Reasons for therapy termination in a university psychology clinic



This study examined the reasons for therapy termination documented by graduate student therapists. The closed case files of individual adult clients who had terminated their therapy experience at a university-based psychology clinic were reviewed. Results indicated that the most frequent reasons for termination documented by graduate student therapists were that clients stopped attending therapy sessions without providing their therapists with notice or reason and that clients reached a satisfactory termination point in their therapy experience. A substantial number of clients terminated therapy because of difficulties unrelated to therapy, seeking services elsewhere, or dissatisfaction with therapy services. Level of depressive symptomatology and the number of sessions attended differed across clients who had different reasons for termination. By addressing such client concerns early in the therapy experience, premature termination may be prevented. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 58: 1173–1181, 2002.