English Version

What is a Relational Clown® ?

logo The Relational Clown® is one of the oldest non-medicinal approaches to Alzheimer's disease and other disorders related to psychogeriatrics. The Relational Clown is an original concept of art therapy created in Belgium in the 1980s by Christian Moffarts and Françoise Camus. Their research made it possible to develop the concept, its foundations, its methodological and clinical benchmarks.

The Relational Clown is an artistically mediated reletional care approach, practiced by carers and other care actors.
Caring for elderly people who are psychologically very dependent is often difficult! How to communicate with "non-communicating" people (silence, withdrawal, violence)?

What relational care to prevent and soothe behavioural disorders (screaming, refusal, aggressiveness) to promote the positive emotions and psychic well-being of our elders?

How to combine good self-treatment and good treatment of others? How can we prevent the exhaustion of carers and relatives, as well as certain relational abuses that can result from it?

To these questions, the Relational Clown offers very practical answers to develop essential relational skills in psychogeriatrics (applicable with and without red nose). The Relational Clown promotes the positive emotions of patients: extinct faces that light up, the desire to sing and dance, moments of joy shared with caregivers and family.


  • 1978 : First origin of the approach with autistic children (silent, withdrawn, with behavioural disorders). With them, Christan Moffart began to invent physical and playful empathy and a new way of looking at the clown: the Relational Clown.

  • 1993-1994 : Beginning of the Relational Clown in Geriatrics in Liege at the hospital (geriatric service at CHR La Citadelle) and in a retirement home.

  • 1995 : 1st training of carers in the Psychogeriatric Relational Clown (Alzheimer's disease and related disorders).

  • 1998, Council of Europe in Strasbourg: intervention at the 3rd European University Colloquium "Psychotherapy of dementias: From dementia to human".

  • 1999, Creation of Opiclown : association under the 1901 law of general interest, following the meeting with Magalie Klockenbring ,clinical psychologist, with Christian Moffarts, creator of the approach, in order to develop this relational practice with artistic mediation in Auvergne.

  • Since 1999, Opiclown intervened and intervenes in various regional establishments: C.H.Yzeure, EHPAD Du Donjon, from Lapalisse to Dompierre sur Besbre, du Mayet de Montagne, Les Opalines in Clermont-Ferrand, La Clinique des 6 lacs in Chamalières.

Copyright © 2018 Association Opiclown
Coding, photographs and videos by
Mathilde Chambas & Amélie Kchani