Psychotherapy dropout and process variables




Mounetou, Sebastian

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Dropout from psychotherapy is a concerning issue in the field. This study uses the Pekarik (1992) definition, which means that dropout is a unilateral decision by the client to abandon therapy against the counsel of the therapist. Viewing dropout and its associations with Readiness/Motivation, Psychological Mindedness and Therapeutic Alliance may help understand why the rates are so high. Using a 3 items of an online survey, this study analyses the reported intensity and timing of dropout from mental health facilities across Texas. The second part of this study was a mini-meta analysis used to interpret the association between Therapeutic Alliance and dropout in the current literature. Study 1 found that the three factors were significantly associated with each other specifically that the factors were reported being Low when dropping out. The analysis viewing the factors and their timing of dropout did not find any significant results but did show promising tendencies for future research. The mini-meta analysis was not significant but showed a mean weighted effect size of d = -.16. The effect size is in the opposite direction, showing that those who dropped out had more therapeutic alliance. Future studies would be needed to delve deeper into the literature and find more significant results.


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Attrition, Dropout, Psychological Mindedness, Psychotherapy, Readiness/Motivation, Therapeutic Alliance