Child Life Therapeutic Clown Program - CHEO


  1. To provide students with an opportunity to use humour and distraction techniques in the medical setting in order to:
    • Normalize the hospital environment
    • Empower the child & family
    • Assist in procedural support
    • Provide skill building opportunities
  2. To recognize the interdisciplinary collaboration involved in the setting of therapeutic clowning goals.
  3. To identify the significance of legacy building.
  4. To appreciate and practice skills like listening, intuition, sensitivity, emotional creativity, intelligence and humour while acquiring some traditional tricks of the magic trade.


Each student will have the opportunity to accompany the CHEO therapeutic clown to inpatient and outpatient areas.  They will observe a variety of therapeutic applications of clowning with specific diagnostic groups.  By developing a clown persona and practicing some of the tricks of the trade the student will gain an understanding of interdisciplinary collaboration in setting individual therapeutic goals. The student will also see the therapeutic benefits of humour-based interventions by interacting with a cross-section of patients.

Supervisor: Mollypenny, Therapeutic Clown; Nora Ullyot, CCLS  Co-ordinator Professional Practice Leader Child Life
Duration:  10 hour elective
Number of Students: Clowning days every Tues, Wed. and Thursday

Available for:   1st & 2nd year Medical Students uOttawa students 


  1. provides information on child Life Professionals

  2. The life Threatened Child and the Life Enhancing Clown:
    Towards a Model of Therapeutic Clowning. Donna Koller, Camilla Gryski. eCAM Advance,   May 17,2007. Doi:10.1093/ecam/nem033


From Halifax, “Cleve who clowns at IWK”;search%3Aclown;search%3AClowning;search%3Aclown

From Montreal, “La Belle Visite”, clowning is in French with English sub-titles.  Dealing with adults who have dementia

The Dream Doctors Project- Israeli Medical Clowns - YouTube  { English Version }

Therapeutic Clowns Canada

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