Therapist (Dis)Continuity, Therapeutic Relationship, and (Premature) Termination in a Psychology Training Clinic
Description: Premature termination is a substantial problem with significant adverse effects for clients, therapists, and treatment organizations. Unfortunately, it is also a relatively common phenomenon within mental healthcare settings. Across varied mental healthcare settings, rates of premature termination have reportedly ranged from 19.7 % to 40 %. Perhaps not surprisingly, the rate of premature termination in training clinics is substantially higher than in community mental health settings and private practice, with 75 to 80 % of clients ending treatment services prematurely. The purpose of this study was to explore the combined effect of intake therapist continuity or discontinuity, and quality of the therapeutic relationship on premature termination. Intake therapist continuity, measures of working alliance, and termination outcome from 524 clients at the University of North Texas Psychology Clinic were utilized for adults receiving individual therapy services between August 2008 and August 2013. Results of the study suggest intake therapist continuity did not predict subjective termination status (X2(2, n = 524) = 1.61, p = 0.45), nor did it predict change in symptomology status (X2(3, n = 453) = 1.14, p = 0.77). Additionally, working alliance predicted subjective termination status (X2(6, n = 212) = 21.17, p < 0.01), but not change in symptomology status (X2(9, n = 208) = 6.27, p = 0.71). The findings of the current study are discussed, as well as suggestions for further research related to client, therapist, treatment, and procedural variables and their impact on premature termination.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Al-Jabari, Rawya M.
Partner: UNT Libraries