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People are frequently court ordered to some form of therapy, whether it be in the form of a course, group therapy or individual therapy.

Some examples being; road rage, anger management, drunk driving, parenting.

As one would consider, much of the success of the therapeutic process lies within the individuals motivation. However, it is also balanced by the fact that the consequence of being under a court order, may provide enough impetus to motivate an individual to change a behaviour. It leads me to ask:

What is the effectiveness of court imposed therapy, as compared to self initialised therapy options?

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How many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb? –  PEEJWEEJ Sep 5 '13 at 0:03
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Court Imposed Therapy may not be very helpful until the person himself tries to imbibe the lesson within him. –  user3747 Nov 7 '13 at 5:56
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Yes I am looking for studies –  user3543 Nov 7 '13 at 5:59
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I think this is a very interesting and timely question. The effect of therapy in general is being heavily debated these days. To me it seems court ordered therapy might primarily serve the purpose of giving a varnish of "civility" to the rest of society. It might mainly give a sentence an air of "rehabilitation". Personally; I do not think it is generally effective. The person ordered by court have other and bigger incentives to parrot, claim effect of the therapy, to agree on the effect (wether it is there nor not). –  Random O'Reilly Nov 25 '13 at 20:11
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@Skippy yes, exactly; I was hoping someone with more knowledge would come to the rescue. –  Random O'Reilly Nov 25 '13 at 22:04
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I found a few papers published on the topic of therapy by court order and while incarcerated. Psychotherapy doesn't seem to work most of the time without the full and willing cooperation of the patient.

Over the past decade, the use of court-ordered psychotherapeutic treatments as a pretrial diversion or dispositional alternative has increased dramatically. Currently, little published research has documented the effectiveness of these court-ordered treatments. The studies reviewed here cast doubt on the assumption that mandatory psychotherapeutic treatments are effective in reducing future incidents of violence between spouses. The incremental benefit of court-ordered treatment over the deterrent effects of traditional criminal justice system remedies is unclear. Differences in abuse recidivism between subjects court-ordered into treatment and subjects arrested and untreated have been small. In addition, subjects withdraw from treatment despite a court order to attend, indicating that legal system involvement does not motivate many unwilling subjects. Furthermore, subjects who discontinue treatment prematurely remain violence-free almost as often as subjects who complete treatment programs, thus drawing into question the, specific impact of clinical treatment for men who abuse their spouses. Future research is necessary to elucidate the precise benefits and appropriate focus of court-ordered treatment programs.

-Court-ordered treatment of spouse abuse

Interestingly, those who were mandated demonstrated less motivation at treatment entry, yet were more likely to complete treatment compared to those who were not court-ordered to treatment. While controlling for covariates known to be related to treatment completion, the logistic regression analyses demonstrated that court-ordered offenders were over 10 times more likely to complete treatment compared to those who entered treatment voluntarily (OR=10.9, CI=2.0-59.1, p=.006). These findings demonstrate that stipulated treatment for offenders may be an effective way to increase treatment compliance.

-Does mandating offenders to treatment improve completion rates?

Patients who require court-ordered medication over objection constitute a group that is high risk for nonadherence after discharge and being refractive to treatment.

-Outcomes Associated With Court-Ordered Treatment Over Objection in an Acute Psychiatric Hospital

A significant decrease in the dynamic scale scores of the J-SOAP-II [Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol II] was found only for the moderate treatment group (9 to 23 months).

-Treatment Impact of an Integrated Sex Offender Program as Measured by J-SOAP-II

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