Client's opinion about the use of humor as a therapeutic intervention strategy

Authors :

Esther Quintero Cartagena, Psy. D.
Ana R. Pinilla Díaz, Ph. D.
Marviliz Ávila, Ph. D.
Hilda Burgos, Ph. D.

Problem exposition/Objectives:

Among the literature related with the use of humor in the therapeutic process, it has been identified a lack of research that explores and collects information about the clients attitude regarding this topic, dominating the therapist's way of thinking and expressing ideas. This study's main objective is to know the client's opinion about the use of humor in their therapeutic processes as an intervention strategy and their perception about the professional that uses humor in their interventions.


The study used an exploratory-qualitative method, using the technique of focal groups as the mean for data recompilation, using a guide of questions. The study was supported by the contributions of 25 participants, contributions that were studied by the use of content's analysis.


The results show the preference of the participants about the use of humor in the therapeutic intervention. The identified benefits were presented and the therapeutic relationship based on humor is described. The professional who uses humor, is identified as an enabled person, with the ability to make an appropriate humoristic intervention. Recommendations and warnings suggested by participants were also discussed.


The study shows the client's willingness to receive humoristic interventions. Identification and/or reconsideration of strategies used in the therapeutic intervention are promoted in order to provide more benefits to the client. It also takes the professional into a redefinition as a therapist and to the rupture of possible stigmas. With this study the author tries to contribute to the Puerto Rican and Hispanic psychological literature and to promote the research and study of humor at an academic, professional and personal level.

Principal author:

Esther Quintero Cartagena, Psy. D.
[email protected]
(787) 319-9664
P. O. Box 843
Salinas, Puerto Rico 00751