Date of Award

Fall 12-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling & Human Services


Counselor Education and Supervision

Committee Director

Nina W. Brown

Committee Member

Corrin Gilli

Committee Member

Tim Grothaus


The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) is responsible for about 28,000 inmates and 66,000 probationers and parolees annually. Mental health services are often conducted through therapeutic groups, many of which are manualized and based in cognitive behavioral therapy theory. In the three years, 2017 through 2019, VADOC conducted 172 therapeutic group therapy studies, and the resulting data, in the form of t-test scores, were made available for academic research. This meta-analysis investigated whether cognitive behavioral group therapy produced superior outcomes when compared to other theoretical orientations in group therapy in VADOC, if manualized group therapy treatments produced superior outcomes when compared to nonmanualized treatments in VADOC group therapy, and what influence gender, security level, or mental health level had on group treatment outcomes. The meta-analysis revealed that other theoretical orientations produced superior outcomes as compared to cognitive behavioral therapy and the manualization of treatments did not significantly improve the group therapy outcomes. Further analysis showed that males are predicted to have better outcomes than females, and as inmates’ security level decreases, group treatment outcomes are expected to improve; significant differences were not observed between mental health levels.