What is it about?

The study investigates the association of humor and effectiveness in individual psychotherapy. It is the first clinical study dedicated to analyze the link between the presence of humor during therapy sessions and the outcome of psychotherapy, in a group of 110 clients.

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Why is it important?

Despite an abundant literature about the role of humor in psychotherapy, very few studies are dedicated to analyze whether its presence actually enhances therapy effectiveness. This is the first study showing a positive association between these parameters, investigating a real-life population of 110 clients in individual adult psychotherapy.


A positive and statistically significant correlation was found between the presence of humor in therapy sessions and the effectiveness of therapy, both in the client's and the therapist's perspectives.

Dr Christophe Panichelli
Private practice, Sprimont, Belgium

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Humor Associated With Positive Outcomes in Individual Psychotherapy, American Journal of Psychotherapy, September 2018, American Psychiatric Association,
DOI: 10.1176/appi.psychotherapy.20180021.
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