Therapist Effects on Dropout From a College Counseling Center Practice Research Network

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Abstract

Dropout has been a pervasive and costly problem in psychotherapy, particularly for college counseling centers. The present study examined potential predictors of dropout using a large data set (N = 10,147 clients, 481 therapists) that was gathered through a college counseling center practice research network as a replication and extension of recent findings regarding therapist effects on dropout. The final model resulted in a dropout rate of 15.9% and a therapist effect of 9.51% on dropout variance. Therapist demographic variables were investigated, though none were found to be significant. Variables found to be predictive of increased likelihood of dropping out included higher levels of general presenting concerns, alcohol-related distress, and current financial stress. Ultimately, this study showed that therapists may play an important role in the likelihood of client dropout, and that additional research should be conducted to identify additional predictors, particularly at the therapist and center level.

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