Premature termination is a significant yet often neglected problem in psychotherapy with significant consequences for clients and therapists alike.
According to some estimates, as many as 20% of adult clients terminate psychotherapy prematurely. Even experienced practitioners using the best evidence-based techniques cannot successfully promote positive, long-term change in clients who do not complete the full course of treatment.
This book helps therapists and clinical researchers identify the common factors that lead to premature termination, and it presents eight strategies to address these factors and reduce client dropout rates. Such evidence-based techniques will help therapists establish proper roles and behaviors, work with client preferences, educate clients on patterns of change, and plan for appropriate termination within the first few sessions.
Additional strategies can be used throughout therapy to help strengthen and reinforce clients' feelings of hope, enhance their motivation to create change, develop and maintain the therapeutic alliance, and continually evaluate overall treatment progress.
Case examples demonstrate how these strategies can be employed in real-life scenarios.
I. Understanding Premature Termination in Psychotherapy
What Is Premature Termination, and Why Does It Occur?
Predictors of Premature Termination in Psychotherapy
II. Strategies for Reducing Premature Termination
Provide Role Induction
Incorporate Preferences Into the Treatment Decision-Making Process
Assist in Planning for Appropriate Termination
Provide Education About Patterns of Change in Psychotherapy
Enhance Motivation for Treatment
Foster the Therapeutic Alliance
Assess and Discuss Treatment Progress With Clients
Conclusions and Future Directions
About the Authors
About the Authors:
Joshua K. Swift, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage and a core faculty member in the Joint University of Alaska Fairbanks/University of Alaska Anchorage PhD Program in Clinical-Community Psychology where he directs the Psychotherapy Process and Outcome Research Lab. He is also a licensed psychologist in the state of Alaska.
As an early career psychologist he has authored or coauthored more than 80 professional publications and presentations. He has also been recognized with a number of awards including the Distinguished Publication of Psychotherapy Research Award and President's Award for Psychotherapy Research from APA Division 29 (Psychotherapy) and the University of Alaska Anchorage's Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Roger P. Greenberg, PhD, is distinguished professor and director of the psychology division at State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. He is also the psychology internship training director at Upstate and a longstanding clinician in private practice.
He has authored or coauthored about 250 publications and presentations. Among his books are: The Art and Science of Brief Psychotherapies: An Illustrated Guide (2012); From Placebo to Panacea: Putting Psychiatric Drugs to the Test (1997); and the award winning The Scientific Credibility of Freud's Theories and Therapy (1985).
Other awards include the National Register of Health Service Psychologists' Alfred B. Wellner Lifetime Achievement Award; the New York State Psychological Association's Joanne Lifshin Mentorship Award; the APPIC's Excellence in Training Award; and the SUNY President's Award for Excellence in Teaching.