Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Social Work

Degree Name



Social Work and Public Health

First Advisor

Naomi T. Ward


This study explored social workers’ use of humor with clients in therapy. The main objective of this study was to ascertain whether clinicians initiate humor in therapy. If, indeed humor was initiated, why, to what extent and how facilitative is the clinician’s use of humor in regards to the working-relationship, which includes the therapeutic process. This study adopted Lazarus’s Cognitive Appraisal Theory in order to determine if the use of humor aids the client in the appraisal process. The sample included 11 members from the National Association of Black Social Workers and 19 members from the Clinical Social Workers and Social Work Private Practice Yahoo! Groups Listservs. A frequency distribution and a content analysis were used for research purposes. Findings suggest that humor is indeed initiated by social workers, yet for varied reasons.

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