What’s So Funny: Humor’s Impact on Third Party Evaluation of Clinicians

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Brehm, Jameson
Washburn University
Psychology Department
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The current study could serve as the foundation for future research that seeks to identify the utility of humor as a tool within clinical practice. Humor has been shown to enhance wellbeing in settings ranging from healthcare to other workplaces. Findings from the current study support previous suggestions that humor could also enhance outcomes in clinical therapy settings. Prior to the experimental design employed in the current study, support for the idea of using humor as a tool to build rapport, a potentially valuable step in the therapeutic process, has been anecdotal at best. Therefore, the current study serves as an initial attempt to fill the glaringly vacant void of empirical research on this topic and can serve as a foundation upon which future research can evolve. The goal of this study was to apply an experimental research design to hone the focus on humor and its use in a clinical setting, specifically a 1-on-1 therapist-to-client individual therapy setting, and attempt to clarify how humor impacts client’s perceptions of the therapist.