Press Room

Steven M. Sultanoff, Ph.D.

Interview the Expert



Television and Print Media




Definitions of Humor

Four Play (Plus One)
(Simple ways to increase Humor Quotient)

Interview the Expert:

Dr. Steven M. Sultanoff, clinical psychologist and mirthologist, is considered one of the foremost experts in the field of therapeutic humor.  He is known for his clear presentation and innovative articles. 

Dr. Sultanoff grants television, radio, print media and internet interviews to journalists and others who are interested  in gaining a clear understanding of the facts and myths surrounding all aspects of humor and the relationship between humor and health.  He can be reached by phone at 714-665-8801 (Pacific Time). 

Common interview topics:

Humor and Health

Understanding the Cognitive, Emotional, and Physiological Benefits of Humor

Benefits of Laughter

Humor, Laughter and Stress

Humor and Healthy Relationships

The Research on Humor/Laughter and Health

Physical and Emotional Benefits of Humor

Humor in the Workplace

Humor in Psychotherapy

Humor in Dealing with Crisis

Interpersonal Communication-Couples, etc.

Distressing Emotions: 
Depression, Anxiety, Anger, Guilt and Resentment


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Journalists are welcome to take direct quotes from any of Dr. Sultanoff's original articles as long as credit is given to Dr. Sultanoff.

The following are a few quotes by Dr. Sultanoff.  As long as Dr. Sultanoff is credited, journalists are welcome to use this copy in their articles.

What is the relationship between humor and health?

Most people have heard about the health benefits of laughter.  However, the health benefits of humor are far beyond laughter.  While laughter is the physiological response to humor and does have some positive impact on health.  Humor also stimulates wit (the cognitive response to humor) as well as mirth (the emotional response to humor).  Research has clearly indicated that negative thinking and emotional distress lead to disease.  Humor changes negative thinking and emotional distress and therefore can be a powerful healthful intervention.

Humor and distressing emotions cannot occupy the same emotional space.  (this quote addresses how humor changes emotional state and emotional distress is directly related to disease).

Humor in the workplace:

The experience of humor increases energy and improves problem solving capabilities.  We like people who make us laugh.  Humor tends to improve and solidify relationships between coworkers.


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Unfortunately, the research on therapeutic humor is very lacking and most of the research is actually on laughter and not humor.  Laughter, of course, is a physiological response to humor.
Research has presented the following conclusions:

Laughter reduces serum cortical (a hormone released during the stress response).
Laughter increases imunoglobbin A (an antibody that helps fight upper respiratory disease).
Laughter increases tolerance to pain.
Laughter increases heart rate, pulse rate, and "juggles" the internal organs.

What does the research NOT say:

There is no research (to my knowledge) that indicates that Endorphins are secreted during laughter.  It is a commonly held belief that endorphins are released, and proponents of the value of humor as well as, the media continue to perpetuate this belief without any evidence as to its accuracy.   This  means that we do not yet know if endorphins are released during laughter.

There is also no research that indicates that humor heals illness.  We may infer that humor is healing, but there is no direct evidence to support this belief.  An inference that humor is healing can be drawn, for example, in the following way: A wealth of research has indicated that distressing emotions (depression, anger, anxiety, and stress) are all related to heart disease.  Humor directly changes distressing emotions.  Therefore Humor may reduce the risk of heart disease.  (See Dr. Sultanoff's article on humor and heart disease published in the American Association for Therapeutic Humor Newsletter, November, 1998).


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Television and Print Media

Dr. Sultanoff has appeared on Lifetime Television, PBS, Knowledge TV, and numerous cable networks.

Dr. Sultanoff is frequently quoted in national, regional and local publications. Here are a few examples:

        USA Today            Men's Health        Shape                            Marie Clare

        APA Monitor          Newsweek          Parents Magazine          Women's World

        Nurseweek              Outlook              Family Life                      AARP Newsletter

        CNN-Online            Rodale Press      WebMD                          The Oklahoman


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Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
Licensed Psychologist
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Adjunct Professor Pepperdine University
Professional Speaker
Staff, Cognitive Therapy Center, Costa Mesa, CA

Past President, The American Association for Therapeutic Humor, 1999-2001


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Four Play (Plus One)

Ways to increase humor in your life:

1. Seek humor daily--Read a joke, cartoon, comic strip, listen to a comedian tape, watch a sitcom, etc.

2. Look to the humor around you--See the world through Humor Eyes.  For example consider the Freeway sign north of the San Diego Airport that reads, "Cruise Ships: Use Airport Exit."

3. Carry a toy or prop--For example, I carry a clown nose with me everywhere I go.  My drivers license has me with my nose.  At airports, ticket agents always smile at my ID.  My watch runs backwards.  You should see the smiles when I show it to others asking for the time.  My car is equipped with bubbles which pass the time as I wait in a fast food drive through.

4. Subscribe to a joke service--The internet is filled with these.

5. Share (in person, if possible) a favorite funny daily with a favorite fried.  This will help keep you connected!


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Click here to view Dr. Sultanoff's bio.

This website is dedicated to the Power and Practice of Positive Therapeutic Humor. 
The Goal of this site is to Educate, Inform, and Help you network and locate resources.

Humor Matters™

Steven M. Sultanoff, Ph.D.
Mirthologist and Clinical Psychologist
3972 Barranca Pkwy. Suite J-221
Irvine, CA 92606