Client perception of therapy and the variables implicated in length of stay
Long, Carmen A.
Master of Arts
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Consistently high rates of premature termination from counselling concern the providers and researchers of psychotherapy. In this thesis three variables were explored for a better understanding of premature termination. Social support, therapist qualities, and client demographics were hypothesized to impact on how long clients would remain in therapy. Thirty participants were placed in one of three groups, late terminators (LT), early terminators (ET) or remainers (R). Levels of perceived social support were assessed by the Social Support - Behaviors questionnaire, therapist and counsellor characteristics by the Counselor Evaluation Inventory and the Counselor Rating Form - Short. Demographics and clients' perceptions were obtained on a brief form included with the questionnaires. Social support was not found to be related to attrition rates which is in conflict with previous research. Age, sex and number of children were found to be somewhat related to termination, the results did not, however, meet the criteria for significance. Counsellor experience, attractiveness and trustworthiness were, to some extent, linked to length of stay in therapy. With regard to premature termination, some differences were noted in favour of the R group but they were not large and on some varibles the ET, LT and R groups did not differ. Further studies should make the distinction between early and late terminators as some differences do appear to exist between these two groups of premature terminators.