Dorothea developed the concept of laughter and humor while working at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute (MCI) in Framingham Massachusetts in 1992. MCI is the correctional facility for female inmates. Dorothea worked for Social Justice for Women at that time and was the administrator of a program at MCI Framingham called “The Women’s Health & Learning Center.” The women would enroll in different classes at the center to address their issues of substance abuse, sexual abuse, parenting issues and HIV/AIDS. Dorothea developed a program called “Laughter Is The Best Medicine.” It was an on-going program in which the women inmates were shown how to use humor and laughter as a way to deal with the stress of being incarcerated. The program was well received. She used comedy videos and spontaneous funny stories that happened at the prison to help the women inmates see the lighter side of their predicament. The women were given the opportunity to poke fun at themselves and were temporarily distracted from their oppressive environment. Laughter lifted them above their feelings of fear, disappointments, and despair. In essence they were able to take an intolerable situation and poke fun at it and laugh at it to minimize the seriousness of the most difficult time in their lives.
Dorothea has taken that same concept to develop Laughing At & Understanding Good Humor Seminars (LAUGHS). Her research on humor and laughter has taught her that humor has the power to turn almost any situation around. Her program on LAUGHS proves that laughter is the best medicine.
In 2004 Dorothea was the Veterans Benefits Clearinghouse Outstanding Facilitator of the Year.Dorothea was awarded the Ed Dunkelblau Scholarship Award in 2005 and was also voted by students for the 2005 Urban College of Boston Outstanding Faculty Award.
Laughing AT & Understanding Good Humor Seminars was certified by the State Office of Minority Business Assistance (SOMWBA) June 23,2008 as a minority woman owned enterprise (MBE and WBE). L.A.U.G.H.S. has been certified under the following business descriptions, SOCIAL THERAPY, EDUCATIONAL SEMINARS ON THE THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF HUMOR AND LAUGHTER; SELLS HUMOR RELATED MATERIALS AND PRODUCTS. The company is listed in both the SOMWBA Directory and in the Massachusetts Central Register.