The Effect of Expectations on Intention to Persist in Therapy

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Little is known about the impact of expectations on persistence in couple and family therapy. A better understanding of the factors that contribute to persistence in therapy is key to understanding therapeutic dropout. We report results of a secondary grounded theory analysis of individual, couple, and family therapy clients’ therapy expectations and their intention to persist in therapy. Participants were 19 clients of MFTs. Results indicate that clients carry expectations about the therapist, therapy process, duration, and outcome. Positive disconfirmation (Tambling & Johnson, 2010) of negative expectations contributed to therapy persistence.

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