Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Counselor Education

First Advisor

Arnold B. Coven


The purpose of this study was to examine the differential effects of Gestalt and Cognitive-Behavioral group therapy interventions on assertiveness and self-esteem among women with physical disabilities facing abuse. The eleven women, who met the study criteria, were randomly assigned to one of two experimental conditions, Gestalt Therapy (GT) and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) group interventions. The Demographic Questionnaire (Adam Rita, 2009) documented personal characteristics of the participants. The criterion instruments were: a) RAS (Rathus, 1973), and b) CFSEI-2 (Form AD, Battle, 1992) measuring assertiveness and self-esteem respectively and were administered pre-and-post treatment. The research was conducted over a period of six weeks, totaling six weekly two-hour group sessions. It was hypothesized these interventions would help women with physical disabilities facing abuse increase their levels of assertiveness and self-esteem. To determine if the differences between groups were statistically significant for the two dependent variables, assertiveness and self-esteem, MANCOVAs within subjects contrasts and between subjects effects were examined. Based on these findings, neither Gestalt Therapy (GT) nor Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) group interventions produced statistically significant outcome effects on the dependent variables, assertiveness and self-esteem. The findings did not support the research hypotheses; therefore both null hypotheses were retained.