CT/RT Research

Choice Theory (CT)/Reality Therapy (RT) efficiency research and scientific support

The explanation of scientific validity of Reality Therapy approach can be found in the book: Znanstvena utemeljenost RT, (Scientific Argument for Reality Therapy),  Leon Lojk, 2001.


Many articles covering effectiveness and empirical testing of Choice Theory application can be found in International Journal of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy:


On efficiency and scientific support

There are 82 doctoral dissertations written on reality therapy identified between 1970 and 1990 (Franklin, M, (1993); Eighty-two Reality therapy doctoral dissertations written between 1970. and 1990, Journal of Reality Therapy, 11(2), 76-82). Of course, this number has eventually been redoubled.

In the book ‘Reality Therapy for the 21st Century’ author Robert E. Wubbolding (2000) claims that principles of Choice Theory and RT are multicultural and applicable in many areas. He presents research studies in relation to health, human needs, addiction, drug abuse in prison, juvenile offenders recidivism, domestic violence, corrections, humour, depression, arthritis, self concept, self-esteem, locus of control, minority groups, deaf population, management, organizational behaviour, quality education, self-concept, at-risk students, etc.

There is an article with review on efficiency: “Choice Theory and Reality Therapy: Perceptions of Efficacy”, Mary E. Watson and Caley B. Arzamarski, 2011. Available at: http://www.ctrtjournal.com/file.php/1/AllJournals/IJCTRT%20XXXI%20no1.pdf

The International Journal of Reality Therapy, Vol.17 No1, has published Reality Therapy: A Meta-Analysis”. This study examined quantitatively the effectiveness of RT across 21 empirical studies. The authors, Lisa Radke, Marty Sapp, Walter C. Farrell concluded that although the study used also inexperienced therapists and some brief treatments RT has an average effect size within the medium range.

In the new journal The International Journal of Choice Theory (Vol.1 2006) is published article “A Meta-Analysis of Reality Therapy and Choice Theory Group Programs for Self-Esteem and Locus of Control in Korea” by Rose Inza Kim and MiGu Hwang. This study comprises 43 studies conducted in Korea between 1986 and 2006 on Reality Therapy and Choice Theory group programs in terms of their effects on participants’ self-esteem and locus of control. Comparing the counterpart control group with the groups under study the latter scored 23% higher of ‘self-esteem’ and 28% higher on ‘locus of control’.

You can read more about scientific validity of Reality therapy approach in the  the answers to 15 questions for the EAP by Leon Lojk.


CT/RT and addiction:


Substance abuse treatment with adolescent African American males: Reality therapy with an Afrocentric approach, Moore, Sharon E., 2001.


Drug Rehabilitation from a Choice Theory Perspective, Olli Nikoskelainen, 2012.

Who Is in Charge of Your Recovery? The Effectiveness of Reality Therapy for Female Drug Offenders in Taiwan, Fang Mei Law, Gwo Jen Guo, 2013.


The Iowa therapeutic community model of chemical dependency treatment, Ryan J. Hulbert, 1992

The effect of a R/T group counseling program on the Internet addiction level and self-esteem of Internet addiction university students, Kim, Jong-Un, 2008



Disorders from DSM-IV and effects of CT/RT:


The Effects of an RT Program Applied to Mental Health Clients, International Journal of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy, Vol.20 No2


Choice theory and Reality Therapy Application: Counselling Students with Psychosomatic Disorders, Asja Palinić Cvitanović, Leon Lojk, Marija Radonić, Matija Čale Mratović, Đurđica Kolarec, 2002.


Reality therapy with rape victims, Margaret J. McArthur, 1990


A Study on Counselling Program for Decrease of Aggression through RT, International Journal of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy , Vol.20 No2


The reticent speaker: etiology and treatment, Gerald M. Phillips, Nancy J. Metzger, 1973.

Using Reality Therapy to Reduce PTSD-Related Symptoms, Prenzlau, Sheryl, 2006.

Effectiveness of reality therapy program for schizophrenic patients, Jeongsook Kim, 2005.



CT/RT in working with groups:

Reality therapy groups: It’s effect on the stress reactions and coping strategies of female nurses in the critical care units, Wang, Wei-Hsiu; Ting, Yuan-Yu, 2012.

The Efficiency of Reality Therapy Instruction upon the Rate of Life’s Qualification and Marital Conflicts of Addicted Spouses, Maryam Tadayon, Alireza Mohammadi Arya, Hamidreza Lotfi, 2013.



The effectiveness of reality therapy on resiliency of divorced women in Neyshabour city, Narjes Sadat Bari, Seyyed Abdol majid Bhrinian, Hassan Azargon, Hosein Abedi, 2013.


A pilot study of health and wellness program development in an International Center for Clubhouse Development (ICCD) Clubhouse: procedures, implementation, and implications, Casstevens, W.D., 2011.

The efficacy of reality therapy in the reduction of HIV/AIDS-Risk behaviour among adolescents in Nigeria, Azekhueme, Kate U; Adegoke, Alfred A, 2010.

Efficacy of reality therapy and cognitive coping behaviour training in handling adjustment problems of empty-nester retirees, Chima, Ifeoma M; Nnodum, Benedicta. 2008.

The effects of reality therapy group counseling on futures traders’ negative trading emotions, trading locus of control, and trading performances, Tsai, Ming-Fang; Ting, Yuan-Yu, 2012.

The effect of internal control and achievement motivation in group counseling based on reality therapy, Rose-Inza, Kim; Mi Gu, Hwang, 2001.http://www.mwsu.edu/Assets/documents/academics/education/International_Journal_of_Reality_Therapy_Spring2001.pdf

Emotional needs of law enforcement personnel: Control group comparison using the Contextual Needs Assessment, Swenson, Stuart; Brown, Timothy; Plebanski, David, 2009.


Effectiveness of group counseling with reality therapy approach on identity crisis and general health of female students of vocational schools in Tehran city district-16 in the 91-90 school year, Nahid Ahmadi Marvili, 2012.


The Effect of Group RT on Internal Control and Self-Esteem, International Journal of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy, Vol.20 No2



Effects of CT/RT in working with parents and foster homes:

The effects of a choice theory and reality therapy parenting program on children’s behavior, Petra, Jeff Robert, 2001.

Caring and killing habits in behaviour in relations with “significant others”, Arbunić, Antun; Ljubetić, Maja, 2006.


Utilizing Choice Theory and Reality Therapy in Therapeutic Foster Care Homes, Anthony Cameron, 2010.


The Development and Effects of a Reality Therapy Parent group Counseling Program, Young-Soon Kim, 2001http://www.mwsu.edu/Assets/documents/academics/education/International_Journal_of_Reality_Therapy_Spring2001.pdf


CT/RT in working with people with disabilities:

The Effects of Reality Therapy Group Counseling on the Self- Determination of Persons withDevelopmental Disabilities, Lawrence, Daniel H., 2004.

Self – evaluation children and youth with disturbances in behavior during institutional treatment, Žižak, Antonija; Koller – Trbović, Nivex; Brusić, Roberta, 1993.


Choice theory: An investigation of the treatment effects of a choice theory protocol on students identified as having a behavioral or emotional disability on measures of anxiety, depression, locus of control and self-esteem, Scott D. Reeder, 2012.


The Use of Reality Therapy with Disabled Students and the Attainment of Competitive Employment: A Survey of 87 graduates from 1992-1998, Robert Renna, Peter Kimball, Joseph Brescia, Joseph O’Connor, 1999.

Autism Spectrum Disorders/Learning To Listen As We Shape Behaviours: Blending Choice theory with Applied Behavioural Analysis, International Journal of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy, Vol.23 No2


Multiple Sclerosis and Choice Theory, International Journal of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy, Vol.20 No1



Effects of CT/RT application in working with children, youth and education:

Self-Evaluation of Pre-School Teacher Competences – Check Lists for Self-Evaluation, Maja Ljubetić, 2012.


Effectiveness of Training the Choice Theory of Glasser to Teachers on Improvement of Students’ Academic Qualification, Omar Kianipour, Barzan Hoseini, 2012.


The effects of reality therapy and choice theory training on self concept among Taiwanese university students, Arlin V. Peterson, Chuanlin Chang, Perry L. Collins, 1998.


Integrating Positive Behavior Support with Adlerian Counseling and Reality Therapy: Building a Comprehensive Strategy to Redirect Youth at Risk, Theodore C. Tessier, 2008.


An Examination Of The Effectiveness Of Choice Theory On Teachers’ Teaching Effectiveness And Students’ Subsequent Academic Achievement, Kianipour. Omar, Hoseini. Barzan, 2012

The effects of Choice Theory/Reality Therapy principles on high school students’ perception of needs satisfaction and behavioral change, Loyd, Byron D., 2005.

Effectiveness of Group Reality Therapy in Increasing the Students’ Happiness, Niloofar Mollagholamali Hakak, 2013.


Effectiveness of group reality therapy in increasing the students’ happiness, Neda Smaeeli Far, Hossein Sheikhi, Zakiyeh Jafar Pour, 2013.


The effects of a reality therapy group guidance program for underachieving elementary students in regard to their Mandarin learning attitudes and achievements, Liu, Hsiu-chu; Ting, Yuan-yu; Cheng, Ju-An, 2010.


An examination of reading andmathematic achievement among second grade students who have received instruction from either teachers who have been trained in choice theory/reality therapy methods or teachers who have not been trained, Hale, Jane V., 2012.

Compassionate confrontation psychotherapy: Working with gifted but self-destructive adolescents in a therapeutic boarding school, Bratter, Thomas Edward, 2011.


Empowering lower-income developmental math students to satisfy Glasser’s five basic needs, Faulkner, Brenda; Burdenski, Thomas K Jr., 2011.


Student Perceptions of Their Schools: An International Perspective, James Malley, Iosipa Basic, Mitchell Beck, Vaientina Kranzelic Tavra, Martina Feric and James Conway, 2003.

(Self)-Evaluation in the Early Education System, Maja Ljubetić, 2007.



A critical analysis of social development programs in elementary education, Phyllis T. Elardo, Richard Elardo, 1976.

Using Reality Therapy in Schools: Its Potential Impact on the Effectiveness of the ASCA National Model, Cynthia Palmer Mason, Jill D. Duba, 2009.


The relationship between learning self-regulation skills and improved performance in reading and language arts for middle school students, Rhonda D. Gouin, 2013.


Choosing success in the classroom by building student relationships, Hinton, Dawn; Warnke, Bridget; Wubbolding, Robert E., 2011.


The Effect of A Bullying Prevention Program on Responsibility and Victimization of Bullied Children in Korea, Kim, Jong-Un, 2006.


A Glasser Quality School Leads to Choosing Exellence, Cindy McClung, Bob Hoglund, 2013

The effects of two group counseling interventions on Arab-American high school students’ perceptions of their primary relationships (parent, teacher, peer), Elder, Nuzmeya B., 2013.


Student Needs Survey: A Psychometrically Sound Measure of the Five Basic Needs,Matthew K. Burns, Diane Vance, Isadora Szadokierski, Chuck Stockwell, 2006.


Implementing choice therapy with life space crisis intervention in a residential treatment setting, Beck, Mitchell, 2009.


The effect of a reality therapy program on the responsibility for elementary school children in Korea, Kim, Kyung-hee, 2002

The Role of Basic Needs Fulfillment in Prediction of Subjective Well-Being among University Students, Turkdogan, Turgut; Duru, Erdinc, 2012.

Bridging the Gap Between Self-Concept (Have) and Ideal Self-Concept (want), Shima Mashayekhi, Tajudin Bin Hj. Ninggal, Newsha Mashayekhi, 2011.

Successful nurturing in residential treatment for abused children, Betty E. Kunkel, 1981.


NOTE: This article was compiled by the European Association for Reality Therapy

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