Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award



Document Type



Social Work

Degree Name

Master of Science

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Alan Lipps

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Katelin East


Positive psychology was founded by Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in 2000 as a psychological school of thought that focused more on identifying and building up a client’s positive strengths instead of just focusing on their mental health deficits. The question asked in this systematic review is as follows, “Is there a unique benefit to treating MDD or PTSD with positive psychotherapeutic interventions and does it result in lower rates of suicide/relief from severe MDD/PTSD?” Objective: The objective of this literature review and meta-analysis was to examine the evidence and determine if positive psychology-based interventions such as PsyCap, IPPI, and MI are as effective or more effective than other treatment modalities such as CBT. Methods: The methods for this meta-analysis included searching MEDLINE for quasi-experimental or experimental studies of the effectiveness of a positive psychotherapeutic intervention (e.g., positive psychology, motivational interviewing, hope theory, etc.) for the treatment of MDD or PTSD. Results: 11 studies were included in the meta-analysis. The majority of studies showed statistically significant results. The results suggested that PP is an effective treatment when compared to no treatment, but compared to other TAU it did not prove to be superior. Conclusions: This study determined that PP as a recovery-oriented intervention has shown to be as effective as EBP interventions. Further research on this topic could explore the importance of focusing on quality of life as a treatment outcome in mental health.


This thesis is dedicated to Grace White and Tracy Fleet.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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