defensive mechanism. It's one of the more mature defense mechanisms, but it still masks whatever it is that's going on inside.’

Comics who died young after being plagued by pyschological problems include Tony Hancock, Sam Kinison, John Belushi, Chris Farley and Greg Giraldo.

Published: 15 Feb 2011

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